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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 8 Issue 10
October 2009

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

Health care bills in the U.S. Congress, town hall meetings, facts, misrepresentations, politics! What do you think?

I attended our local town hall meeting about health care policy sponsored by our Congressional representative. 1000 people attended. It was well moderated and although partisan on both conservative and progressive sides, it did not become a sideshow as some have. I was particularly impressed with the sincerity expressed by a local high school junior who said it is imperative to provide care for the many millions who can't afford it in the US. And, one of my own alumni, a local pediatrician actually introduced our representative. It was an interesting "exercise in democracy".

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
Health reform and AACOM public policy issues
Kaiser Health News
Medical Education Futures Study
New England Journal of Medicine: Health Care Reform 2009 
Reuters - Health and Fitness News 
RWJF - Health and Health Care Improvement 
Politico - Politics, Political News 

See Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question on Facebook: This is interview season! Are you ready?

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

• Doctors as the Key to Health Care Reform
• Getting Past Denial — The High Cost of Health Care in the United States
• Look Who’s Applying to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - Medical student profiles
• 7th Annual AMSA ARC Pre-Med & Pre-Public Health Conference: "Transforming Your Journey to Medicine"
• HRSA Holds Health Care Workforce Crisis Summit
• Boom in Global Health Studies

Useful Links
• Role of Family Medicine in Global Health - Video
• Medical Experts Debate Healthcare - Video
• International Premedical Applicant Statistics
• Medical School Admission Policies Towards Non-U.S. Citizens
• Premed International Student Financial Aid
• ADA's 2007-08 Survey of Dental Education Tuition, Admission, and Attrition

Alumni Update
• David Cahn, Entering Class of 2008, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Success Story of the Month
• RURAL IRELAND TO URBAN OREGON: A 25 YEAR JOURNEY - James Dolan, MD Entering Class of 1991, Stanford University Medical School, Surgery Residency at UCSF, Surgery Fellowship at OHSU, OHSU Dept Surgery faculty.

Question of the Month
• This is interview season! Are you ready? See Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question on Facebook

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...96% 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.



Doctors as the Key to Health Care Reform
Experts agree that sustainable health care reform requires reining in rising costs, but few people understand that the control of medical expenditures is largely in the hands of the medical profession. Doctors, in consultation with their patients — not insurance companies, legislators, or government officials — make most of the decisions to use medical resources, thereby determining what the United States spends on medical care.

Getting Past Denial — The High Cost of Health Care in the United States
What seemed to be a golden opportunity to achieve badly needed health care reform now appears to be threatened. Many Americans believe that we simply cannot afford to cover the uninsured, since doing so would require taxes to be raised beyond the level the public can sustain. Others believe that we can slow spending growth only by rationing needed care. Neither option is attractive. Evidence regarding regional variations in spending and growth, however, points to a more hopeful alternative: we should be able to reorganize and improve care to eliminate wasteful and unnecessary services.

Look Who’s Applying to Osteopathic Medical Colleges - Medical student profiles
AACOMAS received a record number of 12,617 completed applications for the 2009 entering class at the 27 osteopathic colleges and branch campuses that are part of AACOMAS.

7th Annual AMSA ARC Pre-Med & Pre-Public Health Conference:
"Transforming Your Journey to Medicine"

HRSA Holds Health Care Workforce Crisis Summit
The Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently held a national meeting on the future of the primary care workforce in rural and urban America.

Boom in Global Health Studies
Representatives of 58 universities will gather at the National Institutes of Health for the first annual meeting of a new consortium designed to encourage development of and collaboration among academic programs in the emerging field of global health.


Role of Family Medicine in Global Health - Video

Medical Experts Debate Healthcare - Video

International Premedical Applicant Statistics

Medical School Admission Policies Towards Non-U.S. Citizens

Premed International Student Financial Aid

ADA's 2007-08 Survey of Dental Education Tuition, Admission, and Attrition, Vol. 2

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

alumni updates

David Cahn

David Cahn, Entering Class of 2008, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Aug 31, 2009: Hi Dr. Lewis. How is everything with you?  School is going very well. I am in my last year of classes and I take the boards in May - then into the hospital! I was surprised by the amount of extracurricular activities that are available here and that people participate in - sports, clubs, mentoring and orientation programs. I play flag football, racquetball, am a first year mentor, and was an anatomy lab TA. I am also in both the surgery and internal medicine clubs. Hope your doing well and look forward to hearing from you. David.

Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!

success story


James Dolan, MD Entering Class or 1991, Stanford University Medical School, Surgery Residency at UCSF, Surgery Fellowship at OHSU, OHSU Dept Surgery faculty

James Dolan with his family.

