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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 11 Issue 11
November 2012

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


November connotes Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for? Family? Friends? A job? Acceptance into college or medical school? Sometimes, it is a good thing to "count those blessings" and if you believe in a higher entity, a "God", to thank "Him/Her". But, even more impactful, can be thankfulness for opportunities! And, of course, those opportunities must be sought and used wisely. Be Pro-Active! For example, clinical experiences are getting "harder" to find, where you can work directly with patients due to HIPPA laws and the time doctors must spend in record-keeping and battling insurance companies to pay for their work. Be persistent, professional and creative. Most hospital emergency rooms still take untrained volunteers; Hospice will train you, and you might find a paying part-time job as a hospital scribe or with Planned Parenthood. You are only limited by your focus, energy and motivation!

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 use the new AAMC MCAT Self-Assessment Package?"

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

• Death by Ideology
• Medical School Enrollment Continues to Climb with New Diversity Gains
• Managing Expectations: The Relationship Between Student Loan Debt and Salary
• Four Reasons to Pursue a Military Dental Career
• Luring Students Into Family Medicine
• Debt changes med student career choices, study finds
• Physician Interview Project
• Will a “silent exodus” from medicine worsen doctor shortage?
• Resident physicians and quality of care
• Visa waiver program for international medical graduates extended to 2015
• Hospitals seeking to hire doctors who “play well with others”

Useful Links
• Remote Area Medical
• Optometry Schools and Colleges Prerequisites

Alumni Update
• Leah, Entering Class of 2010, University of Illinois, Chicago College of Medicine

Success Story of the Month
• La Dawn Hackett, DO, Entering Class of 2008, Medical College of Georgia, Medical Intern, Georgia Health Sciences University

Question of the Month
• Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question: "How do I use the new AAMC MCAT Self-Assessment Package?"
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! 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.



Death by Ideology
The reality is that many people in America really do die every year because they don’t have health insurance.

Medical School Enrollment Continues to Climb with New Diversity Gains
New data released by the AAMC highlights the need for new residency positions as the number of medical school applicants and enrollees continue to rise.

Managing Expectations: The Relationship Between Student Loan Debt and Salary
Student debt has increased in every demographic and economic category since 2007. Not only has the number of indebted households increased, so has the amount of debt.

Four Reasons to Pursue a Military Dental Career
If you qualify, the U.S. Armed Forces can help you finance your dental education.

Luring Students Into Family Medicine
Despite the impending primary care physician shortage, medical students are left with few incentives to become family medicine practitioners.

Debt changes med student career choices, study finds
Medical education debt levels play a significant role in causing medical students to change career choices from primary care to specialty.

Physician Interview Project
By analyzing trends among minority physicians as to what helped guide them in their career paths, the Physician Interview Project aimed to ascertain specific determinants that have proven successful in assisting minority students towards a successful career as a physician.

Will a “silent exodus” from medicine worsen doctor shortage?
Many physicians, nervous about the impact of health system reform and dispirited by trends in medicine, are exploring career options that involve treating fewer patients.

Resident physicians and quality of care
Two recent studies examine the impact of resident/fellow physicians on patients' quality of care.

Visa waiver program for international medical graduates extended to 2015
The Conrad State 30 J-1 Visa Waiver Program lets international medical graduates stay in the U.S. after training if they practice in medically underserved areas.

Hospitals seeking to hire doctors who “play well with others”
As more health systems form accountable care organizations, they are putting a premium on the ability to work alongside physician assistants and nurse practitioners.


Remote Area Medical
The Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps is a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief corps dedicated to serving mankind by providing free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world.

Optometry Schools and Colleges Prerequisites

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

alumni updates


Leah, Entering Class of 2010, University of Illinois, Chicago College of Medicine

October 7, 2012: "Dear Dr. Lewis, I am on my pediatric rotation right now, just getting to the middle of our 6 weeks.  Boards went ok.  I went directly into my surgery rotation after that, followed by neurology, and am still recovering from this ongoing sleep deprivation, trying to figure out a way to have life outside of rotations.  I had no idea I would ever like surgery, but actually really enjoyed it.  I also am really enjoying peds, currently working on the cardiac unit of inpatient.  I just never thought I'd have to reevaluate what I wanted to go into, so I'm hoping by the end of rotations, things are a little clearer.  Otherwise, finally adjusted to Chicago, still going strong with the urban medicine program/ intervention for type 1 diabetes kids and thinking ahead to what kind of away rotations I might want to do next year, etc. Going directly to volunteer at the free clinic here tonight after I'm done at the hospital. Always so much to do. As stressful as it is at times, I am thankful that I get to see and do so much as a student- really kind of humbling all the patients I've gotten to work with so far. Hope all is well, Leah"

Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!

success story

La Dawn
La Dawn

La Dawn Hackett, DO, Entering Class of 2008, Medical College of Georgia, Medical Intern, Georgia Health Sciences University

A plaque on her desk reads: "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the rest of the staircase." The words have always resonated with Dr Hackett, who graduated from Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) in May, and is presently an intern in the GHSU hospital system. She intends to pursue a residency in radiology.

"It took me a while to get into medical school," she says. "But I believe each step of my journey has prepared me to be a better physician." To gain hands-on clinical experience, Dr Hackett worked in a cardiology practice as a nuclear medicine technologist and office manager. She later enrolled in the biomedical sciences program at Georgia Campus - PCOM, a program that she credits with expanding her research skills, strengthening her medical school applications and helping to substantiate her goals.

As she now balances independence, fatigue and an 80-hour workweek, Dr. Hackett is more focused than ever. She remains inspired by her pediatrician, Lynda Zivalech, MD, who taught her, at an early age, the importance of compassion: "Dr. Zivalech took the time to teach me, a sick kid, how to use a stethoscope, the time to touch my hand, to talk to me as a person. To an eight year old, she was beautiful, smart, interesting - a model doctor. I hope to be the same for my patients. Medicine is all about developing trust relationships with others as they confront illness." Furthermore, Dr Hackett dedicates each day to the memory of her mother, who suffered from early-onset Alzheimer's disease, losing her battle in March-two months shy of her daughter's graduation. "Mother always encouraged my dreams of becoming a physician. She was at peace knowing that I would be a caring, compassionate healer."

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 use the new AAMC MCAT Self-Assessment Package"

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.

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