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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 13 Issue 12
December 2013

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

The Holidays! Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Year’s …

How will you use this busy time? If you are in college, final exams will (should!) be your first focus (and maybe papers, labs and projects, too). But, many of you are considering applying to medical school this summer for the entering class of 2015. If so, 2014 through January 2015 is the last time the “old” MCAT will be given, so many are scrambling to prepare to take it. Use your “time off” wisely. Yes, you deserve some fun, but don’t squander your entire winter break on “fun”. Get started taking the FREE AAMC’s Self –Assessment Program (SAP). There are 5 tests, each taking about 3-4 hours. Plan for this and take them BEFORE beginning your MCAT study. The feedback you get is priceless! Now, you will know ALL your weaknesses! Study to improve not only content, but also your test-taking skills!

Have a productive and fulfilling Holiday!

Marcia and Dr. Lewis

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 am interviewing, and was asked: “What other programs did you apply to?” This can feel intrusive, especially if you are applying to both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools"

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

• Steep Increase in Osteopathic Medical College Enrollment May Help Mitigate National Physician Workforce Shortage
• Many Doctors Will We Need? A Special Issue on the Physician Workforce
• Commonwealth Fund finds Americans more likely to put off healthcare due to costs
• This chart is amazing news for our health cost problem
• UNLV, UNR close to plan that would create medical school in Southern Nevada
• Foreign-Educated Health Workers Play Vital Role, but Changes May Be Needed to Stabilize U.S. Health Workforce
• New Models of Primary Care Could Ease U.S. Physician Shortage
• Hospital Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S., and New Hospital Safety Scores Show Improvements Are Too Slow
• Understand Common Reasons Students Leave Medical School
• Doctor Shortage: Doctors Encourage Minority Students to Learn Medicine
• 'Common Courtesy' Lacking Among Doctors-in-Training
• Medical School Applicants, Enrollment Reach All-time Highs
• Are med schools failing future docs?
• Preparing for the Future: Understanding the U.S. Long-term Care Workforce
• Conflicts of Interest: What Should You Disclose?
• Insurance sold on marketplaces may limit access to doctors, hospitals
• The True Impact of Obamacare (When it Works)
• Are We in a Medical Education Bubble Market?
• Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Programs May Help You Afford a Health Sciences Degree

Useful Links
• AAMC Resources for Pre-Med Students (pdf)

Alumni Update
• Chelsea, MD, Entering Class of 2006, Drexel University School of Medicine, Ob/Gyn Residency at Abington Memorial Hospital, Gynecology Oncology Fellowship at the University of Iowa
• Denise, DDS, Entering Class of 1994 UCSF, Dental Practice in San Diego, CA

Success Story of the Month
• Steven Perez, DO, Entering Class of 2008, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, PGY1 Family Medicine Resident at St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

Question of the Month
• Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question: "I am interviewing, and was asked: “What other programs did you apply to?” This can feel intrusive, especially if you are applying to both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools"
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 2013...88% acceptance
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.


Steep Increase in Osteopathic Medical College Enrollment May Help Mitigate National Physician Workforce Shortage
One in five U.S. medical students is training to become an osteopathic physician.

Many Doctors Will We Need? A Special Issue on the Physician Workforce

Commonwealth Fund finds Americans more likely to put off healthcare due to costs
A survey of 20,000 adults in 11 “high-income countries” found that the US led the categories of residents who “went without recommended medical care, did not see a doctor when ill or failed to fill a prescription” due to cost.

This chart is amazing news for our health cost problem
Health care costs have been growing a lot more slowly over the past few years than they typically do.

UNLV, UNR close to plan that would create medical school in Southern Nevada
A new medical school campus could bring more than 5,300 jobs and $1.2 billion to the Las Vegas region by 2030, according to consultants, and leaders at the University of Nevada, Reno and University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Foreign-Educated Health Workers Play Vital Role, but Changes May Be Needed to Stabilize U.S. Health Workforce
Foreign-educated and foreign-born health professionals play a vital role in the U.S. health care workforce, but strategic shifts such as changes in immigration laws may be needed to stabilize the nation's health workforce.

