Volume 8 Issue 11
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
In October, I hosted The Cal Poly Disability Resource Center's workshop by Dr. John Hosterman, Director of Accommodations Review, MCAT. I have posted his notes on our website links page under ADHD and MCAT.
I was already aware that 1% of the 70,000 annual MCAT takers request accommodations and that the "required documentation" is extensive, may take several months to get, and can be expensive. But, there is a new financial aid support program beginning in January 2010 for applicants granted the AMCAS/MCAT Financial Assistance Application to support Psycho-educational or Medical Re-Evaluations (http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/accommodations/scholarship.htm) for those who are re-submitting an accommodations request.
See this month's Q&A on Facebook to learn more.
Health care bills in the U.S. Congress, facts, misrepresentations, politics! 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-
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: What are the most common errors of omission in requests for MCAT accomodations?
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
"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.
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
to Communicate With Us
Your journey to a health profession
Are You Ready for the Class of 2010?
• Faces of the uninsured
• Average family health plan premiums top $13,000
• Doctors often register unconscious bias against blacks, study finds
• New specialty approved for treating child abuse
• Social media behavior could threaten your reputation, job prospects
• LECOM at Seton Hill Opens its Doors for Fall 2010
• WCU-COM Receives Provisional Accreditation; Open Its Doors for Fall 2010
• MSUCOM Celebrates Opening of New Site in Detroit
• Dr. Shannon's Reflections on Today's Pre-Med Students
• Four Osteopathic Medical Schools Rank Among Top 20 in Nation for Hispanic Students
• H1N1 vaccine to be tracked for safety concerns
• What editorial writers are saying about a tax on soft drinks
• Retail clinics expanding services more than locations
• Sick Around the World; Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health care system?
• MCAT Financial Assistance Application for Psycho-educational or Medical Re-Evaluations
• Internship Opportunities for 2009 that may NOT require US citizenship
• Research Associates (RA) Program in Emergency Medicine St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport CT
• Perspective: Three Crucial Questions When Applying to M.D.-Ph.D. Programs
• Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology, Revised 4/09
• 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; private practice in San Diego
• Rene Bravo, MD, Entering Class 1983, UC San Francisco, Pediatrician in San Luis Obispo
• Stephen Williams, MD, Entering Class of 2001, George Washington University School of Medicine, Urology/Surgery Residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Story of the Month
• Carmen Ruiz, MD, Entering Class of 1992, Harvard Medical School, General Surgery Internship and Residency at Boston Medical Center, Colorectal Surgery Fellowship at Mayo Clinic.
of the Month
• What are the most common errors of omission in requests for MCAT accommodations? See Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question on Facebook.
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%
Entering Class of 2008...96%
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!
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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.
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
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
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
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,
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
Entering Class 2004, Scholarship Awardee, University of Wisconsin Medical
"Dr. Lewis, I would like to thank you for all of your help.
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
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
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
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!"
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.
our website about
getting your Personal
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 email@example.com.
Call 805-226-9669 to set up your first appointment.
Faces of the uninsured
Behind the daunting statistics on health coverage in the U.S. are tens of millions of personal stories. Here are four of them.
Average family health plan premiums top $13,000
The cost of single coverage held steady, but deductibles and other cost sharing continued to climb in 2009.
Doctors often register unconscious bias against blacks, study finds
Psychological testing shows white physicians have friendlier attitudes toward anonymous white people than toward black people. But is this linked to unequal treatment?
New specialty approved for treating child abuse
Meanwhile, a specialty in obesity care is being developed by 12 medical associations.
Social media behavior could threaten your reputation, job prospects
Recruiters are searching sites such as Facebook and Twitter for more information on candidates. Meanwhile, a recent survey shows medical students are posting inappropriate content.
LECOM at Seton Hill Opens its Doors for Fall 2010
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) at Seton Hill in Greensburg, PA, welcomed its first class of students this summer and is now accepting applicants for July 2010. Students interested in the Seton Hill extension should apply to the Erie campus; after receiving an interview invitation, they will be able to specify their choice of learning site. LECOM students studying in Greensburg engage in the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Pathway, which involves small groups of students working together on patient cases, directed by faculty facilitators. The LECOM Seton Hill site will welcome 104 new medical students each year.
WCU-COM Receives Provisional Accreditation; Open Its Doors for Fall 2010
The new William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (WCU-COM), in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the nation's 26th college of osteopathic medicine. It received provisional accreditation at the September meeting of the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, and will open its doors to students in 2010. The college is now accepting applications through AACOMAS.
MSUCOM Celebrates Opening of New Site in Detroit
The Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) approved MSUCOM’s expansion last September, allowing the institution to increase its overall class size by 100. The school’s expansion includes a new site at the Macomb University Center in Clinton Township, which is under construction. Students there are currently using existing classroom space.
