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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 8 Issue 8
August 2009

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

Wow - a health care bill in the U.S. Congress with a reasonable chance of passing this summer-fall? What do you think?

As a pre- health student, you MUST engage yourself in understanding what is happening in health policy as it unfolds in 2009. Read a daily or weekly online or print national news source. Have an opinion and be ready to back it up with facts! "I am too busy" is not an option for serious pre- health students! 

Weekly - American Medical News
Daily - The Washington Post
Daily - The New York Times

Note from Dr. Lewis: I just spent 2 weeks in Australia. There are several Australian Medical Schools that take Americans, but I read an article indicating that finding clinical rotation slots for non-Australians is now dicey. You might consider the University of Queensland, which is preparing students for practice in post-Katrina New Orleans (http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/print/news/2009/07/16/queensland). Medicine has certainly become multi-national. The Aussies were worried about swine flu when I was there; several deaths and many in hospitals. This is another indicator that our world is shrinking fast. I saw some wonderful country; Australia is quite beautiful and the people are very welcoming. We will be posting a few photos on our website next week.

See Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question on Facebook: How do Allopathic Medical Schools define Holistic Admissions Review? What are "the desirable traits"? Part 5, Curiosity & Engagement.

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-run 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 2010?
Track Record
Be Competitive

Getting Started

• Obama Names Surgeon General
• Pelosi Vows Passage of Health-Care Overhaul
• AMA backs House health system reform bill that includes Medicare pay overhaul
• Focus on Health Savings Obscures Other Issues
• Primary Care the 'Fundamental Building Block' for Health Care Reform
• Reach of Subsidies Is Critical Issue for Health Plan
• Australians Open U.S. Med School

Useful Links
• Profiles of People with Disabilities in the Health Professions
• Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss
• 7th Annual AMSA ARC Pre-Med & Pre-Public Health Conference
• The Touro University - California College of Pharmacy was granted full accreditation
• Medical School Programs to Increase the Rural Physician Supply
• National Health Services Corps (NHSC) awards scholarships to students training to be primary care physicians

Alumni Update
• Sam, MD, Entering Class of 1996, UC San Francisco, Surgery residency at Oregon Health Science Center, Plastic Surgery fellowship at UC Davis.

Success Story of the Month
• Lorena Del Valle, Entering Class of 2009, Touro University - Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

Question of the Month
• See Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question on Facebook, Advising Tips tab: How do Allopathic Medical Schools define Holistic Admissions Review? What are "the desirable traits"? Part 5, Curiosity & Engagement.

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...92% acceptance
Entering Class of 2008...96% acceptance
Entering Class of 2007...97% acceptance
Entering Class of 2006...89% acceptance
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 one year package addresses ALL preparation and application activities, no matter when they occur for you. We advise all applicants to begin preparation for their application process at least 18 months prior to expected matriculation . But, real preparation to become a strong, competitive applicant starts when you enter college (and even before!) So, get started NOW!

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?

David and Maureen Lee, Eric Lee's parents, Entering Class of 2009, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
June, 2009: "Dr. Lewis, We just wanted to drop you a quick note to say thank you for all of your strategic guidance, wise counsel, encouragement, and mentoring to our son Eric on his journey to get into medical school. That is quite a process!! Eric definitely took the "road less traveled", majoring in philosophy, but he worked really hard to get his science prerequisites under his belt. He benefited so much from your experience, insight, and when needed, "tough love". You kept him on track, and we thank you. We think he will be an excellent physician. Perhaps some day we will meet. Again with gratitude, David and Maureen Lee."

Michael Nevarez, Entering Class of 2006, Harvard University School of Medicine, his first choice school
"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, 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 2011 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 be.

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 training or practicing in medicine over 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.



Obama Names Surgeon General;
He Says Benjamin Would Be Voice in Health-Care Debate.

Pelosi Vows Passage of Health-Care Overhaul
Defying skeptics in her party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed Sunday to overcome lingering obstacles and pass health-care reform in the House, restoring momentum to President Obama's top domestic priority and order to her own unruly Democratic caucus.

Focus on Health Savings Obscures Other Issues
President Obama says the primary goal of health reform is to rein in runaway spending, and he points to real-world examples in which doctors and hospitals have improved care and reduced costs.

Primary Care the 'Fundamental Building Block' for Health Care Reform
Congress and the Obama administration have reached the same conclusion about health care reform -- successful reform will not happen without a focus on primary care and the patient-centered medical home, or PCMH.

Reach of Subsidies Is Critical Issue for Health Plan
The major health care bills moving through Congress would require nearly all Americans to have health insurance. But as lawmakers struggle to achieve the goal of universal coverage, a critical question is whether the plans will be affordable to those who are currently uninsured

Australians Open U.S. Med School
To produce more physicians for Louisiana, a major academic medical center has joined up with a medical school down under. The University of Queensland School of Medicine, in Australia, has opened a clinical school in New Orleans in cooperation with Louisiana's Ochsner Health System.