New Models of Primary Care Could Ease U.S. Physician Shortage
Much of the shortage of primary care physicians expected over the next decade could be eliminated if the nation increases use of new models of medical care that expand the role of nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Hospital Errors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S., and New Hospital Safety Scores Show Improvements Are Too Slow
New research estimates up to 440,000 Americans are dying annually from preventable hospital errors. This puts medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States, underscoring the need for patients to protect themselves and their families from harm, and for hospitals to make patient safety a priority.

Understand Common Reasons Students Leave Medical School
About 6 percent of medical students are unable to complete medical school within seven years. Here are some of the common reasons why, from parental pressure to falling in love with research.

Doctor Shortage: Doctors Encourage Minority Students to Learn Medicine
The Tour for Diversity is one of the programs trying to address the physician workforce shortage and lack of diversity by introducing high school students to medicine.

'Common Courtesy' Lacking Among Doctors-in-Training
Johns Hopkins investigators have found that doctors-in-training are unlikely to introduce themselves fully to hospitalized patients or sit down to talk to them eye-to-eye, despite research suggesting that courteous bedside manners improve medical recovery along with patient satisfaction.

Medical School Applicants, Enrollment Reach All-time Highs
Gains Increase Urgency to Lift Federal Cap on Residency Training Positions

Are med schools failing future docs?
As the most-wired generation works toward their degrees – and gears up to practice in a whole new healthcare world – some are rethinking how much IT should be taught.

Preparing for the Future: Understanding the U.S. Long-term Care Workforce
Aging U.S. and global populations – the so-called “Silver Tsunami” – mean that an increasing number of us will require long-term care when we can no longer care for ourselves.

Conflicts of Interest: What Should You Disclose?

Insurance sold on marketplaces may limit access to doctors, hospitals.
Insurers restricting choice of doctors and hospitals to keep costs down.

The True Impact of Obamacare (When it Works)
If Massachusetts is any indicator, the increased demand for services will lock up general medicine in many states.

Are We in a Medical Education Bubble Market?
Debt-to-income ratios for new physicians reveal the connection between what physicians can charge patients and what medical schools can charge students. If we aim to reduce the costs of health care, we need to reduce the costs of medical education.

Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Programs May Help You Afford a Health Sciences Degree
One of the most important principles of responsible borrowing is remembering never to borrow more than you really need. Beyond that first and most important principle, responsible borrowing also includes the need to educate yourself on all available options for managing your student loans after you finish your health sciences degree. Loan repayment programs and forgiveness programs may help.


AAMC Resources for Pre-Med Students(pdf)

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

alumni updates

Chelsea and her husband Everett

Chelsea, MD, Entering Class of 2006, Drexel University School of Medicine, Ob/Gyn Residency at Abington Memorial Hospital, Gynecology Oncology Fellowship at the University of Iowa

November 24, 2013: “Hey Dr Lewis, so here is the update: I graduated Drexel University College of Medicine, Program of Integrated Learning, in 2010. Matched into OB/GYN residency at Abington Memorial Hospital. Was named chief resident for my 4th year. In October I matched into a Gynecology Oncology fellowship at the University of Iowa, starting July 2014; only 50 people get accepted each year! Our son, Dylan, is 5 now and his teacher calls him The Professor. :-). Everett and I will celebrate our 7th anniversary in March. Hope you are well. Chelsea"


Denise, DDS, Entering Class of 1994 UCSF, Dental Practice in San Diego, CA

October 15, 2013: “Hi Dr. Lewis, it's so nice to hear from you! I didn't know you relocated to the central coast. You must love the change in scenery.
industry in cancer drug development. He has a neuroscience background from Stanford and MBA from Harvard. I have three kids 15, 12 and almost 3. We live in Carmel Valley. I have my dental office in Spring Valley working 3.5 to 4.5 days a week. Norma and Francisco (other dentists advised by Dr. Lewis) both associated with me before they opened their own practices. I regularly keep in touch with Kriston (another dentist advisee). Christie (another dentist advisee and Dr. Lewis' past personal dentist!) and I catch up when I host a women's dental happy hour.
I'm so delighted to hear you are still helping students follow their dreams as you did for me. Thank you! Denise”

success story

Steven Perez, DO

Steven Perez, DO, Entering Class of 2008, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, PGY1 Family Medicine Resident at St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

