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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 14 Issue 9
September 2014

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

What will happen? Will you have fun learning?
Will you be intimidated by a professor?
Will you have trouble with a roommate? A boy/girlfriend?
Do you know what amount of time and how intensely you need to study to understand your new classes?
How much time will be devoted to service and jobs?
Where is your primary focus? Fraternity? A job? School?

How you “do” academically will depend on your attitude about the above questions. How effectively you communicate with faculty and friends, when you ask for help, how you deal with inevitable “bumps in the road”, … these are all important!

Let us know how we can help.

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 earned a C in organic chemistry I last spring, and am registered to take organic chemistry II this fall. How do I earn an A?”

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

• Ebola vaccine to be tested in humans at NIH Clinical Center in Maryland this fall
• Campus Sex Assaults Draw State Scrutiny
• How physicians are rethinking care delivery
• How two schools are embracing a new science in medical education
• Tulane School of Medicine opens first-of-its-kind teaching kitchen
• Research Doesn’t Pay—At Least Not in Graduate Medical Education
• Doctors need marijuana training
• What new physicians need to know about navigating regulations
• Study: Medical marijuana may help rein in painkiller overdoses.
• The condom cure! A Brooklyn medical student designs device to save women from bleeding to death during childbirth
• What are the advantages of being married to a physician?
• Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician
• Still in the closet: the invisible minority in medical education
• Virtual reality headset allows medical students to experience a procedure from a surgeon’s perspective
• 10 Fast Stress-Busting Pick-Me-Ups
• California Experiments With Fast-Tracking Medical School
• The need for nutrition education in med schools
• Med residents in Southeast make less than peers, but carry similar debt, website reports
• GME financing system needs overhaul: IOM report
• Electronic health records were supposed to be everywhere this year. They’re not — but it’s okay.
• Report Touches Off Fight Over Future Of Doctor Training Program
• Residents: Will They Ever Pay Off Medical School Debt?
• Hospitals And Health Plans See The Future Very Differently
• House supports profession’s entry into a single GME accreditation system

Useful Links
• The MCAT2015 Exam for Students
• What's on the MCAT2015 Exam?

Alumni Update
• Yamah, Entering Class of 2014, University of Queensland Ochsner MBBS Program

Success Story of the Month
• Adrian, MD, Entering Class of 1994, Medical College of Wisconsin, Pediatric Residency at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Asst. Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin.

Question of the Month
• Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question: "I earned a C in organic chemistry I last spring, and am registered to take organic chemistry II this fall. How do I earn an A?"
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 2016 or 2017?
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 2016 or 2017 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.


Ebola vaccine to be tested in humans at NIH Clinical Center in Maryland this fall
Government researchers, in collaboration with British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, will begin human trials next week for an experimental Ebola vaccine in the hopes of rushing the drug as quickly as possible to health workers and others at risk in West Africa.

Campus Sex Assaults Draw State Scrutiny
Few issues affecting higher education have captured as much national attention this year as sexual assaults on college campuses.

How physicians are rethinking care delivery
The way care is delivered can have drastic effects on patients’ health, even in the treatment of the same illness.

How two schools are embracing a new science in medical education
For future physicians preparing for the complexities of the 21st-century health care system, education beyond basic and clinical sciences can give them the tools they need to succeed in practice and in achieving positive outcomes for their patients.

Tulane School of Medicine opens first-of-its-kind teaching kitchen
Tulane’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine has a new teaching kitchen to help medical students and physicians learn about functional nutrition through hands-on cooking experience.

Research Doesn’t Pay—At Least Not in Graduate Medical Education
Teaching hospitals cannot count time spent by residents on “pure research” as part of their indirect graduate medical education costs, a federal circuit court ruled when it upheld a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulation.

Doctors need marijuana training
Physicians will need extensive training on medical marijuana, even if they aren’t in a position to prescribe it, explains a pharmacists’ association in a letter to the editor. In the likely absence of FDA oversight, the author notes, there won’t be much guidance for pharmacists on potential drug interactions, so the physician may be the lone gatekeeper.

What new physicians need to know about navigating regulations
Transitioning from residency or fellowship into practice is a stressful time, and it’s not made any easier by the many regulatory issues physicians face on a daily basis.

