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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 13 Issue 8
August 2013

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

Many of you are completing summer school classes, taking a vacation, or still preparing for the MCAT. Hopefully, most of you have already taken the MCAT/DAT/GRE and submitted your AMCAS/AACOMAS/AADSAS application if you are in the entering Class of 2014. With electronic application submission and web-based secondaries, the initial steps of application have become much faster the last 3 or so years. It is important to submit “early” because it takes 4 to 6 weeks to process your application once you have submitted, AND the application service has ALL your transcripts. “Early” is within about 2 months of when the application service opens.

Are you a freshman, sophomore or junior who will take the “NEW” 2015 MCAT? If so, what courses will you need to take? How will you prepare? Lots to consider! Get ready for your fall term empowered with a plan.

Watch for new videos to be posted each month on our Facebook page, including helpful hints for the application process.

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: "I get very anxious while studying for the MCAT (DAT, etc.), and even panic during mock exams. What can I do?"

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 2015 or 2016?
Track Record
Be Competitive

What Are Your Chances?
Getting Started

• Even doctors are clueless on Obamacare, poll finds
• Opinion: Medical students need to study human behavior as well as science
• What’s next now that the AMA has declared obesity a disease?
• What The High Court’s Affirmative Action Decision Might Mean To Med Schools
• The Paradox of the Doctor-Patient Relationship: A Medical Student’s View
• Growing mismatch in med school graduates, GME places
• Med schools to continue considering race in admissions
• 9 University of Kentucky medical students start rural physician program
• How med schools will spend innovation grants
• Primary care shortfall could be worse than predicted
• Medical school beyond reach of UW grad brought here illegally
• Aspiring med students face growing residency competition
• Decide if a New Medical School Is the Right Fit
• Plane crash creates unexpected learning environment for medical students
• Doctors Interested in MBAs Are Increasingly Looking For Traditional Business Programs, Not Health-Care Specific Degrees
• Student Loans Are Dying a Long, Slow, Undeserved Death

Useful Links
• PA Focus

Alumni Update
• Darin, DDS, Entering Class of 1994, Baylor University School of Dentistry, Specialization Program in Orthodontics at the University of Colorado, Orthodontics Practice in Canada
• Jon, MD, Entering Class of 2001, University of Pittsburg Medical School, Transitional Internship year at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, Anesthesiology Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston

Success Story of the Month
• Nielson, Entering Class of 2013, Stanford University Medical School

Question of the Month
• Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question: "I get very anxious while studying for the MCAT (DAT, etc.), and even panic during mock exams. What can I do?"
See our Facebook page, Notes 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

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 2015 or 2016?
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 2015 or 2016 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.


Even doctors are clueless on Obamacare, poll finds
The doctor is . . . skeptical about the Affordable Care Act. And clueless, too.

Opinion: Medical students need to study human behavior as well as science
The changes coming with the 2015 MCAT exam represent an important shift in the way we assess and prepare tomorrow's doctors.

What’s next now that the AMA has declared obesity a disease?
The AMA’s classification is expected to influence changes in treatment, coverage, research and health policy.

What The High Court’s Affirmative Action Decision Might Mean To Med Schools
Wylie Lopez said he often has to prove himself. If classmates suggest that he got an internship placement because he's Hispanic, the to-be second year medical school student said he has no problem showing them his grades, or MCAT scores.

The Paradox of the Doctor-Patient Relationship: A Medical Student’s View
Doctors are privy to — but not really part of — patients' most private moments.

Growing mismatch in med school graduates, GME places
Although the number of medical school enrollees and graduates is increasing, the number of U.S. graduate medical education programs has not increased at the same rate, and consequently physician shortages are likely to become more apparent.

Med schools to continue considering race in admissions
U.S. medical schools will likely continue to consider applicants' race among many factors after the U.S. Supreme Court sent a challenge against racially based admission preferences back to a lower court, Kaiser Health News reported.

9 University of Kentucky medical students start rural physician program
The University of Kentucky College of Medicine's Morehead-based Rural Physician Leadership Program recently welcomed its new class. Nine third-year medical students at UK, all from Kentucky, make up the class of 2015. They will spend the next two years in Morehead doing clinical rotations while gaining an understanding of what it means to practice medicine in a rural setting.

How med schools will spend innovation grants
The mission for those selected for the AMA awards is to adapt their training to 21st-century needs and help lead a nationwide educational transformation.

Primary care shortfall could be worse than predicted
Less than a quarter of recently trained physicians are choosing primary care, and few are heading to underserved rural areas.

Medical school beyond reach of UW grad brought here illegally
A young man, determined since childhood to become a doctor, must come to terms with the fact that all but one of the nation’s medical schools — including the University of Washington — do not admit those in the country illegally.

Aspiring med students face growing residency competition
The competition for spots in medical schools may get a little less fierce over the next few years, but the competition for postgraduate residencies may be heating up. The number of federally funded residencies has remained capped since 1997, despite the expected significant increase in the number of first-year medical students by 2017.

Decide if a New Medical School Is the Right Fit
Candidates interviewing at new schools may not be able to ask current students about their experience.

Plane crash creates unexpected learning environment for medical students
The emergency department is a major gateway of the hospital, where unexpected illnesses are triaged and vague complaints are teased out. Top hospitals are also well-versed in mobilizing for massive unexpected illness or injury — and the subsequent onslaught of dozens, or even hundreds, of patients without appointments.

Doctors Interested in MBAs Are Increasingly Looking For Traditional Business Programs, Not Health-Care Specific Degrees
When nervous dental patients make their first visit to Dr. Sree Koka, chair of dental specialties at the Mayo Clinic, they may feel calmer after watching his video on YouTube.

Student Loans Are Dying a Long, Slow, Undeserved Death
Few federal programs are as uniformly unloved as student loans.


