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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 8 Issue 2
February 2009

Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD., Editor
Email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com with your comments. Enjoy!

If the beginning of a year doesn't already bring enough change for you, January 20th marked the beginning of a new American President , his administration, his priorities and a sense of inclusion for all. One of his ideas is to establish new volunteer corps for health care, for teaching, for improving clean energy sources, supporting our veterans, etc.

As a pre-medical/pre-health student, you must, I repeat, MUST engage yourself in understanding what is happening in health policy as it unfolds. Read a daily or weekly online or print national news source. Have an opinion and be ready to back it up with facts! Ignorance and saying "I am to busy" is not an option for serious pre-medical students!

See Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question on Facebook: "How can I be a Competitive Applicant?" This is the single most often asked question by Pre-Health students.

Getting into medical, dental, pharmacy and the other health professions schools is getting HARDER!

As usually happens in an economic downturn, more people are attracted to stable careers like the health professions…competition is fierce!

How are YOU going to stand out from thousands of applicants?

Warning about student administered websites from Cornell Medical School Admissions staff:
"PLEASE do not encourage students to get information from web sites administered by other students. From time to time, I look up the studentdoctor.net site (for interview ratings) and I am appalled at the amount of misinformation there. Most of the information given there will hurt students more than help them."

Sick of rumors and false reports? Lewis Associates website has factual information that you can trust.

What's inside:

Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
How to Communicate With Us
Changes in Services
Your journey to a health profession
Are You Ready for the Class of 2009?
Track Record
Be Competitive

Getting Started

Breaking News:
• AAMC report says 30% med school enrollment hike is not enough
• 4 New Osteopathic Medical School Programs available for the 2010 and 2011 entering classes.
• Student Essay Contest: Reforming the Nation's Health Care System

•Tech-savvy med students fear life without EMRs
• New partnership targets health care quality
• Patient privacy at stake in Ohio abortion case
• Health plans will guarantee coverage, if insurance is mandated
• Montana court OKs doctor-assisted suicide
• Defensive medicine widespread among Massachusetts' doctors
• Ethics Forum - Helping patients who are victims of abuse
• Exercise, weight control, adequate sleep found to reduce cancer risk
• Wikipedia often misses important drug facts

Useful Links
• AMSA PharmFree
• Military Scholarships
• New Medical Program: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western ReserveUniversity (CCLCM)
• Summer Training in Academic Research and Scholarship (STARS)

Alumni Update
• Jim Dolan, M.D., Entering Class of 1991, Stanford University, Surgery Residency at UCSF, OHSU Dept Surgery faculty.
• Brad Douglas, M.D., MPH, Entering Class of 1993, USUHS, Aerospace Medicine Residency, Ob/Gyn Internship at Portsmouth Navy Hospital.
• John Chaffee, M.D. , Entering Class of 1988, Harvard University Medical School, University of Washington physician.
• Dr. Christie Martinez, DDS , Entering Class of 1995, UCSF Dental School.
• Todd Cook, M.D., Entering Class of 2003, George Washington University.
• Pam Pettigrew, M.D., Entering Class of 1999, George Washington University, Internal Medicine residency at Albany Medical Center.
• Joseph E. Allen, M.D., Entering Class of 1995, St Georges University; Family Medicine Residency and Fellowship at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center; Sports Medicine Fellowship at UCSD; in private practice in San Diego

Success Story of the Month
• Ashley White, Veterinary Student Year 1, Purdue University

Question of the Month
• How can I be a Competitive Applicant? This is the single most asked question by pre-health students!

Our Services


Welcome to Lewis Associates!

Nearly one in ten Americans ages 20 to 24 is unemployed. But, health care jobs remain an economic bright spot. The U.S. Department of Labor expects the health sector to add more than 1.4 million workers over the next ten years. Students in college and even high school can start preparing now for a rewarding health career.

Are you ready?

