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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 14 Issue 1
January 2014

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

January always signals “New Beginnings”. It is a psychological time to “start fresh”. For many, it is a time to lose all the weight gained during the holidays, or set other personal goals (New Year’s Resolutions). It can also be a time to recommit yourself to a disciplined study schedule for difficult classes or for the MCAT/DAT/GRE. Strong grades and test scores only get your foot “in the door”, to be given “consideration”. Only then, will schools read about your clinical experiences, service, leadership, research, hobbies, skills, jobs, adversities overcome, etc.

So, see how committed you really are; become a disciplined student!

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: "How do I prepare to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how it is changing U.S. medical practice?"

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

• The December deluge: 1.1 million have enrolled on HealthCare.gov
• Obamacare just might net its 7 million sign-ups
• Obamacare B-Sides: Three programs you haven’t heard of start in 2014
• Don’t Count Out Medical School After One Bad Premed Semester
• Medical School Applicants, Enrollment Reach All-time Highs
• Without sufficient support, community health centers will drop 1 million patients (pdf)
• How Many Doctors Will We Need? A Special Issue on the Physician Workforce
• Selecting Tomorrow’s Physicians: The Key to the Future Health Care Workforce
• The Emerging Primary Care Workforce: Preliminary Observations From the Primary Care Team: Learning From Effective Ambulatory Practices Project
• 2014 Question of the Year
• The five biggest political questions for the next stage of the Obamacare debate
• Family medicine lures with variety, strong relationships, growing influence
• Rural family medicine alive and well at several osteopathic medical schools
• How I survived the first 2 years of medical school
• Teaching wisely: Ensuring tomorrow's doctors give high-value health care
• Changes in medical education will make students integral to health system solutions
• Special JAMA issue examines changing medical education landscape
• Aspiring medical student sentenced to three months in prison in MCAT hacking case
• America’s newly insured laud health-care law
• Personalized education, faculty development gets greater focus

Useful Links
• Medscape
• Top Books for Docs: 2013 Booklist

Alumni Update
• Omar, MD, Entering Class of 2007, George Washington School of Medicine, Dermatology Resident at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
• Darin, DDS, Entering Class of 1994, Baylor University School of Dentistry, Specialization Program in Orthodontics at the University of Colorado, Orthodontics Practice in Canada

Success Story of the Month
• Jessica Nordlund, PhD, Entering Class of 2006, International Masters Program in Cell and Molecular Biology, PhD program in Molecular Medicine at Uppsala University, Sweden

Question of the Month
• Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question: "How do I prepare to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how it is changing U.S. medical practice?"
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.


The December deluge: 1.1 million have enrolled on HealthCare.gov
Enrollment in the federal exchange was about nine times as high in December than all of October and November.

Obamacare just might net its 7 million sign-ups
This past February, well before HealthCare.gov opened for business, the Congressional Budget Office made a prediction. The nonpartisan agency projected that the federal exchange, alongside 14 state run Web sites, would sell 7 million people insurance policies in 2014.

Obamacare B-Sides: Three programs you haven’t heard of start in 2014
There are plenty of other changes to the health-care system sprinkled throughout the Affordable Care Act's many, many pages. Here's a look at some of the less-known health law provisions coming into effect with the start of the new year.

Don’t Count Out Medical School After One Bad Premed Semester
What should you do if you have a bad semester as a premed student? Here's how to evaluate what happened and figure out how to get back on track toward a successful medical school application.

Medical School Applicants, Enrollment Reach All-time Highs
A record number of students applied to and enrolled in the nation’s medical schools in 2013, according to data released by the Association of American Medical Colleges. The total number of applicants to medical school grew by 6.1 percent to 48,014, surpassing the previous record set in 1996 by 1,049.

Without sufficient support, community health centers will drop 1 million patients (pdf)
A new report examining the impact of federal and state policy decisions on community health centers estimates that under a worst-case scenario, the nation's health centers would be forced to contract, leaving an estimated 1 million low-income people without access to health care services by the year 2020.