PA Focus
Physician Assistant Education Association's new website designed to be a helpful resource geared toward PA school applicants and others who have an interest in becoming physician assistants.

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

alumni updates

Darin and his son

Darin, DDS, Entering Class of 1994, Baylor University School of Dentistry, Specialization Program in Orthodontics at the University of Colorado, Orthodontics Practice in Canada

July 15, 2013: “Hi Dr. Lewis, Rogie is almost 3 and we are expecting the end of December. I'm presenting at the meeting of the International Academy of Gnathology and the American Association of Gnathologic Orthopedics this fall. Good times! If I could do it all over again, I would have been a computer science major and psych. minor as those are the things I spend the most time on, working with computers and humans!!! We are living in Okotoks now, about 20 miles south of Calgary, and we love it. We are getting involved in the small community here, sponsoring the sports teams, etc. I'm learning how to skate, and of course skiing in winter. Still rowing with the Calgary Rowing club on the Glenmore Res. Talk soon, D"


Jon, MD, Entering Class of 2001, University of Pittsburg Medical School, Transitional Internship year at Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh, Anesthesiology Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston

May 4, 2013: " Hi Dr. Lewis, wonderful to hear from you! A lot has happened since we last talked. As you probably remember, a large part of my extracurricular time during medical school was working with the administration to improve the state of education technology. This fascination with tech ultimately led me to seek anesthesia residency programs in hospitals with proven inventors and innovators. In fact, multiple anesthesiologists at my training hospital to which I matched split their time between delivering care and developing very successful, innovative ideas (new drugs, devices, processes, organizations, etc). I was absolutely hooked! Through delivering care, one can help the patients we care for past difficult times; through building new technologies, one can additionally help whole populations. At least this is the dream. Though originally, I had believed my secondary career would be in academia and research, I quickly became romanced by the idea of trying to build technological solutions to the many problems we face in healthcare.

After finishing residency in 2009, I tried to find what would essentially be a Fellowship in technology development. I joined a medical device company based in Colorado as their Medical Director, and quickly went to work learning how to build products and systems addressing large unmet medical needs. I left the company in 2011 to return to patient care and begin an MBA program on the east coast focused on entrepreneurship. By the end of my first year, I had started my own medical device firm - along with a few amazing individuals from my program - and built it into a venture-backed corporation. We are now a year and a half old, busy at work investigating our technology though multi-centered clinical trials. It's been very exciting to be a part of it.

It has definitely been a long path to get here. I like to think that doctors have the greatest potential to be amazing innovators. We see all the problems in medicine first hand. Sadly, with the huge amount of information we need to learn to be viable and caring physicians, we receive little training in how to build organizations or bring new ideas to market. Hopefully this experience will help me in my career going forward. In the end, I hope to return to academic medicine, splitting my time between caring for patients, creating or helping others create new technologies, and teaching trainees to do the same, just as my Attendings before me.

Will definitely keep you informed. Thank you again for all the wisdom you have shown me. This has been a truly exciting career, and I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate all those endless hours of support. Yours, Jon"

Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!

success story


Nielson, Entering Class of 2013, Stanford University Medical School

Twelve years ago when I was in middle school, I was fortunate to be granted an opportunity to immigrate to the United States from Taiwan with my family. Shortly after arrival, the excitement of change was replaced by the heavy burden of responsibilities and fear. I was scared and lonely. However, whenever someone took the time to help me, my fears and stress diminished. I told myself that one day, I would assist others who felt helpless and desperate.

To that end, as a freshman at UC Berkeley, I decided to volunteer in an ER in Oakland, California, where I interacted with many financially-disadvantaged patients, an experience that motivated me to pursue a career in medicine. Since then, I worked hard to prepare myself to become the best pre-med applicant I could be. However, in my senior year, my chemical biology research project inspired me to continue rigorous training in basic science research, and my passion for clinical medicine evolved into one for academic medicine.

Because I decided to apply to MD/PhD programs in my senior year, I was not very prepared for the MD/PhD application. I was not familiar with the application process or the specific career path, and even worse, I had no one to turn to for advice since I did not know anyone who had those degrees. Just when I was panicking about my application and timeline, I met a successful MD/PhD applicant who gave me helpful advice and highly recommended Dr. Lewis to me, so I contacted her for help.

Dr. Lewis responded to my request and started to advise me. She took the time to get to know me personally, listened to my story, and answered my questions. Because I did many kinds of extracurricular activities, it was difficult for me to present all these activities and life experiences in a coherent story. With limited essay length and similar prompts in primary and secondary applications, the entire process was challenging. Dr. Lewis helped me strategize my application to highlight my strengths and motivation without being repetitive. There were many technical details in the entire process, and Dr. Lewis pointed out many common mistakes that students tend to make, so I could avoid them. There were so many opportunities for something to go wrong and delay the submission of my applications, but the weekly appointments with Dr. Lewis kept me on track and helped me deal with any problem that surfaced, so I could submit my applications on time. Furthermore, Dr. Lewis’s mock interview sessions were extremely helpful. She pointed out how I should approach each question and reminded me to mention specific stories, experiences, or strengths. In addition, we even practiced school-specific questions. Because of her guidance, I felt comfortable during my medical school interviews and was able to engage my interviewer with confidence.

The entire application cycle was a stressful roller coaster ride, but Dr. Lewis was an amazing advisor who patiently coached me through the process and gave me emotional support. I have been accepted to and will be joining the Stanford MSTP, and I am extremely excited to begin my journey toward my goal of becoming a physician-scientist. Thank you so much, Dr. Lewis!!

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, Notes tab
By Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD

"I get very anxious while studying for the MCAT (DAT, etc.), and even panic during mock exams. What can I do?"

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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