Our Track Record
Entering Class of 2009...coming summer 2009
Entering Class of 2008...96% acceptance
Entering Class of 2007...97% acceptance
Entering Class of 2006...89% acceptance, 2 waitlisted
Entering Class of 2005...100% acceptance
Entering Class of 2004...100% acceptance

We have restructured our Advising package so you can become competitive during the entire application process!

Our Ultimate Commitment package addresses ALL preparation and application activities for one year, no matter when you begin. We advise all applicants to begin preparation for their application process 18 months prior to expected matriculation, by January for summer applications! 

If you are interested in personalized advising from “The Best in the Business,” (quote by Dr. Patrick Linson, Harvard Medical School Alum who is the only Native American Radiation Oncologist on the planet!), call Lewis Associates today to schedule YOUR personal assessment. Dr. Lewis invests in you, so you may live up to your potential to be the best applicant you can be!

How to Communicate With Us
Phone: 805-226-9669 Fax: 805-226-9227
Mailing Address: 1885 Laguna del Campo, Templeton, CA 93465

Lewis Associates absorbs Long Distance Charges

All phone conferences are made from our office to you. Marcia, our Administrative Assistant, calls YOU at your appointment time.

Changes in Services

Where are you in your journey to a health profession?
In high school? Yes, we advise high school students, particularly, those interested in BA-MD programs!

Just starting college?
This is a scary time.  Everything is new…how do I meet all those new expectations?

Moving into your difficult upper division sciences as a college junior? Possibly, the "dreaded organic chemistry"…

Re-entering as an "older" non-traditional student? Re-establishing academic discipline…

We help prepare those of you submitting applications for medical and dental Residency programs, too!

Whatever niche you fit, we advise students just like you.

Are you REALLY ready to apply for the Class of 2010 or 2011?
How do you know?

Use our Personal Assessment--and you will be given your individual strategy and path to your future! Then, if you use our advising, we help implement your strategy! ! If it were easy to do, all applicants would be accepted...and, that is not the case.

Many whom we advise may not yet be ready, and need to develop some aspect of their background to become competitive. Best to apply when you are ready, be competitive, and do it ONLY ONCE!

Let's work together to make that one-time application successful…contacting us earlier is better so we can develop your strategy and address all those difficult problems…months or years prior to application. Why not set yourself up for success, rather than toy with the proposition of failure?

Michael Nevarez, Class of 2006, Harvard University School of Medicine.

"Dr. Lewis was a wonderful guide and mentor as I embarked on a medical career a number of years after graduating from Cal Poly (graduated 2001, applied to med school in 2006). She gave an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of my profile, and more importantly provided specific and personalized ways in which I could address my application and the process going forward. Her advice and experience was invaluable and I am very happy to have worked with her. "

Margaret Jolley, Entering Class of 2008, Accepted to UC San Diego School of Medicine, her first choice school
"I never would've made it without my weekly conference with the calm, experienced Dr. Lewis. She kept me sane. I am so grateful for her guidance, for her editing help, and for the confidence she instilled in me. She is a genuinely caring committed Mentor who takes pride in helping our dreams happen. I have urged every fellow student I know to call her. Let her help you, too!"

Austin Yoder, Entering Class of 2009, Accepted to Uniformed Services University for Health Sciences, Philadelphia Osteopathic-GA, West Virginia Osteopathic, Tennessee Osteopathic, and Kansas City Osteopathic
"I am utterly grateful to Dr. Lewis for all her help, guidance and mentorship through the application process. I owe a great deal of my success to date to her team."

Ariel Chairez, Entering Class 2004, Scholarship Awardee, University of Wisconsin Medical School
"Dr. Lewis, I would like to thank you for all of your help. Without your guidance, I would not have been accepted into medical school this year. I am extremely happy to have been accepted to one of the top medical schools in the country, and to have received a scholarship of $130,000. For any student who questions the value of your services, I can say that you have saved me $130,000 in tuition!  Thank you."

