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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 9 Issue 2
February 2010

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

February brings acceptances and direction for those in the application process (Entering Class of 2010). For those considering applying this summer (Entering of 2011), it is an exceedingly busy time of MCAT preparation, gathering those elusive Letters of Recommendation, and writing application personal statements and descriptions of "experiences" for the coming application. So much to do!

This month's question on Facebook is: When should I begin "the application process?"

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

• Student Debt; the National Health Service Corps and Other Programs that Can Help
• Health spending growth at lowest recorded rate
• Fighting obesity: Tools for a year-round effort
• Participatory medicine: A high-tech alliance with patients
• Cutting costs tops health industry to-do list for 2010
• New system warns health professionals of medication errors
• AACOM Report Shows Plans for Continued Growth in Osteopathic Medical Education
• Physician offices projected to see a decade of significant job growth
• Part-time work appeals to pediatricians
• Guide patients openly, honestly in second-opinion decisions
• Medicaid rolls grew 5% in 2008
• Medicare use and spending found to vary across country
• Hospitals, health care sector show modest job growth
• Racial gap in preventive care found to increase hospitalizations

Useful Links
• UCSF School of Medicine Post Baccalaureate Program
• Somos Hermanos Student Immersion Program
• Workshops:
ADEA Workshop and Recruitment Fair, Washington, DC, 2/27/10 - FREE
UCSF Medical School Admissions Workshop, 3/20/10

Alumni Update
• Misty Richards, Entering Class of 2005, Albany Medical College
• Rena Sarhangian, Entering Class of 2007, University of Arizona College of Medicine
• Tracy Renee Reese, Entering Class of 2008, UCLA Drew Medical School
• Liana Au, Entering Class of 2003, University of Hawaii Medical School
• Shanon Heaton Murillo, Entering Class of 2002, Yale University Physician Assistant Program
• Linda Murray, MD, Entering Class of 2004, Michigan State (allopathic) University School of Medicine, Family Medicine Residency at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI

Success Story of the Month
• Misty Richards, Entering Class of 2005, Albany Medical College

Question of the Month
Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question on Facebook. When should I begin "the application process?"

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 2011 or 2012?
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! And if you start the ultimate Commitement Package within 6 months, we subtract your Personal Assesment Fee from the total. 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?

Gail Ruth, mother of Todd Ruth, Entering Class of 2010, Jefferson University Medical School
Just a short note here to let you know how appreciative we are of all the wonderful help you gave to our son, Todd. He just received his first 2 acceptances from his top choices, so we couldn't be more pleased.! You were instrumental in guiding him as to which courses to take and gave him invaluable help with his essays. Thanks once again for all your help and guidance.

David and Maureen Lee, parents of Eric Lee, 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 2011 or 2012 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. Added Benefit: We will subtract the cost of your Personal Assesment from an Ultimate Commitment Package if you choose it within 6 months.

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.



Student Debt; the National Health Service Corps and Other Programs that Can Help

One of the biggest challenges facing today’s osteopathic medical students is the significant debt burden most of them carry into their first years as physicians.

Health spending growth at lowest recorded rate
National overall health spending in 2008 increased by only 4.4%, and growth in spending on physician services -- 5% -- is at the slowest rate since 1996.

Physician-assisted suicide legal in Montana, court rules
The state supreme court declined to rule on constitutional grounds but said state law does not forbid doctor-aided death.

Fighting obesity: Tools for a year-round effort
The AMA provides physicians with resources for evaluating and treating weight-related health problems.

Participatory medicine: A high-tech alliance with patients
Information technology is making patient participation in medicine more workable, and possibly more financially advantageous to doctors and patients.

Cutting costs tops health industry to-do list for 2010
The recession drove money pressures last year, but the stimulus act and reform will be the driving forces this year, according to a recent report.

New system warns health professionals of medication errors

AACOM Report Shows Plans for Continued Growth in Osteopathic Medical Education
According to a preliminary report on the growth plans of colleges of osteopathic medicine, 6,297 new students will matriculate into the colleges in 2015, a 23.4 percent increase over the fall 2009 cohort.

Part-time work appeals to pediatricians
Doctors nearing or past retirement age are finding part-time employment offers a way to stay on the job longer, new studies find.

Guide patients openly, honestly in second-opinion decisions

Medicaid rolls grew 5% in 2008

Medicare use and spending found to vary across country

Hospitals, health care sector show modest job growth
The industry as a whole seems to be experiencing a modicum of economic recovery, but some institutions still are struggling, surveys and reports show.

Racial gap in preventive care found to increase hospitalizations



The UCSF School of Medicine Post Baccalaureate Program
Comprehensive, structured post baccalaureate program designed for individuals who have been unsuccessful in gaining admission to medical school or who have completed the required undergraduate course work, but feel they need more background before initiating the medical school application process.

Somos Hermanos Student Immersion Program
USC'S Somos Hermanos Student Immersion Program is currently accepting applications for both the July - December 2010 and the January - June 2011 program sessions. Deadline is February 15, 2010.

ADEA Workshop and Recruitment Fair, Washington, DC, 2/27/10 - FREE

UCSF Medical School Admissions Workshop, 3/20/10

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

alumni updates

Misty Richards

Misty Richards, Entering Class of 2005, Albany Medical College

Dec 21, 2009, Hi Dr. Lewis! It is SO wonderful to hear from you ;)  It has indeed been such a long time, right? To give you a quick update on me: So, I enrolled in Albany Medical College in 2005. Though medical school was hard, I really loved the material and was able to find my niche.  After my first year in medical school, I moved to Japan for the summer and participated in really cool neuroscience research. I came back to AMC and then, upon completing my second year in medical school, enrolled in the Masters Program (Neuroscience) at AMC.  After completing my first year of graduate school, I applied and miraculously received the Fulbright Scholarship to Japan (in Medicine) to work in the same lab that I worked in after the first year of medical school. This year, I am finishing up my master's degree (trying to get a few publications out the door) and then jumping back into third year in June.  Crazy! 

