Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 14 Issue 12
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
This is our last Lewis Associates Newsletter.
But, do not fear, we will continue to post news and crucial advising and applications’ tips with our famous “Q&A” session on our Facebook page the first of each month.
Friend us now!
December marks the “end of the year”. But, it is also a time for holidays, seeing friends and family, and counting our blessings. What are you thankful for? A mentor’s support? Caring by relatives or friends? Tell them! And, “pay it forward” to someone else.
Watch for new videos to be posted each month on our Facebook page, including helpful hints for the application process.
After more than 12 years of publication of our Newsletter, we will be closing this successful chapter of our work with the publication of the December issue. We will continue providing the best information and advice about Pre-Medical or any other health career admissions on our Facebook page.
Don't miss it.
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 collecting my letters of recommendations for medical school. Who do I ask?”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
Sick of rumors and false reports? Lewis Associates website has factual information that you can trust.
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
How to Communicate With Us
to a health profession
Are You Ready for the Class of 2016 or 2017?
What Are Your Chances?
• Study: Women with more children are more productive at work
• Atul Gawande explains why the health care system should stop trying to help everyone live longer
• Mapped: The growing Congressional support for drug policy reform
• Analysis: ACA premium increases for 2015 lower than expected
• Real-time tracker puts education decisions into students’ hands
• Cleveland Clinic Announces Top 10 Medical Innovations For 2015
• Balancing the Patient Experience with Evidence-Based Medicine
• Recent Suicides Highlight Need to Address Depression in Medical Students and Residents
• 4 global health issues you've been ignoring because of Ebola
• New research outlines women academic physicians’ challenges
• How medical schools are redefining the basic sciences
• How med students handle uncertainty could predict career future
• Ways students can control residency application costs
• Ways residents have found to conquer burnout
• Doctor Shortage Looming? Maybe Not
• A doctor tried to make medicine more transparent. She got death threats instead
• The Importance of Shadowing as a Pre-med
• Sexism Is Alive and Well in Medicine
• How To Pick And Stick To Career Goals
• Harvard Medical professor and CIO on failure and massive transparency
• Tech Trends Shaping The Future Of Medicine
• 5 ways to manage student debt
• Career and Cluster Videos
• Physician Assistant Education Association Program Directory
• Scott Flynn, PA, Entering Class of 2006, Long Island University
Success Story of the Month
• Daniel Calac, M.D., Entering Class of 1995, Harvard University Medical School, Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program at University of Southern California
Question of the Month
• Dr. Lewis' answer to this month's question: "I am collecting my letters of recommendations for medical school. Who do I ask?"Part 2.
See our Facebook page, Notes tab.
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
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
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
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
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!
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!"
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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study: Women with more children are more productive at work
A word of encouragement for my working moms: You are actually more productive than your childless peers.
Atul Gawande explains why the health care system should stop trying to help everyone live longer
Atul Gawande’s current best-seller, Being Mortal, has touched a nerve regarding our medical system’s very poor handling of aging, life-altering illnesses, hospice, and palliative care.
Mapped: The growing Congressional support for drug policy reform
The 113th Congress has seen the emergence of a bipartisan majority working to reform the nation's drug laws, according to a new scorecard released by Drug Policy Action, a non-profit group in favor of overhauling federal drug policy.
Analysis: ACA premium increases for 2015 lower than expected
Premiums for ACA plans, “once predicted to skyrocket in the second year under the government’s marketplace,” have risen just 6 percent for 2015, according to analysis of preliminary state filings.
Real-time tracker puts education decisions into students’ hands
A new real-time data tracker from Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine will help medical students know exactly how well they are meeting educational objectives, and a mobile app component will allow busy students to input information on the go.
Cleveland Clinic Announces Top 10 Medical Innovations For 2015
Among this year’s innovations heralded by a panel of Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists: A vaccine for Dengue fever and the advent of the mobile stroke unit for emergency medical services.
Balancing the Patient Experience with Evidence-Based Medicine
Dr. Paul Marantz comes to the defense of evidence-based medicine, responding to a New York Times opinion piece. What is needed, he concludes, is a blend of evidence and an ear for the patient’s story.