Study: Medical marijuana may help rein in painkiller overdoses
A new study suggests that medical marijuana could provide some relief from the national epidemic of prescription painkiller overdoses, which kills more Americans each year than car crashes do.

The condom cure! A Brooklyn medical student designs device to save women from bleeding to death during childbirth
Mikail Kamal, 25, and his research team, discovered a blown up condom filled with saline water can put pressure on the uterus to reduce or stop bleeding until the woman is transferred to a hospital.

What are the advantages of being married to a physician?
Physicians tend to marry later and their marriages last longer even as they face the challenges, like others with demanding professions, of giving time and attention to their partners and families.

Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician
No medical student goes to become a doctor to become a businessperson,” he tells Marketplace, “but the system is so dysfunctional today that it has created this business mentality among doctors.

Still in the closet: the invisible minority in medical education
Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) osteopathic medical students surveyed were less likely than their non-LGB peers to consider their medical school campus “inclusive,” according to a new study.

Virtual reality headset allows medical students to experience a procedure from a surgeon’s perspective
The Oculus Rift, a headset that immerses the user in a 3D image, has made the jump from video games to create a 3D experience of an actual surgical procedure from the surgeon’s point of view.

10 Fast Stress-Busting Pick-Me-Ups
Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try one of these strategies. Most just take a minute, and they can improve your whole day.

California Experiments With Fast-Tracking Medical School
Interested in primary care? Want to cut a year off of training, along with the tuition? Here are more details on how the three-year accelerated training program at the University of California, Davis works.

The need for nutrition education in med schools
Describing the coverage of nutrition in medical school as “an embarrassment for at least 120 years,” David Seres explains how the lack of nutrition education in med school is coupled with poor funding for nutrition research, allowing self-described “experts” to represent their opinions as facts.

Med residents in Southeast make less than peers, but carry similar debt, website reports
The Medscape resident salary survey also found differences in compensation between male and female respondents.

GME financing system needs overhaul: IOM report
A long-awaited report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls for transitioning the current graduate medical education (GME) system to a transparent, performance-based system.

Electronic health records were supposed to be everywhere this year. They’re not — but it’s okay.

Report Touches Off Fight Over Future Of Doctor Training Program
A high-level report recommending sweeping changes in how the government distributes $15 billion annually to subsidize the training of doctors has brought out the sharp scalpels of those who would be most immediately affected.

Residents: Will They Ever Pay Off Medical School Debt?
The Medscape 2014 Residents Salary & Debt Report is based on an extensive survey of more than 1200 US residents representing 25 specialties.

Hospitals And Health Plans See The Future Very Differently
Economic indicators of health spending presented a mixed message on recent earnings calls, leaving experts to sort out the confusion.

House supports profession’s entry into a single GME accreditation system
Capping more than two years of deliberations, negotiations and soul-searching, the AOA House of Delegates voted to support the osteopathic medical profession's landmark entry into a single graduate medical education accreditation system.


The MCAT2015 Exam for Students

What's on the MCAT2015 Exam?

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

alumni updates


Yamah, Entering Class of 2014, University of Queensland Ochsner MBBS Program

August 24, 2014: "Hi Dr. Lewis, Its currently winter in Down Under, but still sunny. I have finished my first semester of medical school and it was rough but amazing at the same time. I spent most of the first semester trying to figure out how to keep up and study for all my classes, but I did well in my classes so I am happy to get 1 semester under my belt. I’m currently in my second semester with midterms right around the corner. So far outside of the usual lectures, we get clinical coaching to learn how to interact with patients and take histories. We also get some skills workshops to do venipuncture, CPR, and taking blood pressure. One negative aspect of my school is that we only get a few wet specimen and cadaver labs, and our microbiology wasn’t that amazing. But, I do get to an elective after my first year for 8 weeks, and I chose orthopedic surgery. My study habits continue to change and I am trying to find a way to add more USMLE to my study, which has been difficult.

