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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 11 Issue 9
September 2012

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

Now that I am taking only new assessment, essay, and interview packages, I will begin to write books about medical admissions and my alumni this winter. Email me at imaclewis@lewisassoc.com about any specific questions you would like addressed in my books.

We are heading toward a "new" 2015 MCAT, affecting students who are currently freshmen and those applying in their 4th year of college. This new landscape will drive new interest in psychology, sociology and communication skills, but how much will this refocus "really" change applicants? My guess is "very little". Motivation will remain the same. I hope that there will be new ways to support medical school costs for those taking out expensive loans, and for those entering currently less lucrative primary care practices. Time will tell.

Our advisees for the entering class of 2013 are starting to get interviews!!!!

Do you really want to be competitive?

1. Plan ... ahead!

2. Address your weaknesses. What are they?

  • Science GPA?
  • Test (MCAT, DAT) scores, or do you need to take the test for the first time?
  • Clinical experiences? How meaningful are they?
  • Service? What did you do to help others?
  • No close relationships with faculty?

And, how long will it take to really improve? One term? 2 years? Be realistic!

So, whatever quest you have, or issue you want to discuss, Dr. Lewis is the best person to use for personal and academic advice. She's been doing it for 27 years, and "has heard it all". Why don't you let her help you?


This month's question on Dr. Lewis' Facebook page is: How do I address the secondary question: "How will your family, community, academic, work, or other life experiences enhance the X school of medicine?"

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
Your journey to a health profession
Are You Ready for the Class of 2014 or 2015?
Track Record
Be Competitive

What Are Your Chances?
Getting Started

• Good news for med students: Debt down
• You've got to be in it for more than money
• Groups aim to teach resident physicians to weigh costs in care
• Longtime culture of mistreating students persists at med schools
• 10 Medical Schools With the Lowest Acceptance Rates
• Curing the Physician Shortage: Systemic Change to Breed the Doctors We Need
• GME funding showdown looms in Washington
• By 2020, 5.6 million more health care professionals needed
• Lawmakers warned of demise of solo medical practices
• Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Law
• Medical school curriculum could be altered, AHA says
• Physicians seeing patient visits rebound in 2012
• Setting a global standard for medical education
• Medical student training in EHRs found lacking

Useful Links
• AAMC STAT (Short, Topical, And Timely)
• Wordsmith.org

Alumni Update
• Cameron, Entering Class of 2011, Rush Medical College
• Olga, Entering Class of 2006, MA Psychology, Pacific College of Psychology

Success Story of the Month
• Katie, Entering Class of 2012, University of California San Diego School of Medicine

Question of the Month
• Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question: How do I address the secondary question: "How will your family, community, academic, work, or other life experiences enhance the X school of medicine?"
See our Facebook page, Advising Tips tab.

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 2012...100% acceptance
Entering Class of 2011...100% acceptance
Entering Class of 2010...86% acceptance
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

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

Email: imaclewis@lewisassoc.com

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.

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 2014 or 2015?
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, 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 2014 or 2015 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 26 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.



Good news for med students: Debt down
A new analysis of medical student debt finds an "unprecedented" slowdown in the growth of debt levels from 2008 to 2011, which may be an effect of lower interest rates.

You've got to be in it for more than money
There's nothing wrong with practical considerations like money when contemplating a career in medicine. And it's true, specialists often make twice as much as a primary care physician. But with all the frustrations any doctor deals with nowadays — time constraints, excessive paperwork and insurance forms — is money enough?

Groups aim to teach resident physicians to weigh costs in care
Free curriculum from physician organizations educates these doctors on how to slow rising health care costs by considering the economics of treatment decisions.

Longtime culture of mistreating students persists at med schools
The harassment can have ripple effects that affect the work environment and patient care. http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/08/13/prl20813.htm?utm_source=nwltr&utm_medium=heds-txt&utm_campaign=20120813

10 Medical Schools With the Lowest Acceptance Rates
Fewer than 2 percent of applicants are admitted to one prestigious medical school.

Curing the Physician Shortage: Systemic Change to Breed the Doctors We Need
When it comes to financing medical education, it's time the taxpayers demand their money's worth.

GME funding showdown looms in Washington
Many in organized medicine want more residency positions, but government officials have recommended reducing federal GME spending.

Lawmakers warned of demise of solo medical practices
Health system reform may be driving some of the decline, but some say medical homes and accountable care organizations offer new opportunities for small groups.

Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Law

Medical school curriculum could be altered, AHA says
Preparing physician trainees to meet core competencies in which many new doctors fall short should start with medical school, the American Hospital Association's (AHA) Physician Leadership Forum recommends in a new white paper. http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/amawire/2012-august-01/2012-august-01-medical_student.shtml?P=S&C=S&G=F&M=T&I=F&W=T&Y=F&S=F

Physicians seeing patient visits rebound in 2012
Patients have started returning to primary care offices in particular, a reversal that may be due in part to renewed focus on primary care's value. http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/08/06/bil10806.htm

Setting a global standard for medical education
A 2023 rule that all IMGs graduate from appropriately accredited medical schools to practice in the U.S. is fueling global education requirements.

Medical student training in EHRs found lacking
Although more than 60% of med schools offer some education in electronic health records, the level of access varies.


AAMC STAT (Short, Topical, And Timely)
It offers brief and immediate summaries of the latest news from around the country important to the academic medicine community, plus information about new AAMC activities, initiatives, policy statements, publications, data releases, etc.