Recent Suicides Highlight Need to Address Depression in Medical Students and Residents
Between 300 and 400 physicians commit suicide each year. For male physicians, the suicide rate is 40 percent higher than that of men in the general population. For female physicians, it’s 130 percent higher.
4 global health issues you've been ignoring because of Ebola
While our minds have been Ebola-focused, we may have been ignoring other emerging health issues. There are four you need to know about.
New research outlines women academic physicians’ challenges
Women in medicine have come a long way since the days of Elizabeth Blackwell—at least one-half of all medical school classes today are women. But significant disparities remain in academic medicine.
How medical schools are redefining the basic sciences
Part of transforming undergraduate medical school curriculum means shifting the way educators and medical students think about the basic sciences. What do tomorrow's physicians need to know to treat patients in the future?
How med students handle uncertainty could predict career future
Medical students' level of tolerance for ambiguity may be closely tied to how they deal with stress and where they will practice.
Ways students can control residency application costs
If you're a medical student in the process of applying for residency positions, you're probably discovering that the costs associated with applications, interviews and fees are adding up. Here are some ways to manage those costs.
Ways residents have found to conquer burnout
Experienced residents and fellows offer advice on what others can do to avoid burnout during training and become a more satisfied, resilient physician.
Doctor Shortage Looming? Maybe Not
After years of medical school expansion, some health economists are asking whether the U.S. is producing more physicians than it actually needs, regardless of an aging population and changes to health care coverage.
A doctor tried to make medicine more transparent. She got death threats instead.
After launching the Who’s My Doctor campaign as a patient-searchable place for physicians to post details about themselves, Dr. Leana Wen took a lot of heat from other doctors.
The Importance of Shadowing as a Pre-med
For premeds, observing a practicing physician has a number of benefits. Daniel Gomez explains, and offers tips on actually arranging to shadow a physician.
Sexism Is Alive and Well in Medicine
A physician shares her experiences with both subtle and overt sexism on the wards and even among mentors.
How To Pick And Stick To Career Goals
Though her ideas apply to all types of careers, Dr. Nadine Katz draws on her own leadership experience in academic medicine to provide useful, functional tips on career planning and visualization.
Harvard Medical professor and CIO on failure and massive transparency
As the chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dr. John Halamka has met technology meltdowns with openness. He explains why that’s the best approach, with specific examples from his experience.
Tech Trends Shaping The Future Of Medicine, Part 1
5 ways to manage student debt
Medical student debt can feel like a huge burden. Learn how financial planning can help you effectively manage debt after graduation.
Career and Cluster Videos
Videos showing the types of work people do in nearly 550 careers, organized by the 16 career clusters recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Physician Assistant Education Association Program Directory
Searchable menu of all PA programs in America
Find these and other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's Links Page.
Scott Flynn, PA, Entering Class of 2006, Long Island University
October 30, 2014: “Hi Dr. Lewis, it's been a long time, since 02? After a few years of extra classes, volunteering, and EMT work I made it to PA school (class of 08). I'm very happy I chose the PA route, since I'd still be in a low-paying residency right now. Zein and I were planning to be working in Turkey in November to provide medical/psychiatric care to few of the one million-plus Syrian refugees as an international support effort, but our medical volunteer trip has been cancelled due to safety risk reasons. If anyone has been following the news in Turkey/Syria it is clear why now would not be a good time to be near the border. Hopefully we can return when things stabilize. I hope you are well! Best wishes, Scott.”
Dr. Cynthia Lewis with some of her advisees at Dr. Bennett's Memorial Service.
Daniel Calac, MD
Daniel Calac, M.D., Entering Class of 1995, Harvard University Medical School, Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program at University of Southern California
As a child growing up on the Pauma Indian Reservation, Daniel Calac, M.D., remembers the dirt. Literally.
“It was a small community, where everyone knew everyone and dirt was my best friend,” recalls the 2014 American Indian Heritage Month Local Hero. “Playing outside, that’s all there was—dirt, rock and sagebrush. I spent 18 years of my life there, and it was pretty rural and isolated before the big boom of the '80s.”
When not outdoors, playing with friends, Calac discovered he had a penchant for science, and would spend hours lost in scientific reading and discovery.