How Many Doctors Will We Need? A Special Issue on the Physician Workforce
Current workforce projections suggest a substantial physician shortage over the next 10 to 15 years. This month’s special workforce issue provides background and analysis of current thinking about how academic health centers (AHCs) and others can best address this shortage.

Selecting Tomorrow’s Physicians: The Key to the Future Health Care Workforce
Recent U.S. health care reform efforts have focused on three main goals: improving health care for individuals, improving population health, and lowering costs. Physicians, who traditionally have practiced with considerable autonomy, will be required to become members of the team-based patient care models necessary to achieve these goals.

The Emerging Primary Care Workforce: Preliminary Observations From the Primary Care Team: Learning From Effective Ambulatory Practices Project
Many primary care practices are changing the roles played by the members of their health care teams. The purpose of this article is to describe some of these new roles, using the authors’ preliminary observations from 25 site visits to high-performing primary care practices across the United States in 2012–2013.

2014 Question of the Year
How can we ensure that our graduate medical education system will prepare trainees for practice in new systems of care delivery? Rapidly evolving health care systems will require that all caregivers have an expanded set of competencies beyond those fostered by our current educational programs.

The five biggest political questions for the next stage of the Obamacare debate
After weeks of problems that plagued HealthCare.gov, Obama sought to turn attention to people helped by the law and away from talk of big technical glitches.

Family medicine lures with variety, strong relationships, growing influence
Most family physicians treat patients of all ages who have all manner of conditions. "I tell students that in family medicine, you can tailor your practice to whatever you want," says Nancy Bono, DO. "In this profession, you don't get bored because it incorporates so much.”

Rural family medicine alive and well at several osteopathic medical schools
Medical students: Are you wary of practicing in a rural area? Don't be, say educators at rural-focused osteopathic medical schools, who seek to dispel the myths surrounding rural medicine.

How I survived the first 2 years of medical school
Exercise. Shadow physicians. Rest your brain often. These tips for new medical students come from seasoned third-year student Leslie Tamura and her classmates, who reflect on their early years of medical school and the survival tactics they picked up.

Teaching wisely: Ensuring tomorrow's doctors give high-value health care
Teaching students and residents about stewardship of health care resources is a key concern facing academic medicine and health care as a whole.

Changes in medical education will make students integral to health system solutions
As medical schools better align how they teach with how students learn and the nation’s health care needs, students will become vital contributors to improving the U.S. health care system—even while they’re in training.

Special JAMA issue examines changing medical education landscape
As the U.S. health care system continues to evolve, a special theme issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released this month explores aspects of medical education in light of current clinical environments.

Aspiring medical student sentenced to three months in prison in MCAT hacking case
Unhappy with his middling scores on the standardized test for aspiring medical students, Bosung Shim tried to hack into the Association of American Medical Colleges computer system and change them. When that didn’t work, he hired other hackers to help.

America’s newly insured laud health-care law
Benefit of health law often obscured behind political and legal disputes — and Web site glitches.

Personalized education, faculty development gets greater focus
With the continued rapid expansion of scientific knowledge and the increased complexity in care delivery, the role of the physician has evolved, and medical schools are responding to the need for training a new type of physician.


The latest medical news, clinical trial coverage, drug updates, journal articles, CME activities & more.

Top Books for Docs: 2013 Booklist (Medscape puts together this list every year)

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

alumni updates

Omar proposing!

Omar, MD, Entering Class of 2007, George Washington School of Medicine, Dermatology Resident at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

December 2, 2013: “Hi Dr. Lewis, just wanted to give a quick update. I graduated from college at VCU in 2006, medical school at GW 2011, I did a transitional year in Michigan and now I am a PGY-3 at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Dermatology and I just got engaged. Hope all is well. Always thank you for your help. Without you none of this was possible. Omar”


