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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 13 Issue 1
January 2013

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

January always brings "new beginnings" to a New Year.

What do you want to change, or improve about yourself?
What tasks do you want/need to complete?
What is stopping you from doing them? Lack of motivation? What if you had to be accountable to yourself or another person?

Have you taken our online Self-Assessment to see what your strengths and weaknesses are as a pre-health student? If not, take it today. It's FREE! And, only takes less than 10 minutes!

Then, decide to take action to change, to improve, to build a "better you"!

Have a great "New Year"!

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 ask someone to write a letter for my medical school application?" Part 2

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

• Heavily Indebted Med Students Choosing Primary Care Face Greater Financial Challenges
• Doctor shortage could cause health care crash
• Student loan debt: New income-based repayment provides a safety net
• Why you should keep a clean social media presence
• The Future of Obamacare
• Admissions Board Supports New MCAT
• California Faces Shortage of Primary Care Doctors
• MCAT changes ‘add stress’, ‘rewarding’ in long run
• Getting into Medical School and Residency
• "Hidden curriculum" found in residency programs
• Patient satisfaction: When a doctor's judgment risks a poor rating
• Hospital chain’s new physician recruiting tool: adding residents
• Family Medicine Embraces Emergency Care
• Fighting to get out of med school
• How Has the Rise of Physician Employment Changed Hospitals' Recruitment Strategies?

Useful Links
• M.D.-Ph.D. Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
• Veterinary Schools Traffic Rules
• Dental Schools Traffic Rules

Alumni Update
• Patrick, Entering Class of 2012, Howard University School of Medicine
• Joseph E. Allen, M.D., Entering Class of 1995, St Georges University; Family Medicine Residency and Fellowship at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, NJ; Sports Medicine Fellowship at UCSD; private practice in Sports and Family Medicine in San Diego

Success Story of the Month
• Samantha, Entering Class of 2012, University of Southern California Medical School

Question of the Month
• Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question: "How do I ask someone to write a letter for my medical school application?" Part2
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.



Heavily Indebted Med Students Choosing Primary Care Face Greater Financial Challenges
Researchers at Boston University and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) have determined that heavily indebted medical students choosing primary care careers will experience difficulty paying their student debt unless they consider alternative strategies to support repayment.

Doctor shortage could cause health care crash
The United States will require at least 52,000 more family doctors in the year 2025 to keep up with the growing and increasingly older U.S. population, a new study found.

Student loan debt: New income-based repayment provides a safety net
With the fiscal cliff looming, at least one financial compromise has been reached and settled: President Obama's Pay as You Earn plan for federal student loans, proposed in October 2011, was approved on November 1. For people whose loan bills are too high for their income, the new repayment plan could be a lifesaver.

Why you should keep a clean social media presence
Twitter and Facebook users beware: If you're applying for medical school or residency, unprofessional information on your social media profile can compromise your chances of admission, according to a recent study published in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

The Future of Obamacare
Given the results of the 2012 elections, the threat of repeal that has hung over the Affordable Care Act has faded. So what is the future of Obamacare? What challenges and conflicts lie ahead on the long road of implementation for health care reform?

Admissions Board Supports New MCAT
Nearly nine out of ten medical school admissions officers support the MCAT 2015, the overhauled version of the medical school admissions exam, according to a Nov. 1 survey performed by the Kaplan Test Prep company.

California Faces Shortage of Primary Care Doctors
A study three years ago by the California HealthCare Foundation found that only 16 of California's 58 counties had enough primary care physicians, based on standards by the American Medical Association. Areas like San Bernardino and Riverside counties and the San Joaquin Valley fared the worst.

MCAT changes ‘add stress’, ‘rewarding’ in long run
Updates to the Medical College Admission Test led to varying reactions in students. New concepts, which will appear on the test in 2015, were added to the MCAT earlier this year. Some students are worried about their medical school acceptance because of the alterations, and others understand the reasons for changes.

Getting into Medical School and Residency
Do procedures for admission to medical school and residency training help or hinder the selection of applicants who will make good doctors? Admissions committees routinely look beyond academic qualifications, considering applicants’ demographic information, character, values, and goals in their quest to satisfy society’s need for competent, compassionate physicians.

"Hidden curriculum" found in residency programs
What kind of physician will you be? A new report says that depends on where you complete your residency training.

"Patient satisfaction: When a doctor's judgment risks a poor rating
Patients sometimes demand inappropriate care. Saying no could lead to unhappy patients, bad survey scores and even financial penalties. Some doctors see an ethical conundrum.

Hospital chain’s new physician recruiting tool: adding residents
HCA is betting that training new doctors will be more cost-effective than hiring practicing physicians from elsewhere.