John Fiszer (Lawyer), Entering Class of 2005, University Of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
Dr. Lewis' note: John was an Assistant State's Prosecuting Attorney in Chicago, Illinois, when he contacted me in 2004. Finishing his 4th year of medical school, he said: "I am really enjoying med school, and I am thankful to Dr. Lewis for her help. Her methodical, disciplined approach to the med school application process, as well as her insight into the transition to med school were right on target."

Ali Warrick, Entering Class 2010 Advisee
"Dear Dr. Lewis,
I appreciate your help in my transfer process to UC Berkeley. You have been an integral part of the transition, and I would like to thank you for your time and efforts.  I know that your work is very thorough and well thought out. In addition, I believe that you really care about your students, and believe in each student's "right fit" in a school. You lead many people toward a brighter future, and I would like to say, 'Thank You!' for your contribution toward my academic goals. This process has been much more enjoyable with your guidance. Thank you for being so good at what you do."

S, Entering Class 2008, accepted with full scholarship to Mayo Medical School
"I cannot thank Dr. Lewis enough for her support and invaluable advice. When I came to her, I was apprehensive about the formidable task of applying to medical school especially with my past academic and personal hardships. She helped me see that overcoming these difficulties was a testament to my strength, dedication, and diligence. One of the most surprising outcomes of our relationship was that she was effective in helping me develop a more positive self-image and conquer many of my insecurities. Without her guidance and letter of evaluation, I would not have been able to earn an acceptance to Mayo Medical School, which granted me a merit scholarship that covers almost all of my tuition. I truly appreciate all of her help. She went above and beyond her role as an Advisor by becoming a Mentor to me. She is absolutely the best in the business!"

Be Competitive
In order to be a competitive Class of 2010 or 2011 applicant, you need to submit a quality application as evaluated by your clinical, service and other experiences and your GPA-MCAT/DAT/GRE, etc. profile in a timely fashion. This requires a well thought-out strategy to carry you through the difficult year-long application process. If you use Dr. Lewis' advising, we begin preparation early in the year BEFORE submission of your application!

EARLY is always better, removes much of the pressure, and allows time to solve unforeseen problems and challenges.

What are your chances?

If you want to change your career, or reach your present career goal, but do not know how to begin, or how to jump over all those hurdles, Lewis Associates will advise you and implement strategies to change your life. Dr. Lewis is thorough and professional.

Getting Started

Read on our website about getting your Personal Assessment done, then phone or email us to get started!
Dr. Lewis spends, on average, 7 hours developing an effective strategy of taking you from where you are to where you want to bein your own personal assessment.

You may be like our other Lewis Associates Advisees -- highly motivated and intelligent -- but needing focus, guidance and specific technical expertise. Dr. Lewis solves problems for her Advisees and finds opportunities for them. Or, you may wish to use hourly advising to solve one specific problem.

Dr. Lewis is a trained Biologist, having taught and directed her own research programs for many years at two universities. She earned two postdoctoral fellowships (one at NIH), received the 1990 NACADA Outstanding Institutional Advising Program in the U.S. and directed her own Health Careers Opportunity Program grant for 6 years, bringing $1 million to her university
while helping hundreds of disadvantaged students enter health professions.

If you are serious about making your dreams to become a physician, dentist, physician assistant, veterinarian, optometrist, podiatrist, naturopathic physician, or pharmacist a reality--Dr. Lewis can help you. We have made the difference for more than 800 alumni now practicing in medicine the last 23 years.

Dr. Lewis teaches Professionalism, Leadership, and Quality, and sets high standards for her Advisees.

Lewis Associates will save you money and heartache on your preparation and application process.

Contact the Health Career experts! For more information email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com. Call 805-226-9669 to set up your first appointment.

breaking news

AAMC report says 30% med school enrollment hike is not enough

Attempting to combat a projected physician shortage, the Assn. of American Medical Colleges set a goal in 2006 to increase first-year enrollment 30% by 2015. A report released by the AAMC in November said that even if the plateau is reached, it still won't be enough to avert a work force shortage. The projected shortage of physicians is about 150,000. Officials are urging changes such as more Residency slots.