Outside of school, I have gotten the opportunity to visit Sydney, some costal cities, and Bali in Indonesia. Sydney and the costal cities were a typical tourist in 1st world country experience with big buildings, visiting museums, and architecture. Bali was a complete eye opener for me. It is filled with tourist, but the tourist stay within small area where everything has been built nicely for us. 18 of my classmates and me split the cost of a massive villa, but it was difficult to enjoy when most of the country was beyond poor. The beaches were amazing as the photos of Bali appear on Google. They are really big on Buddhist temples and strong belief in spirits. I still plan on visiting New Zealand before I leave to go to New Orleans for Clinical years.
Take Care!

success story


Adrian, MD, Entering Class of 1994, Medical College of Wisconsin, Pediatric Residency at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Asst. Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin.

Throughout my professional life, I have been blessed with great mentors who have had unconditional interest in my career and success.  Early on it was Dr. Cynthia Lewis who helped pave the way for me. She worked tirelessly to make sure her students would succeed and was instrumental in my acceptance into the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) at San Diego State University.  Through carefully planned coursework, MCAT preparation, and personal mentorship, the program put me in a position to maximize my probability of acceptance into medical school. Dr. Lewis became more than a pre-med advisor, she became a friend and lifetime mentor who, to this day, continues to offer her advice and support. 

            I obtained my medical degree in 1998 from Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and completed my pediatric residency training and fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in 2004.  My commitment to academics first developed during my subspecialty training in Pediatric Gastroenterology.  During my first year of clinical training as a gastroenterology fellow, my interest in children with functional abdominal pain was fueled by clinical exposure to numerous patients with functional bowel disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and functional abdominal pain.  The exact pathophysiology underlying these disorders was, and still is, poorly understood.  Under the mentorship of Dr. Colin Rudolph, a world renowned Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Dr. Jyoti N. Sengupta, a world renowned expert in visceral pain, I started to pursue my interest in functional bowel disorders at the basic science level.  My research interests extended Dr. Sengupta’s work in directions subsequently shaped through my interactions with other experts in the field of neurophysiology.  My current interests in the laboratory involve the study of adverse early life events and the neuroplasticity involved in the development of chronic visceral pain.

Research awards and grants
            I truly believe that because of the support and mentorship I received early on in my career, I have been able to succeed as a clinician scientist.  I was funded through a NIH K08 Mentored grant during my first year as faculty at MCW.  This grant, along with funding from the NIH loan repayment program (LRP), allowed me to continue on my research path without the institutional pressure of maintaining high clinical productivity.  I have established myself as the only pediatric gastroenterologist who performs basic and clinical research in the area of functional/visceral pain and have been blessed with multiple peer reviewed research awards over the years.  This includes the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition’s (NASPGHAN) Clinical Science Award in 2012 and the Basic Science Award in 2011.  In addition, I received the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorder’s Young Investigator Award, the American Gastroenterological Association’s Functional Brain Gut young investigator award, the REGAL Award for outstanding research in the field of Gastroenterology, and the Young Investigator Award at the World Congress of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. None of this would have been possible without great mentoring and those who helped me along the way.  As a result, I feel a great sense of responsibility to extend my support to young students and scientists interested in medical/research careers.  

Mentorship and teaching
            Part of my appeal to academic medicine is helping young scientists develop their careers.  I continue to mentor graduate and undergraduate students in the laboratory and clinical setting.  Five of my students have co-authored manuscripts with me and have presented their work at national meetings.  I continue to help mentor underrepresented students through my involvement in the MCW Diversity Summer Enrichment Program and as a Mentor in the AIMS program.  I also served as advisor to the student organization, La RAMA at MCW.  This is an organization for Latino students in medicine that I co-founded as a student at MCW.  In the clinical setting, I continue to work with our gastroenterology fellows and residents and was honored to receive the “Outstanding Teacher of the Full-Time Pediatric Faculty” Award at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Clinical work
            Approximately 50% of my time is devoted to the care of children with chronic gastrointestinal disorders. While my focus is in children with chronic abdominal pain and functional bowel disorders, I continue to care for children with a variety of chronic gastrointestinal disorders and have been included in “Best Doctors in America” list since 2009.

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 earned a C in organic chemistry I last spring, and am registered to take organic chemistry II this fall. How do I earn an A?"

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!


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