Dr. Shannon's Reflections on Today's Pre-Med Students
Dr. Shannon recently spoke at "The 7th Annual Pre-Medical and Pre-Public Health Conference," a pre-med/pre-public health student event at the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) campus.
Four Osteopathic Medical Schools Rank Among Top 20 in Nation for Hispanic Students
Hispanic Business, Inc. has named four colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs) in its annual assessment of top medical schools for Hispanic students.
H1N1 vaccine to be tracked for safety concerns
Health officials hope physicians will report any adverse reactions that could be related to the vaccine.
What editorial writers are saying about a tax on soft drinks
A beverage tax is one idea being floated to raise money for health system reform and to fight obesity.
Retail clinics expanding services more than locations
Some physicians are skeptical of the suitability of walk-in clinics for treatment beyond episodic care.
Sick Around the World;
Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health care system?
MCAT Financial Assistance Application for Psycho-educational or Medical Re-Evaluations http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/accommodations/scholarship.htm
Internship Opportunities for 2009 that may NOT require US citizenship
Research Associates (RA) Program in Emergency Medicine St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport CT
Perspective: Three Crucial Questions When Applying to M.D.-Ph.D. Programs
Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology, Revised 4/09
The Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology presents important and frequently used words, terms and phrases of the osteopathic profession. The glossary offers consensus of a large segment of the osteopathic profession and serves to standardize terminology
Find these and other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's
Joseph E. Allen
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; private practice in San Diego
Dr. Allen is being honored by the San Diego Chapter of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge as a Health Hero on November 10th, and he is taking on the Directorship of the San Diego Flying Samaritans Clinic in the Bay of LA in Baja California! Way to go Dr. Allen!
Rene Bravo with Dr. Lewis
Rene Bravo, MD, Entering Class 1983, UC San Francisco, Pediatrician in San Luis Obispo
Dr. Bravo recently had the honor of one of his patient's (actually the patient's mom) blogging about him in the local paper. She said, "I love Cole’s pediatrician (and I’m not saying that just because I found out he reads the blog). I’ve never been big on doctors, having never found one that does more than stitch me up, prescribe the meds I already know I need or try to prescribe meds I know I don’t need.
But this one’s different. Here’s why:
* He’s reassuring with a calming don’t-fret/go-with-the-flow vibe. All this baby stuff is crazy and new to us, but it’s the same thing that parents have been wringing their hands about for centuries. “The earth is round and babies are gassy,” he said when I was freaking out about Cole’s intestinal gyrations. When I was complaining that Cole had been sleeping through the night but has started waking again, he kind of chuckled. “What are you going to do?” he said. He doesn’t belittle our concerns, but sends the message that it’s all normal, you’ve just got to keep on trucking, no need to waste time fretting about it.
* He sees our child as an individual. There’s no strict developmental timetable that causes angst if it’s not being tracked to a tee. Cole’s timetable is his own and that’s how it should be.
* He’s an experienced voice of reason. He’s not some “expert” with a book to sell or article to get published. He’s not interested in the latest fads. His guidance is based on decades of taking care of children in this community (unlike your Aunt Millie who thinks raising two of her own makes her an infallible expert). So Cole doesn’t like tummy time - it peeves a lot of babies, he said, plus it’s a relatively new concept that won’t affect his long-term development. I feel I can trust that a lot more than all those books and web sites peddling advice.
* He always asks if I’m taking care of myself. I think this is an important message that moms often forget and don’t often hear.
* He high-fived me when I told him I didn’t go back to work. Like Kristi pointed out, there are good parents who work and bad ones who stay at home, but it’s always nice to get support for a tough decision. “Work will always be there,” he said. I had a similar conversation a few weeks ago with Tribune columnist Linda Lewis Griffith that was a crucial boost when I was struggling with my choice.
* He always tells us we are doing a great job. It’s another message that parents just don’t hear often enough.
So bravo, Dr. Bravo - keep up the good work!
Stephen Williams (left) with a colleague
Stephen Williams, MD, Entering Class of 2001, George Washington University School of Medicine, Urology/Surgery Residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Sep. 16, 2009: "Hi Dr. Lewis. Good to hear from you. I am married with a 5 mo old daughter, Isabella. In 4th yr of 5 here, and deciding Fellowship vs practice, and returning back to CA. We'll see. Steve"
Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!
Carmen Ruiz, MD, Entering Class of 1992, Harvard Medical School, General Surgery Internship and Residency at Boston Medical Center, Colorectal Surgery Fellowship at Mayo Clinic.
I am the example I know best of the personal transformation that occurs with education. All my grandparents and my mother were from Mexico. They had no formal education. My father never made it through the ninth grade.
I first entered a local junior college eight years after graduating from high school. By that time, I was a divorced mother of two young children and worked nights and weekends as a grocery cashier. I had just been laid off from my job, and an accident left me without a car. I felt defeated. I knew I could not passively stand by to see what life would bring next. I had to take an active role in determining what it would bring, and I became energized.
