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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 14 Issue 8
August 2014

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

If you are a class of 2015 applicant, you are likely writing secondary application essays. Do NOT cut and paste anything from your primary application – this makes you look “lazy”. Be aware that each school asks specific questions about what they value.

Answer them.

Be specific.

Tell stories to illustrate your points.

So, even if you have the same question from 2 schools, understand each schools’ individual mission statement, what they specifically value, and answer based on their particular perspective.

Why should they care about you, if you do not care about THEM?

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: "What can I do if I am still on a waitlist on July 1st?” 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 2016 or 2017?
Track Record
Be Competitive

What Are Your Chances?
Getting Started

• The U.S. spends $15B a year to train doctors, but we don’t know what we get in return
• It’s Time for Innovation in How We Pay for Medical School
• 10 Top Tips for Living with a Medical Student
• 10 Private Medical Schools With the Highest Tuition
• 10 Medical Schools Where Graduates Have the Most Debt
• 5 Ways to Prepare for the USMLE
• Top Tips to Survive Residency--Advice for Partners of Residents
• 5 Top Tips for Your Financial Life After Residency
• Medical Education Explores Competency-based Assessment
• Do Doctors Understand Test Results?
• Harvard Symposium Explores How to Take Medical Education Into the Future
• Medical Educators Examine Century-old Problem at Harvard Event
• Despite Known Link Between Poor Teamwork and Errors, Only 30% of Medical Schools Provide Teamwork Training
• Project Gets Underway to Ensure Sustainable Medical School Innovations
• Growing Shortage of Clinical Training Sites Challenges Medical Schools
• California Governor Signs Accelerated Degree Bill to Address Doctor Shortage
• Learning the Difference Between Medicine and the Medical Industry
• Kathleen Sebelius: I 'made some mistakes'
• A New Report Estimates Millions of Americans Have Enrolled in Health Insurance as of this Spring
• Supreme Court Limits Contraceptive Mandate For Certain Employers
• Appeals Courts Split On Legality Of Subsidies For Affordable Care Act
• As Full Disclosure Nears, Doctors’ Pay for Drug Talks Plummets
• Exposure to Pharma Reps Affects Trainees’ Rx Knowledge: Study
• We Are One Step Closer to a New Generation of Cheaper Drugs

Useful Links
• Wing Of Zock
• MCAT2015 Website for students

Success Story of the Month
• Shaun MD, Entering Class of 2004, George Washington School of Medicine

Question of the Month
• Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question: "What can I do if I am still on a waitlist on July 1st?" Part 2.
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 U.S. spends $15B a year to train doctors, but we don’t know what we get in return
If you were spending $15 billion, you'd probably want to know what you were getting as a return on that investment. Especially if it was on something as important as the nation's health care.

It’s Time for Innovation in How We Pay for Medical School
Five models for reducing the cost--or at least the debt load for graduates--are outlined by Dr. Joanne Conroy, CEO at Lahey Clinic & Medical Center in Massachusetts.

10 Top Tips for Living with a Medical Student

10 Private Medical Schools With the Highest Tuition
Tuition and fees were more than $53,000 a year at these 10 medical schools.

10 Medical Schools Where Graduates Have the Most Debt
The average debt at these schools exceeded $200,000, according to U.S. News data.

5 Ways to Prepare for the USMLE

Top Tips to Survive Residency--Advice for Partners of Residents
The years in residency can be difficult and stressful, both for residents and their significant others.

5 Top Tips for Your Financial Life After Residency
As a medical resident, you’re probably used to sticking to a budget and spending wisely. Your income as a practicing physician will seem substantial after being a resident, but don’t start spending it all just yet.

Medical Education Explores Competency-based Assessment
More medical schools are moving their learning models toward competency-based assessment, requiring greater collaboration information-sharing in this relatively new area.

Do Doctors Understand Test Results?
A new book by one prominent statistician says doctors are confused by statistics - and that this makes it hard for patients to make informed decisions about treatment.

Harvard Symposium Explores How to Take Medical Education Into the Future
About 200 academic physicians discussed the role of technology in medical education during the Harvard Macy Institute (HMI) 20th Anniversary Symposium last week in Boston, sharing ideas for transformational learning in the face of a changing health care system.

Medical Educators Examine Century-old Problem at Harvard Event
Today’s medical students—and tomorrow’s physicians—have a vast amount of information available to them, and teaching them to sort through the good information and use it appropriately is a challenge medical educators are working to solve.

Despite Known Link Between Poor Teamwork and Errors, Only 30% of Medical Schools Provide Teamwork Training
Team-based training has been implemented at only about a third of medical schools, even though Institute of Medicine research has pointed to the significant danger to patient safety caused by poor teamwork.

Project Gets Underway to Ensure Sustainable Medical School Innovations
How can a medical school completely change its curriculum in a smooth, efficient and sustainable way?

Growing Shortage of Clinical Training Sites Challenges Medical Schools
Medical schools are having a harder time finding clinical training sites for trainees, in part because of the growing number of medical students and schools.