Being a 4th year medical student was an exciting experience that represented the end of a long road to becoming a doctor. I was able to take courses, which focused on areas of medicine in my career niche. I took audition rotations in Family Medicine to get to know residency programs out there. This gave me an opportunity to take courses that were interesting, yet productive, in building my career. For example, I took 2 outpatient pediatric rotations to broaden my experience in Family Medicine and the principles of Primary Care.

Applying to residency was like applying to medical school again. I remembered the days of applying to medical school, and having Dr. Lewis, my coach as a premed, assist me throughout the process. Now, I had to apply independently, and use the skills of applying to medical school toward applying to residency. It was similar in that I was applying to multiple programs and I had to strategically apply where I felt I would be the best fit. Because of my interest in Family Medicine, I selected the “audition” rotations for where I wanted to interview. It was like a huge dating game, in that the process involved getting to know various programs while demonstrating what I had to offer them as a person.

Once the application submission process opened in September 2012, the interview offers immediately came. It was exciting to receive these invitations, yet daunting in coordinating interviews to minimize conflicts with my medical school rotation curriculum. Then, the fun part came when I traveled for interviews. All the programs I applied for were in Arizona and California. I was able to meet people on the interview trail, and saw some of the same applicants during this process. These programs also offered dinners and social gatherings the night before the interview to get to know their Residents in a social setting. Also, I remembered what it was like interviewing for medical school. However, applying to residency was less stressful than applying for medical school, because I knew at the very end of the process, I would match somewhere for residency, unlike for medical school, where applying did not guarantee an admission.

Then, the day came when interview season ended in February 2013, and I had to create and submit a rank list. I had to use my best judgment in deciding which programs I would enjoy working for, and which programs would make the best fit for me. After submitting my final rank list, I waited for match day, March 15, 2013, which was a large milestone in being a doctor. I did not sleep well the night before, in anticipation for one of the most important days of my life. I remember opening up the results on the computer and finding out that I matched at my top pick, which was St. Joseph’s Hospital Family Medicine Residency, where I had had an audition rotation and a wonderful experience. I celebrated the match day weekend by taking a weekend trip to Las Vegas.

From March 15, 2013, until graduation day was a restful 2-month period where I could relax. On May 30, 2013, my dreams came true of finally receiving my diploma from medical school. During that day, I reflected on the process of being a premed hoping to get into medical school one day, to the reality check of high expectations by the medical school curriculum and wondering if I will survive, to wrapping up my last rotation I would take as a medical student. All the sacrifice, hope, faith, and effort paid off on this day.

Soon after graduation, I started my first day of residency on June 26, 2013. This was a transition from being a medical student to being a doctor. My responsibility levels changed significantly, in that I can practice medicine and write order, which I could not do in medical school. Also, I had to move from simply reporting information as a medical student, to making medical decisions as a physician. Medical decision-making is now daunting, since I make decisions which others in my health care team rely on and trust. Now, I feel like a real doctor, as the leader of my health care team.

In addition to being a 1st year Resident, I am planning a wedding in 2014. I am marrying my fiancée, Dar, who has supported me emotionally and spiritually during my endeavor of being a doctor since my first day as a premedical student. I learned from her that it takes a lot of patience to be a significant other of a person pursuing medicine. Because of her commitment and support during my process of being a doctor, I felt that this wedding would be a perfect way to seal my devotion. Her experience has also taught me that the significant other of a doctor has to work just as hard as the doctor.

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 am interviewing, and was asked: “What other programs did you apply to?” This can feel intrusive, especially if you are applying to both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools."

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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