4 New Osteopathic Medical School Programs available for the 2010 and 2011 entering classes.
2010: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine will open an additional campus at Seton Hill University.

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine will increase its class size by 100 students, who will study at two new locations: Detroit Medical Center and Macomb University Center in Clinton Township.
2011: Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, CA, will open an additional campus in Lebanon, Oregon.

Win $1000 Student Essay Contest: Reforming the Nation's Health Care System

KaiserEDU.org is now accepting entries for its Annual Essay Contest, giving undergraduate and graduate students a chance to win a prize of $1,000 by writing an essay addressing the elements of health reform that President Obama's team should focus on in 2009.


Tech-savvy med students fear life without EMRs

For the next generation of physicians, information technology is as essential a tool as the stethoscope -- so much so that they are uneasy when they are confronted with practicing in a paper-based environment.

New partnership targets health care quality

Despite intense focus on improving care and keeping patients safe from harm, American health care quality is only about 2% better this decade than last, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. That is just not good enough, say leaders of a major new initiative aimed at coordinating quality improvement and patient safety efforts among physicians, hospitals, accreditation and certification bodies, health plans, payers and patients.

Patient privacy at stake in Ohio abortion case

Physicians are fighting a demand for broad access to a clinic's medical records. The privacy of hundreds of minor patients' medical records lies in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court as it deliberates a case over alleged violations of the state's abortion consent law.

Health plans will guarantee coverage, if insurance is mandated

The reform proposal by America's Health Insurance Plans concentrates on controlling costs, adding value, assisting consumers and businesses, and covering all. A national health insurers' association released a health reform proposal that would guarantee coverage for people with preexisting conditions in exchange for the government requiring everyone to have health insurance.

Montana court OKs doctor-assisted suicide

A judge ruled that the state's constitution gives mentally competent patients with terminal illnesses the right to seek physician aid in dying. For 10 years, Oregon stood alone as the state with a legal physician-assisted suicide process. But two other states now allow the practice. Washington voters in November 2008 passed a ballot initiative legalizing aid in dying. Then in December 2008, Montana Judge Dorothy McCarter ruled that state homicide laws unconstitutionally restrict terminally ill patients' right to dignified deaths.

Defensive medicine widespread among Massachusetts' doctors

The state medical society is calling for tort reforms to address costs, access and safety issues associated with medical liability fears.

Ethics Forum - Helping patients who are victims of abuse

What do you say when a patient tells you he or she has been abused? For years, primary care physicians taking a history have asked patients whether their personal safety has ever been threatened. Most anticipate a "no" answer and move on. But studies suggest more patients will be answering in the affirmative.

Exercise, weight control, adequate sleep found to reduce cancer risk

Both fitness and fatness appear to play an important role in breast cancer risk. "Keep moving to help ward off cancer" is a message that seems to be picking up momentum. Evidence has built in recent years that risk for breast cancer, in particular, increases with a sedentary lifestyle.

Wikipedia often misses important drug facts

A study found the information on the user-written encyclopedia was accurate. The danger could be in what's not there. Patients seeking drug information on the Web site Wikipedia might be dangerously ill-informed.


AMSA PharmFree
Medical community’s home for reclaiming the ethics of medicine by removing conflicts of interest and restoring the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship. PharmFree.org, created in collaboration with the Prescription Project, a drug industry watchdog group, provides resources for students seeking policy change at their institutions. PharmFree.org promotes evidence-based prescribing, access to medicines and pharmaceutical innovation

Military Scholarships

Army: http://www.goarmy.com/amedd/education.jsp
Whether you've just begun your undergraduate studies or have accepted a seat in medical school, you can take advantage of the programs the U.S. Army provides for students pursuing careers in health care.