California Governor Signs Accelerated Degree Bill to Address Doctor Shortage
Medical school programs in California will be able to graduate students in three years, rather than four, thanks to a bill signed last week by Gov. Jerry Brown. A pilot program at UC-Davis is already in place, with six students enrolled.

Learning the Difference Between Medicine and the Medical Industry
Medical students learn only generic names, but hospitals speak in brands

Kathleen Sebelius: I 'made some mistakes'
The former Health and Human Services Secretary acknowledges she spent too little time focusing on the technology side of the Affordable Care Act rollout, saying she was concentrating on bringing regulators and insurers together.

A New Report Estimates Millions of Americans Have Enrolled in Health Insurance as of this Spring
About 20 million Americans have gained health insurance or enrolled in new insurance under the health care reform law, according to a new report.

Supreme Court Limits Contraceptive Mandate For Certain Employers
A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that at least some for-profit corporations may not be required to provide contraceptives if doing so violates the owners’ religious beliefs.

Appeals Courts Split On Legality Of Subsidies For Affordable Care Act
Two federal appeals courts reached two different conclusions about the legality of tax subsidies for health insurance purchased through federal health insurance exchanges. If the subsidies are eventually found illegal, premiums could rise significantly for about 5 million Americans.

As Full Disclosure Nears, Doctors’ Pay for Drug Talks Plummets
As transparency increases and blockbuster drugs lose patent protection, drug companies have dramatically scaled back payments to doctors for promotional talks. This fall, all drug and medical device companies will be required to report payments to doctors.

Exposure to Pharma Reps Affects Trainees’ Rx Knowledge: Study
Medical students and residents who report higher levels of pharmaceutical marketing interactions were more likely to prescribe brand name drugs and less likely to rely on evidence-based treatment options.

We Are One Step Closer to a New Generation of Cheaper Drugs
With the high cost of specialty drugs capturing so many headlines these days, here's a bit of a change of pace: A new wave of cheaper drugs marked a major milestone.


Wing Of Zock
The online community of choice for faculty, residents, students, and executives at medical schools and teaching hospitals.

MCAT2015 Website for students

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

success story

Shaun MD, Entering Class of 2004, George Washington School of Medicine

Shaun is the ultimate survivor and certainly the strength of his family. He was the primary caregiver for his two younger brothers as they all grew up on the streets, in foster homes and on welfare. He fed, diapered, clothed and otherwise took care of his brothers. His mother was a single parent with no job skills who did not want to live at home. Thus, she spent most of his youth wandering from town to town across the U.S. Shaun’s mother was always honest with him, and he was treated as the "man in charge of the family" from probably age 6 on. Hi odyssey of a childhood included attending an estimated 40 schools in many states until he graduated at age 17 from a high school. He says, "my mother taught herself computer programming, to play the piano, how to paint, etc." The pattern became that once the bills piled up, his mother moved the boys to another place. He lived in a car when his family was in a half-way house. He worked at odd jobs including multiple paper routes beginning about age 7 to help support his family.

Shaun was put into a self-learning program at one school where he taught himself the subjects from handouts. For two years, his family lived in Alaska where, he walked the proverbial 4 miles one way to work. This was the only time he "left home". He did not stay away long as he realized that his mother could not care for his brothers by herself. During high school, Shaun worked fulltime evenings plus weekends.

When Shaun turned 18, he enlisted in the Army. He was responsible for maintaining NATO 20-minute response for monitoring Eastern European airspace, and directed as many as 300 soldiers in achieving secure group communications to all air-defense systems within the region. The Army is where he learned that he is good at leadership, (becoming an acting Sergeant in 2.5 years), that his K-12 education had left him sorely "uneducated", and that he thirsted to see the world. During 3 years in Germany, he learned some German and French language and traveled throughout Europe. There was a university near his base and he met many university students who encouraged him. He also learned for the first time, that "hard work can pay off and he could reach personal goals."

In 1986, Shaun returned home, to care for his grandmother who was ill. He worked graveyard shifts at a grocery store so he could care for her during the day over 3-years until she died. He worked fulltime while taking part-time classes at a community college for 4 years; his goal was to "get a college education". Shaun found that his poor primary and secondary education put him in the position of learning algebra, English, etc. from "scratch."

At San Diego State University, he first considered a degree in business, then due to an interest in human behavior, selected psychology. He was recruited (as a top student) into a clinical research lab to work on an HIV-AIDS project for 2 years. During that time, he worked directly with infected patients, testing them for dementia and sinus problems at the hospital, did data analysis and managed the project up to 30 hr/wk while working at the grocery store full-time and taking college classes fulltime. He used his leadership skills to train technicians. This clinical experience solidified his interest in becoming a doctor and he continued to take the pre-requisite science courses. He wanted to major in chemistry, but was a 32 year old senior by this time. He was Valedictorian for the second largest major at SDSU.

Shaun had amazing academic and personal achievements in the face of overwhelming odds (educational, social, financial disadvantage) against him. He felt that he was not "expected to amount to anything." He was invited to 6 interviews and was accepted to 2 medical schools.

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

"What can I do if I am still on a waitlist on July 1st?" 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 29 years of a successful track record.

Call or email today to set your first appointment!


Copyright 2014, 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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