At that time, I did not know the difference between an Associates, Bachelor’s, Masters, or PhD degree. In fact, I did not even know the difference between UCSD and SDSU. But there was something I knew very well, and that was that there was something very strong stirring within me, and it was demanding attention. I wanted to become a medical doctor, more specifically; I wanted to become a surgeon. This was my secret. I did not share it with many, thinking that others may find it laughable, that this single mother working as a grocery cashier might really believe she could become a surgeon.
I walked into my local junior college admissions office in the spring of 1984, and said I wanted to attend. They asked me if I wanted to transfer to UCSD or SDSU. I was too embarrassed to say that I did not know the difference, and arbitrarily chose SDSU. I was handed a blue sheet of paper that had all the courses listed on it that I would need to take in order to transfer to that university. I took an aptitude test which showed a strong affinity for medicine. This was not news to me. I took placement exams and placed very low in every subject. In math, I placed at the basic arithmetic level. I was able to convince the algebra teacher, however, that I remembered enough from my high school algebra class and that I would work very hard to catch up to the other students that were already three weeks into the semester. He reluctantly allowed me into his class.
I took the city bus to get to school every day. There were times I had to take my three-year-old son to school with me. When the semester finally ended, I had managed to get A’s in all my classes, including that algebra class.
I was hungry for knowledge. For the past eight years I had interacted with a husband that had dropped out of high school, with my two very young children, and with my mother who did not speak English nor had ever received any formal education. I was not very articulate. I began carrying a small note pad and pen with me at all times, and would write down every new word I heard in my new academic environment. Every evening I would look up the definitions of my list of words. I gradually increased my vocabulary, and became more articulate.
The time eventually arrived for me to transfer from the junior college to San Diego State University where I had to declare a major. It felt awkward to now openly reveal that I wanted to attend medical school. I was immediately labeled a premed student and told I had to meet Dr. Cynthia Lewis and join the premed program. It all felt so strange. Little did I know that I was about to meet an invaluable resource.
I made an appointment to meet Dr. Lewis. I arrived in an office packed with students. There was nowhere to sit, so I sat on the floor to wait my turn. My name was eventually called, and I stepped into her office. Dr. Lewis wasted no time in essentially “sizing me up” as well as giving me a list of things I had to do. Everything on the list had a due date or deadline. Dr. Lewis became a critically important support for me, but this was something I had to earn. She sensed my level of commitment as reflected in my grades, in my meeting her deadlines, and in my attending functions she arranged for my benefit.
I remember a function she arranged for her premedical students on a Saturday. I anticipated difficulty in making it to the event and mentioned this to Dr. Lewis. Her face became serious, and she said “I paid for you to be there.” Her disappointment was clear. I knew at that moment that, somehow, I had to find a way to be there. I made it there on that Saturday, and Dr. Lewis was pleasantly surprised to see me. She introduced our speaker, Jeffrey Guy, one of her former San Diego State University students who was attending Harvard Medical School and whom she had flown back to speak to us. Jeff spoke of the wonderful experience he was having at Harvard. He spoke of its great support system. He told us what it was really like. Jeff was humble; Jeff was real. Not long before, I was uncomfortable simply admitting I wanted to become a doctor. On that day, however, the concept of attending Harvard Medical School not only came within my mind’s reach; it became exciting.
That is but one example of the guidance Dr. Lewis gave me. I knew I had to work hard, yet there was so much I did not know about getting into medical school. Dr. Lewis knew the big picture and guided me through that maze when I did not now the next step or what lay ahead. She pushed me, and she guided me.
A transformation was taking place. I began to see things differently. I began to hear things differently. My world as I knew it was changing. I had established the roots for what would become my future. From these roots there came tremendous growth, but this required perseverance. Perseverance was essential for my success at my junior college, then at San Diego State University, Harvard Medical School, the general surgery internship and residency at Boston Medical Center, and the colorectal surgery fellowship at Mayo Clinic.
Today, it is perseverance that gets me through the 12-hour difficult operations where there are no breaks. Perseverance is what gets me through the sleepless nights at a critically ill patient’s bedside. And when my head finally hits the pillow, I can know I did my part to change this world by changing the individual worlds of my patients.
I was up against the odds. I had barriers to overcome.
I had already met defeat, and could have become stagnant. Instead, I became energized. I faced many challenges, some emotional, some physical but never allowed myself to consider any too big to overcome. I took my talent, applied it with passion, and now do what I do best. Had I not, I would likely still be ringing up groceries or perhaps have been replaced by a self-check-out stand. Great things followed my arbitrary choice of attending SDSU. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, a priceless resource, awaited me there.
Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to
communicate about medical schools or other issues or to contact those
profiled in Success Stories: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD
What are the most common errors of omission in requests for MCAT accommodations?
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"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
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