Air Force: http://sf.airforce.com/opportunities/healthcare/education/
Education is of the utmost importance in the Air Force. Whether you are still in medical school or are continuing your education and training, we will make sure you have the resources and tools to meet your goals.

Navy: http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/physicians/
Wherever you are in your medical career, the Navy can help ease your financial burdens and advance your career with generous scholarships, financial assistance and continuing education programs.

New Medical Program: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University (CCLCM)
CCLCM is a new program that sets standards for the training of physician investigators through innovative approaches to the integration of basic science, research and clinical medicine.

Summer Training in Academic Research and Scholarship (STARS) Program
The Office for Multicultural Faculty Careers at Brigham and Woman's Hospital is recruiting its inaugural cohort of scholars to join them for 8 weeks to engage in basic, clinical or translational research projects under the supervision of BWH and Harvard Medical School faculty advisors.

Find these and other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's Links Page.

alumni updates

Jim Dolan, M.D
Jim Dolan, M.D.

Jim Dolan, M.D., Entering Class of 1991, Stanford University, Surgery Residency at UCSF, OHSU Dept Surgery faculty.

"Dr. Lewis,
I don’t know if you would recall being the driving force that helped a lad from Ireland, and SDSU undergrad, get into medical school in 1991…maybe the name James Dolan may help?
It has been too long since I had a chance to say hello. I managed to locate you online. It has indeed been an eventful 17+ years since I talked with you last.  After leaving SDSU in 1991, I went to Stanford, then to UCSF to do a surgery Residency… and a research Fellowship….and then to Oregon Health and Science University to do another fellowship (laparoscopic surgery)…and then off to the US Air Force in Biloxi, Mississippi for 4 years… (and 2 overseas deployments as a military surgeon)….and.. finally, now back to OHSU again where I’m now a faculty in the Department of Surgery. .hopefully to settle down for the long term…"


Brad Douglas, M.D.
Brad Douglas, M.D.

Brad Douglas, M.D., MPH, Entering Class of 1993, USUHS, Aerospace Medicine Residency, Ob-Gyn Internship at Portsmouth Navy Hospital.

"I am currently only practicing Ob/Gyn and planning on entering into the Ob/Gyn Hospitalist realm after retiring from the Navy in the next 18 months. Dr. Lewis - thank you again after all these years."


John Chaffee, M.D.
John Chaffee, M.D.

John Chaffee, M.D., Entering Class of 1988, Harvard University Medical School, University of Washington.

"I passed my 10th year of service with University of Washington Physicians. Last June, I had to give up delivering babies, as there were not enough other physicians practicing obstetrics to share in our call group. Though I miss the joy of deliveries, I am glad to have a more flexible schedule"


Todd Cook, M.D.
Todd Cook, M.D.

Todd Cook, M.D., Entering Class of 2003, George Washington University.



Christie Martinez, DDS
Christie Martinez, DDS

Christie Martinez, DDS, Entering Class of 1995, UCSF Dental School.



Pam Pettigrew, M.D.
Pam Pettigrew, M.D.

Pam Pettigrew, M.D., Entering Class of 1999, George Washington University, Internal Medicine residency at Albany Medical Center.



Joseph E. Allen, M.D.
Joseph E. Allen, M.D.'s children

Joseph E. Allen, M.D., Entering Class of 1995, St Georges University; Family Medicine Residency and Fellowship at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center; Sports Medicine Fellowship at UCSD; in private practice in San Diego.



Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!

success story

Ashley White, Veterinary Student Year 1, Purdue University

Ashley White
Ashley White

I can’t remember when I first decided I wanted to be a veterinarian.   It might have been after years of helping my mom give insulin injections to our diabetic cat as a child.  Or later, after going through years of medical problems with any of three guinea pigs I had growing up.  Somewhere along the line though, I found my passion for animals and knew veterinary medicine was my future.
In late high school, I had a few bad experiences in different science courses and felt that I couldn’t ever be a veterinarian as I just couldn’t cut it in a science-based profession.  I decided I wanted to be an interior-designer – I think more because I had no idea what else I wanted to do – than because I actually wanted to do interior design.  I applied to a number of colleges with good interior design programs, and when I was accepted to and given a scholarship at UC Davis I declined and headed to San Diego State University instead.  By the time I got there, I changed my major to undeclared instead of wading through classes I wasn’t interested in.