Profiles of People with Disabilities in the Health Professions

Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss

7th Annual AMSA ARC Pre-Med & Pre-Public Health Conference

The Touro University - California College of Pharmacy was recently granted full accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

Medical School Programs to Increase the Rural Physician Supply:
A Systematic Review and Projected Impact of Widespread Replication.

The National Health Services Corps (NHSC) awards scholarships to students training to be primary care physicians in exchange for 2 to 4 years of service in an NHSC-approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area.

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

alumni updates

Sam, MD, Entering Class of 1996, UC San Francisco, Surgery residency at Oregon Health Science Center, Plastic Surgery fellowship at UC Davis

"Drs. Bruce R. Webber, M.D. and Clifford S. Canepa, M.D. are pleased to announce the addition of Sam, M.D. to their plastic and reconstructive surgery practice.

Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!

success story

Lorena Del Valle, Entering Class of 2009, Touro University - Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

Lorena Del Valle with Dr. Lewis.

I had it all figured out by the time I entered SDSU as a freshman in 2000.  I would take the MCAT in 2003, graduate in 2005 and start medical school that same year. I never considered there would be detours or complications. During my second year, I noticed that I began to feel extremely nervous during tests, so much that I would get physically sick right before each exam in my core science classes. It was so difficult to concentrate, I felt myself having to study much more than my classmates to earn the exact same grades. Going out with friends was not much fun either, because that nervous feeling I had right before tests began extending into my social life. By this time, I was a member of CUHRE and Dr. Lewis advised me to get help.

I was diagnosed with panic attacks and social anxiety disorder and was prescribed a heavy dose of medication. It all seemed to work because I was able to focus a little bit better on school work and was now able to go to the movies without feeling like the panic attacks were going to kill me. However, the side effects of the medication were horrible and I had stomach pain, nausea and a strange groggy feeling everyday, but I stuck with it. Dr. Lewis and I agreed that relaxation breathing/meditation courses and yoga would perhaps help me learn how to deal with the anxiety naturally, so I could discontinue the medicine. By this time, I had begun to prepare for the MCAT by taking a review course, however my practice exam scores were not competitive. So, I decided to take a different prep course twice, but my scores did still not improve. I felt as though I was unable to grasp the necessary concepts and began to seriously question my ability. As I write this now, I can say that self-doubt is one of the most debilitating human emotions. It was frustrating, to say the least, that I was about to graduate, had not taken the MCAT and was not going to medical school yet. I could not understand why this was all happening, I was a great student and never “messed around” the way some of my classmates did. At least they had an excuse! I became so depressed that my doctor wanted to increase my medication while all I wanted to do was to stop taking it. I prepped one last time for the MCAT using yet another set of books and finally took the test. I took my last few undergraduate classes in India with a study abroad group. The food was so spicy that I only ate rice while I was there. To my surprise, my health was the best it had been in years. Although it sounded crazy, I figured out that food was making me sick. Once back in the US, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease which explained all the symptoms I had been having for the past five years! 

I did not score well on the MCAT, but applied anyway and had some hope when I interviewed at 3 schools. However, I was not accepted. I was crushed. It was 2007 and I started to believe that medicine was not for me. With the guidance of Dr. Lewis, I applied to post-baccalaureate programs to have some time to figure everything out and was accepted to the UCLA RAP program. I spent this year improving my grades even more and really focused on attacking the anxiety and weaning myself off my medication. I spent an entire summer indirectly observing doctors during breaks in my program. It was here that I realized that I wanted to become a Physician Assistant and not a Physician the way I had planned for so many years. After completing RAP, I nervously applied to PA schools because I had very little PA experience. A school, one of my top choices, informed me a few days before my interview that I would be interviewing for a waitlist spot since their class was full. I interviewed calmly, as I had "nothing to lose". Two days later, I was very close to deleting an email that I was sure would tell me what I already knew…waitlisted. I opened it and there were the best words I have ever read, “Welcome to the PA class 2011!”  Although I had completed my degree at SDSU, Dr Lewis continued to work with me for the next 3 years. My essays were nearly perfect and she drilled me during our mock interviews so much that I dreaded my next one. I know that I could have never found another advisor with the same level of dedication and knowledge on how exactly to prepare me for my future in healthcare. I encourage every struggling student to listen to what Dr. Lewis says, to keep trying and to keep hope, even if it takes a little bit longer than expected.

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...see Facebook, Advising Tips tab (link)
By Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD

How do Allopathic Medical Schools define Holistic Admissions Review? What are "the desirable traits"? Part 5, Curiosity & Engagement.

This is a hot topic for Allopathic Medical Schools. Are they just giving it lip service? See Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question on Facebook, Advising Tips tab.

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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