How to Prepare for that Verbal Reasoning part of the MCAT most premedical students have come to "love"? Subscribe to the free daily email "A Word A Day" to build your vocabulary. This is especially important if English is your second language or you don't read much beyond your textbooks.

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

alumni updates


Cameron, Entering Class of 2011, Rush Medical College

August 22, 2012: "Hi Dr. Lewis, We started second year 2 weeks ago and have been real busy with work already. We have an exam coming up next week covering all the oncology and autonomic nervous system drugs and some general pathology. I am still loving Rush and medical school in general. I can't believe that second year is already hear. Feels like just yesterday I was applying for school. Cameron"


Olga, Entering Class of 2006, MA Psychology, Pacific College of Psychology

August 23, 2012: " Hi Dr. Lewis, It has been forever since we last talked or emailed! I hope things are going well – your advising seems as active as ever so I know you are staying busy. I am finally in the last stretch of my training, doing a clinical internship at a VA hospital in Los Angeles. Sophia just started 1st grade.  She is doing very well, reading, playing piano, going to ballet and gymnastics, and taking Russian classes.  We are keeping her very busy. If you come up to or through LA on your trips, please let me know. Hugs, Olga."

Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!

success story


Katie, Entering Class of 2012, University of California San Diego School of Medicine

I am sitting on the beach on a tiny island off the northern tip of Sumatra called Pulau Weh. It’s the last day of a two-month adventure backpacking through Southeast Asia, and I can just barely see the province of Banda Aceh, Indonesia across the sea. I can’t help but reflect on my amazing trip, this year of applying to medical school, and the time that has passed since I was last in Banda Aceh.

I was born in the Aceh province, over 27 years ago, while my parents were teachers in Lhoksemawe. We left when I was just a baby, and went on to live in Mexico, Gabon, and China, finally settling back home in San Diego. I love San Diego and had a great childhood surrounded by beaches and a big, supportive, healthy family. I ended up going to Stanford on a water polo scholarship. After earning a B.A. in Human Biology, competing in four NCAA championships with Stanford, and playing for the US National Water Polo Team for four years, I stayed at Stanford a fifth year to earn a M.A. in Religious Studies, focusing on body and healing in Eastern religions and rituals. Around that time, I decided I wanted to be a doctor, but had no idea what it would take for me to get into medical school. After graduation I moved home to San Diego, where I thought I would bartend and waitress to make money while I took a few chemistry classes and studied for the MCAT. Luckily, I found Dr. Lewis just in time. She gave me a much needed reality check and a thorough assessment of my application strengths and weaknesses, which included an unacceptably low science GPA. She told me that it would take a few years to get my application where it needed to be and asked me to reflect on whether or not I wanted to be a doctor enough to completely dedicate myself to the process. It was tough to hear but exactly what I needed to know. I did reflect on this decision, very seriously, and decided I needed Dr. Lewis’ help if I was going to accomplish my goal of becoming a doctor.

For more than two years, Dr. Lewis guided me through more than 50 units of premedical courses and many clinical and research experiences, helping me achieve a 4.0 GPA and reflect on and develop “my story;” how I would present my life and my path to medical school to admissions committees. When it was time to apply in June, 2011, I knew I was ready. I had a solid foundation in the sciences and had excelled in my science courses, an accomplishment that had eluded me in college and one that helped me score a 34R on the MCAT. I had worked in free medical clinics and hospitals doing community outreach, patient advocacy, medical assisting, and HIV testing and counseling. I had researched imaging techniques for liver fat assessment, researched neurosurgical procedures and their outcomes, and worked on a study that helped low-income, overweight pregnant women manage their weight gain during pregnancy through stress management training. These experiences not only prepared me to apply and impress admissions committees, they affirmed my hope to become a doctor.

Not only was I prepared in terms of my experiences, academic background, and motivation, I had Dr. Lewis to guide me through the application process. With her guidance, I had already written and perfected my personal statement and essays about my experiences. She helped me identify schools that would be a good match for me, and coached and supported me through secondary applications and a crazy fall full of interviews. I ended up sending secondary applications to about 35 schools. By November, I had received 15 interview invites and had done 10 interviews, and, along with other acceptances, had been accepted to one of my top five schools, UC Irvine. I can’t tell you the relief and amazement I felt when I received that phone call. It was one of the best feelings. From there, it only got better. A month after my UC Irvine acceptance my boyfriend proposed to me, I continued to work at a job I loved, and I had plenty of free time to enjoy life in San Francisco.

In March, I was accepted to UCLA and was waitlisted at Stanford and UCSD, three more schools in my top five. A year ago, being accepted to any of those three was something I never thought would happen. I ended up visiting each school again and really thinking about where my fiancé and I would be happiest living. The idea of being surrounded by my family and friends in my favorite city in the world ended up being the deciding factor. Two weeks after I decided I would go to UCSD if accepted, I received an acceptance to UCSD. I withdrew from UCLA and Stanford’s waitlist, and couldn’t be happier with the decision. I know it was right for me and I can’t wait to start medical school next month. I might just be the luckiest girl in the world! As I sit on the beach in Pulau Weh, I feel great satisfaction: I set a goal and worked very hard to achieve it; excitement: I cannot wait to begin my medical school journey; and immense gratitude: I had Dr. Lewis’ incredible guidance and encouragement. I would not have been accepted to my top schools without her help. I am so thankful to her for giving me that reality check and strategy that was specific for me 3 years ago, forever changing the course of my life so that I could accomplish my goals.

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
By Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD

How do I address the secondary question: "How will your family, community, academic, work, or other life experiences enhance the X school of medicine?"

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.

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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