My roommate, and later best friend, was pre-med and encouraged me to turn back to my old dream.  She referred me to Dr. Lewis, who quickly put me on track to becoming pre-vet.  Dr. Lewis encouraged me to test out some beginning science classes and see if a biology major was a good fit.  Through her, I also joined the pre-professional health group, CUHRE, to gain leadership experience and meet other pre-professionals.  She met with me frequently to ensure I stayed focused, and taught me how to approach my professors and do well. 

Dr. Lewis also set me up with my first shadowing and clinical volunteer positions with alumni from CUHRE.  Based on those experiences, I located a job at the Avian and Exotic Animal Hospital of San Diego.  Under the guidance of two wonderful doctors, I learned a great deal as a kennel assistant, receptionist, and technician.  This experience solidified my desire to be a veterinarian.  I learned the basics of what it takes to be a veterinarian and run a successful practice.  I became even more interested in the human-animal bond, and felt that, in some small way, I was doing my part to improve the world by helping animals and their owner counterparts.

I was invited to and joined the five honor societies offered at San Diego State and became Vice President and later President of CUHRE.  These experiences boosted my confidence.  I felt ready to tackle a rigorous curriculum, move to a new place to attend veterinary school, and meet a ton of new people.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life and how I was going to do it.  Finally, after a shaky start and five years of uncertainty, I was sure of one thing: myself.  I applied to vet schools all over the country with Dr. Lewis’ help.

Though I didn’t see it as a blessing at the time, I was only accepted to one school: Purdue University.  I moved to Indiana and began school in August of 2008.  It was the change I didn’t know I needed.  It is, without a doubt, the most challenging thing I have ever done.  But the people, the animals, the learning process, and the knowledge that I’m one step closer to achieving my dream makes it all worthwhile. 

I’m still not sure what I’ll specialize in, but I have another year and a half to figure that out.  Right now, I’m focusing on learning as much as I possibly can and enjoying this time before I have to head out into the real world.  For now, I have interests in exotics and oncology, and a desire to become the best possible veterinarian that I can be.

Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success Stories: imaclewis@lewisassoc.com

question of the month
By Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD

How can I be a Competitive Applicant?

This is the single most often asked question by Pre-Health students. See Facebook for the answer.

We will feature an important question each month. Please submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions to imaclewis@lewisassoc.com with 'Newsletter Question' in the subject line.

AIGAC Stamp of Excellence
The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants' (AIGAC) Stamp of Excellence is issued based on education, professional experience as a graduate admissions consultant, and commitment to the AIGAC's principles of good practices. AIGAC exists to define and promote professional excellence in serving graduate and professional school applicants worldwide.


lewis associates advising services

Lewis Associates specializes in personal, effective and professional premedical advising and placement for traditional and non-traditional applicants. Often, non-traditional students are older than 21 years of age, career changers, international applicants or second-round applicants for admission to health professions school.

Lewis Associates' services meet the needs of all types of students from pre-applicants to applicants, including hourly advising support for specific needs. Click here.


"It's never too late to be who you might have been."

If this is how YOU feel, then, maybe Lewis Associates is the place for you. Lewis Associates provides Mentoring and Coaching through the rigorous and often circuitous pre-health preparation and application process. Other consultants may support programs like Law and Business or graduate school -- not Lewis Associates. We are the experts in Health Professions based on 26 years of a successful track record.

Call or email today to set your first appointment!

805.226.9669 imaclewis@lewisassoc.com

Copyright 2009, Lewis Associates. All rights reserved. Please do not repost on any website without direct permission from Lewis Associates.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, classmates, or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.

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