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

December 6, 2013: “Hi Dr. Lewis, I went back country skiing yesterday in Kaninaskis- awesome fresh snow! Mama is due Dec 28th with baby #2, Rogie is 3 and learning independence while simultaneously helping mum and dad develop their patience. Work is going well, and I am developing a 1st ever in N. America "Orthodontic Prevention Program' based on Diet, Nasal Breathing, and rest oral posture.
It will have realtime meetings and a website for engagement, and will target everyone from pregnant moms (focusing on diet and breast feeding)...all the way to the elderly (the importance of improving ones respiratory physiology with nasal breathing - that has tons of +++ health benefits).....and The model is to apply 1/2 of anything people put towards their wellness in this program to their orthodontic treatment if they end up needing it. Its going to be BIG, and is way overdue, as "Prevention" is NOT taught in any way shape of form in Ortho school (I'm not referring to oral hygiene). This is my mission and why I ended up pursuing dentistry and later orthodontics......and I will persist until it is actualized!
I would have never thought pursuing a career in dentistry would have me enrolling in a masters program in breathing sciences and devoting this much time and energy towards proper breathing and rest oral posture! The inter-connectedness of our human existence becomes clearer the longer I practice dentistry. We are not compartmentalized as our educational institutions would have us to believe, and fixing things after they are broken takes far more resources than preparing for wellness. When I learned about the Bohr effect when it comes to Oxygen transfer and utilization in the human body in Physiology class at SDSU, I would have never guessed it would be so clinically relevant to my practice of orthodontics (heck, I wasn't even flossing at that time in my life!)
See the monster you created back in 1992 when you helped me get that internship at NW dental school! I am still grateful for that.
Attached is a pic for you. I moonlight as the tooth fairy if ya didn't know! Omar."

success story

Jessica Nordlund, PhD

Jessica Nordlund, PhD, Entering Class of 2006, International Masters Program in Cell and Molecular Biology, PhD Program in Molecular Medicine at Uppsala University, Sweden

I met Dr. Lewis through the Collegiate Union for Health Related Education (CUHRE) my first year at San Diego State University. Coming from a small, rural high school in Northern California, I found myself completely and utterly overwhelmed by the fast pace and the pre-med curriculum. The most important aspect of having Dr. Lewis as my Advisor was her honest feedback. She kept me on track and made sure I kept my grades up. One of my fondest memories was when I finally got one of Dr. Lewis’ famous “high fives” for reporting good grades after finals.

During my junior year at SDSU, I decided to study abroad in Sweden. I chose Sweden first because of my Swedish heritage (paternal grandparents), and second because many courses at Swedish Universities are taught in English. I was very nervous, but Dr. Lewis was supportive of my decision. Needless to say, my semester in Sweden changed my life. I took the semester off from my biology major to study Swedish language. I met hundreds of other international students from around the world, and truly had one of the best experiences of my life.

Upon returning to my last year at SDSU, I became more passionate about genetics and molecular biology than medicine. I also found myself longing to go abroad again. Coincidently, a former Swedish classmate contacted me about a new International Masters program in Cell and Molecular Biology opening at Uppsala University, one of the oldest universities in Sweden. Without much hesitation, I applied and was accepted for fall 2006.

I earned my MS in 2007, and was subsequently accepted into Uppsala’s PhD program in Molecular Medicine in 2008. At the time, several new technologies for sequencing whole genomes became available, making it possible to analyze clinical samples genome-wide. The huge amount of data generated by the sequencers required new types of large-scale data analysis and bioinformatics skills, skills I didn’t have. Learning my first programming language was one of the most difficult obstacles I’ve overcome; it was much more difficult than learning Swedish! Today, I can happily say that I am fluent in both Swedish and several programming languages.

I defended my thesis in 2012, and am currently working as a scientist at Uppsala University Hospital. Today, I work with a diverse group of pediatric oncologists, clinical geneticists, and computational biologists to investigate the etiology of acute pediatric leukemias. Specifically, I am investigating the genetic and epigenetic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics) changes that occur in leukemic cells using genome-wide approaches. My research has been incredibly rewarding http://www.molmed.medsci.uu.se/, http://genomebiology.com/2013/14/9/r105 and I have maintained the close connection with medicine that drew me into the biological sciences in the first place.

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

"How do I prepare to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how it is changing U.S. medical practice?"

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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