I grew up about 6 miles outside the village of Blacklion in rural County Cavan in Ireland as the oldest of 7 children. The overall memory of my childhood was that we were poor, but we were always happy. Mary, my sister, and I took up reading early and did well in primary school and then I went off to secondary school at St. Macartan’s College in Monaghan where I was a mediocre student who got by with minimal effort and never really applied myself to academics. I certainly never really applied myself to thinking about my future. Since I grew up on a small farm and spend my time during high school working on a larger farm, I had toyed with the idea of becoming an Agriculture Advisor. I was offered a slot at University College Dublin to study towards this end, but just before I accepted the offer, my father spoke with me one day and advised me to go to the US where my opportunities may be better than staying in rural Ireland. Since my mother was born in New York, it would be easier for me to gain permanent residence in the U.S.

And so I landed in San Jose, California and went to live with my uncle John (Jack) Murphy and his family in Cupertino, California. It was probably the most fortunate event of my life. Jack was a Lockeed engineer who had left Ireland alone when he was 16 and had joined the US Navy and worked himself through school and college. He was a firm believer in hard work and study. I was a naïve 18 year old who was far from home and even farther from having any idea of where to apply myself. He took a personal interest in making sure I developed a plan for my future and whipped me into shape. I enrolled at De Anza College, the local Junior College in Cupertino, and discovered that I could do well in class if I actually studied hard. For some reason, my uncle saw some glean of intelligence in me and advised me to pursue Engineering or Medicine. Since my proficiency in math was poor, my choice was clear; it was medicine. Thus, I worked hard to save some money, completed my Associate Degree and transferred to San Diego State University where I knew I would be able to afford to pay for college by myself. I chose Microbiology as my major and enrolled in the Preprofessional Health Program that was then under the leadership of Dr. Cindy Lewis. This was back in the day when the program occupied 2 rooms on the ground floor of the North Life Sciences Building!!

I regarded the 4 years I spent at SDSU as “the times of my life”. I finally had a purpose and something to work toward. A few years earlier, I would have laughed at the notion that I would be the first in my entire family to go to college and the first to make it to Medical School. Now, here I was, actually beginning to make that happen. As I look back, I can see that it took three separate components to fire the process that brought me to where I am today. The first was my Uncle Jack Murphy who forced me to bring some order to my life and devoted time to setting me off on the right pathway. The second was my realization that simple hard work would pay off and the third was in being lucky enough to walk into Cindy Lewis’ office in September 1987 and tell her that I wanted to go to med school. From that point on, I knew that if I did my part, she would do hers. She took me under her wing – as she did for each of her preprofessional students- and guided us through what we needed to do to get where we wanted to go.  She recognized our strengths and talents and helped us develop them. She talked with us candidly, consoled us when needed, but always made us take responsibility for the strategy we had developed together.

Ultimately, I got accepted to a number of medical schools and ended up going to Stanford on an Air Force Health Professions Scholarship. My father passed away while I was a second year medical student and did not have the chance to see me graduate from medical school, but my mother and all my brothers and sisters were there to see me walk across the stage. On the fortunate side, I did meet Marian, my future wife, while I was doing a neurosurgery sub-internship in 1994. I developed an interest in Surgery and was accepted into the surgery residency at UCSF where I also took 2 years off to do a postdoctoral research fellowship with Jeffrey Norton. Marian and I got married in 1999.

Near the end of my residency, I had the good fortune to be recommended for a Fellowship position in minimally invasive surgery at Oregon Health Science University. Thus, began another chapter of my life in the beautiful state of Oregon. Between 2002 and 2004, I worked under John Hunter and Brett Sheppard and then headed off to the Air Force to serve out my commitment. Our little family (Patrick 2001, Ronan 2004) moved to Biloxi, Mississippi where I was stationed at Keesler AFB. During the next two years I deployed twice in support of our wars in SW Asia and was at Keesler when Hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast. I had never witnessed such a level of natural destruction in my life. After returning from my first deployment, I worked on reestablishing the Surgical Residency program at Keesler once again. In 2007, we were awarded full initial accreditation and began training Surgery Residents again. In September 2008, our third son, Gabriel, was born. We left the Air Force and returned to OHSU in October 2008 after I was fortunate enough to be offered a faculty position in the Department of Surgery.

In retrospect, I marvel at the pathway that has brought me to this point in my life. I am truly fortunate to have a great job in academic surgery, the opportunity to teach, and a wonderful family to come home to (most) nights. People like my uncle and Cindy Lewis made it happen for me and I am eternally in their debt.

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

This is interview season! Are you ready?  Interviews: What questions are "illegal"?

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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