I am now the National Student President of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA), started a non-profit with a fellow medical school friend of mine called the Engeye Health Clinic (built the clinic from the ground up in rural Uganda and have seen close to 20,000 patients so far), and LOVE the fields of psychiatry and family practice.  I am also, naturally, still interested in clinical research in psychiatry/neuroscience.  We shall see!  If you are interested in learning more about Engeye, please check out our website at www.engeye. org.

I have cultivated SUCH a passion for Public Health (especially public health research and theory) and, as crazy as it sounds, hope to get a PhD in this sometime in the future so I can teach undergraduate and graduate students about global health and the trials and tribulations of addressing global healthcare.

Rena Sahangian

Rena Sarhangian, Entering Class of 2007, University of Arizona College of Medicine

Dec 15, 2009: Hi Dr. Lewis, It's hard to believe how fast time goes by! I am finishing up the first half of my third year, and cannot believe that early next year I will be thinking about residency applications! I have really enjoyed medical school and this year has been especially great now that we are able to practice the art of medicine and work with patients.  I have finished my Medicine, Family Medicine and Pediatrics rotations so far.  I am still thinking about Pediatrics and loved my peds rotation.  I am so thankful for all of your help in getting into medical school and cannot imagine applying to Residency without your guidance! Thanks again and Happy Holidays! Rena.

Tracy Renee Reese

Tracy Renee Reese, Entering Class of 2008, UCLA Drew School of Medicine

Dec 19, 2009: Hello Dr. Lewis, just completed another round of final exams. Hope your application season with your advisees is going well. I miss our weekly talks. I will try to schedule an appointment to discuss how things are going and seek advice. Happy Holidays! Tracy.

Liana Au with her family

Liana Au, Entering Class of 2003, University of Hawaii School of Medicine

Dec 25, 2009: We just wanted to wish all our friends and family a Merry Christmas & hope that your holiday season is filled with joy, light & the love of Christ. We love you! Liana.

Shanon Heaton

Shanon Heaton Murillo, Entering Class of 2002, Yale University Physician Assistant Program

Jan 4, 2010: Hello Friends and Family, I hope you are all having a great New Year!
We are settling down in the San Diego area. Shanon.

Dr. Murray with Dr. Lewis

Linda Murray, MD, Entering Class of 2004, Michigan State (allopathic) University School of Medicine, Family Medicine Residency at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI

I had a delightful time meeting friends and family of Linda Murray at her gala medical school graduation party in Newport Beach in early January. Daughters Ayanda, age 14, and Isabel, age 11, are growing up fast.





Dr. Murray with her 2 daughters

Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!

success story

Misty Richards, Entering Class of 2005, Albany Medical College

Misty Richards

Dr. Lewis' note: Every applicant has weaknesses. Whatever it/they are, we first identify them, understand their origin/cause, and then develop a personal strategy to address them, just like with Misty below.

My journey to medical school was not easy.  I was considered an “alternative applicant” of sorts, which can be both a good and bad thing. In my case, I was the bleeding heart applicant who couldn’t manage to do well on the MCATS.  After repeatedly feeling the crushing pain of sub-par scores, it became very real to me that my dream of becoming a physician may not become a reality.  Even graduating from the top of my class at UCLA and becoming “Senior of the Year” did not seem like enough to gain the respect and approval of most medical school admissions committees. I could feel the hope leaving my body with each passing day.

I needed help. Moreover, I needed to believe in my ability to one day become a great physician.  I needed more confidence in the fact that a #2 pencil could not change the trajectory of my life and career.  Dr. Lewis helped me find myself throughout this period of self-doubt and to believe that my dream WOULD one day come to fruition. After working countless days and hours with Dr. Lewis on perfecting my essay, application, and practicing my interview skills, I finally jumped into the abyss of the medical school admissions process.  I felt like Dr. Lewis was my life vest of sorts who would help me stay afloat.  And, she did.

After receiving several rejection letters and a handful of interviews, I kept my feet firmly grounded in medical school admissions purgatory.  I spoke with Dr. Lewis many times throughout this process, asking many questions and receiving many clear answers.  This was one of the first lessons I learned about being a good physician from Dr. Lewis:  it helps to face the facts, overcome your fears, and to be honest with yourself.  Dr. Lewis did not always tell me what I wanted to hear; she told me what she thought, which were opinions and advice generated from many years of experience.  I hope to apply the same approach with my patients in the future – to tell them the truth and present a clear course of action to them. In the end, I have absolutely no doubt that this advice helped me gain acceptance into the Class of 2009 at Albany Medical College.

I still remember receiving the acceptance letter from Albany Medical College.  I read it twice, sat there in silence, and felt the most extreme rush of joy spread throughout my body.  I had been working toward this goal for years, and it was finally becoming a reality.  Now that I am a 5th year MD/MS student, I can honestly say that I am thrilled that I made it through the grueling process of applying to medical school. I could not have done this without the advice, strength, and unconditional support of Dr. Lewis.  After completing a Fulbright Scholarship last year as part of my MS, I also discovered my new passion for international travel and medicine.  In the end, I hope to complete a joint Residency in Family Practice and Psychiatry, so that I may one day help those individuals in impoverished areas of my community and the world.

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

When should I begin "the application process?"

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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