Family Medicine Embraces Emergency Care
Family physicians play a major role in delivering emergency-medicine care, especially in rural communities, and family physicians want more people to know that.

Fighting to get out of med school
For some, medical school and hospital residencies offer more than an education in caring for patients. They provide firsthand experience in the legal system.

How Has the Rise of Physician Employment Changed Hospitals' Recruitment Strategies?
The appeal of hospital employment to physicians is no secret. Upon completion of their training, more physicians are looking to work in either larger, independent group or hospital-owned practices, whether for financial reasons, lifestyle preferences or a combination of the two.


M.D.-Ph.D. Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
Listing of summer programs for pre-MD/PhD students.

Veterinary Schools Traffic Rules (pdf)

Dental Schools Traffic Rules (pdf)

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

alumni updates

Patrick and Family at his White Coat Ceremony

Patrick, Entering Class of 2012, Howard University School of Medicine

December 25, 2012: "Hi Dr. Lewis, I cannot believe I recently finished my first semester of medical school at Howard University. It was a great semester. I am enjoying the curriculum and the family/loving atmosphere of Howard. I am heading back to DC Thursday, as I start school January 3. With warm regards, Patrick.”


Joseph E. Allen, M.D., Entering Class of 1995, St Georges University; Family Medicine Residency and Fellowship at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, NJ; Sports Medicine Fellowship at UCSD; private practice in Sports and Family Medicine in San Diego

December 4, 2012: " Hi Dr. Lewis, thought you might enjoy this! Traveled to Dubai last weekend, now in Port Elizabeth, South Africa with the USA men's rugby team preparing for this weekends Nelson Mandela Bay Rugby 7's Tournament. We are in group D with Portugal, Canada, and Zimbabwe. All the best squads in the world are here, NZL, AUS, ENG, etc. Anticipate a huge crowd, and will send you an update as the competition progresses. All the best, Joe"

Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!

success story


Samantha, Entering Class of 2012, University of Southern California Medical School

As I reflect on my trips to the Philippines to visit my family, I realize how blessed I am that my parents, along with six of their brothers and sisters, settled in the United States. Out of 13 aunts and uncles remaining in the Philippines, only one became successful as a businesswoman, a few survive with small businesses, and the rest, who never attended college, live in poverty. Some of my relatives wear hand-me-down clothing and live in wooden, unsteady homes smaller than studio apartments built on muddy ground. My cousins range from toddlers to 40 year olds, and the majority have no means to improve their living conditions. One of my younger cousins attends nursing school, and since her parents cannot afford it, my aunt in the US and my mom pay her expenses. One of my other cousins has graduated from college in the Philippines after studying computers, but cannot find a job. I therefore value my opportunities.

In fifth grade I decided, “I’ll go to medical school.” My fascination for science, the way the universe works, and the way a human body works, grew. In college, I declared a science major, but switched to business my freshman year while fulfilling the pre-medical requirements. I had no career experience in science, and I was not confident about going into medicine. Indecisive, I wanted to keep my options open in case I did not go into medicine. In 2007, my aunt, who had sacrificed having a family to care for my sick grandparents, her younger siblings, and all her nieces and nephews over 50 years, became severely ill. Her liver cancer showed no mercy, and her body quickly deteriorated. She passed away in September. Her death affected our entire family, and it was at this point that I decided I would become a doctor. I want to devote my interest in science to knowing about disease prevention and treatment, and to alleviate pain as much as possible. Further, my sister had hyperthyroidism, which worsened in 2008. The severity of her situation caused her to be hospitalized, and her entire thyroid was removed in 2 surgeries. Her near-death experience also fueled my desire to become a doctor. My fascination with the human body coupled with my desire to care for patients motivates me.

I contacted Dr. Lewis after she visited SJSU for a workshop. Signing up for regular advising was one of the best decisions I made in college. She helped me juggle two years’ worth of activities – summer research, shadowing, volunteering, working, starting a Team HBV chapter on campus, running a genetics workshop– on top of doing well in my classes and studying for my MCAT. The weekly appointments kept me on track, and sharing my grades and progress with Dr. Lewis held me accountable for my actions. Aside from helping me maintain balance, Dr. Lewis helped me grow in confidence. I was sometimes intimidated and struggled with my personal doubt, thinking, “How can I possibly get into med school when there are so many other amazing candidates?” Dr. Lewis helped me utilize my strengths while focusing on improving my weaknesses. I found the mock interviews exceptionally helpful in my development as an applicant. Her personal attention to her students as individuals who are all fully capable of succeeding in healthcare is so encouraging. I just completed my first semester of medical school at Keck, and I am so grateful to Dr. Lewis for helping me begin my career here. Thank you!

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 ask someone to write a letter for my medical school application?" Part 2

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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