“Science has always been fascinating to me,” he admits. “Perhaps it’s the unknown of it that sparked my interest, but I spent a lot of time on the reservation looking up at the stars. There was a small library at my school, Pauma Valley Elementary, which is just off the reservation. I was always reading astronomy books there, checking out two or three books at a time. I was intrigued by the beauty of exploring unknown frontiers.”
His curiosity for science soon developed into pursuit of a career in medicine, buoyed by his mother, a nurse.
“The motivation for any physician stems from a desire to help the population as a whole,” he says. “For me it was probably also the exposure to the medical field through my mother and seeing her as a nurse and being surrounded by medical equipment. That coupled with my early predilection for earth and life sciences, and a very strong work ethic, led me to pursue a medical career.”
Calac credits his maternal grandfather with instilling in him a keen desire to work hard, something he carries to this day. He remembers doing chores for his grandfather, like burning trash, cutting the lawn and pulling weeds. As the oldest grandchild, he is grateful for the time he got to spend with him.
“My grandfather lived ten miles away, and was the most influential male role model that I have because of his work ethic,” says Calac. “He taught me to apply myself and know how to work. A lot of people aren’t taught how to work. The ability to stay on task, complete a task and stay busy all the time. People who know how to work always have to give more and push themselves to do so.”
Calac earned his medical degree from Harvard University Medical School, and did his residency at the Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program at University of Southern California.
Today, he is the Chief Medical Officer for the Indian Health Council, Inc. (IHC), a consortium of nine tribes, including Inaja-Cosmit, La Jolla, Los Coyotes, Mesa Grande, Pala, Pauma, Rincon, San Pasqual, and Santa Ysabel. Offering an array of on-site and outreach services and programs to the North San Diego County reservations, it is committed to improving the health and well-being of the American Indian community. Oh, and it’s where his mother works, too.
“My mother, Esther Calac-Heller, was a role model to me,” he explains. “She is semi-retired, but still works here at the clinic,” Calac explains. “Working with her is great, and a wonderful opportunity to share time with her, from a familial sense and also, professionally.”
With an annual budget of approximately $20 million, the IHC sees 20,000 patients per year, according to Calac.
“We have 140 employees, including 34 medical staff,” Calac explains. “We try to educate as much as possible on healthy lifestyles, and we make ourselves available to our patients. There’s a big push for healthy living and fitness, not only from the government, but from clinics likes ours as well.”
Calac also lends his expertise to other organizations, such as Cal State University San Marcos, where he serves on the Foundation Board, and California Native American Research Center for Health, where he helps coordinate and mentors students conducting research for the center. He also serves on a Committee for the Native American Child Health, a group of pediatricians who perform site visits and provide advocacy for children.
Calac sees obesity as one of the biggest health issues facing American Indians today.
“The goal of the clinic is to really look at obesity and offer preventive care,” he notes. “Historically we’re not overweight. It’s something that’s been born out of the food industry. You can definitely see the links between food, the oppression, societal trauma, and the way Native Americans are treated. We used to eat federal government subsidies sent in the form of plain-labeled, generic canned food—peaches and pears, huge blocks of Velveeta cheese and frozen food. It’s been an ongoing running joke. Growing up, my mom had a garden so we had fresh fruit and vegetables, but no one really wants to have a garden if you’re depressed and unemployed. There are definitely some struggles that led to where we are today in terms of obesity.”
Calac, who has been married 23 years to wife, Jacqueline, and has four children, thinks of a storybook character when considering his legacy and the future of the IHC.
“I’m like Willy Wonka,” says the 48 year old. “He was successful with his chocolate factory and needed to find an heir. That’s my mission, to find an heir. To have a program of good medical care, that promotes and uplifts Native American families and continues the process into the next generation. I have another 20 years to find an heir or replacement, but that’ll be the tricky part.”
Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success Stories: email@example.com
question of the month... see Facebook, Notes tab
By Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD
"I am collecting my letters of recommendations for medical school. Who do I ask?" 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Newsletter Question' in the subject line.
lewis associates advising
Lewis Associates specializes in personal, effective and professional
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applicants. Often, non-traditional students are older than 21 years
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for admission to health professions school.
Lewis Associates' services meet the needs of all types of students from
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