Lewis Associates
Lewis Associates
Subscribe to Newsletter Order Brochure
Go To Book Recommendations

Pay your bill online with PayPal

Subscribe to our Monthly e-Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Search Newsletter Archives

    Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

    Volume 4 Issue 7
    July 2005

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

    What's inside:
    Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

    Important News: Recruiting physicians from Generation X; Do you Trust Your Advisor?

    Useful Links: MCATs, GPAs and Medical School Acceptance

    Dates and Reminders: IMPORTANT FREE WORKSHOP July 26--How to beat test anxiety especially for August MCAT takers

    Success Story of the Month: Liana Olszewski Au and Ariel Chairez

    Question of the Month – AMCAS disclosure and Secondary Applications

    Our Services


    Welcome to Lewis Associates!

    July is the month when your application should be SUBMITTED or you should already be receiving secondaries....and pondering how to respond! As I predicted, based on the "speedy" turnaround with medical/dental/etc. school online applications last year, this year looks like it will be a whirlwind. So get ready to ride the tornado...or roller coaster, as I like to call it... for the Class of 2006.

    89% of our Class of 2005 applicants have been accepted, and are hearing from some last minutes programs.

    Our 29 Class of 2005 applicants have interviewed at 175 schools. That is more than 6 interviews per applicant! Schools include the Texas schools, Harvard, Vanderbilt, Hawaii, UCLA, UCSF (and MANY more). This year's applicants have been accepted to many schools, including Drexel and George Washington Medical Schools; Western University and NOVA Southeastern Osteopathic Medical Schools; UCLA, Mayo and Baylor's MSTP program; Boston University and Case Western Dental Schools; USC and Penn State/Jefferson BA-MD program; and several MPH, Postbaccalaureate, and MS programs. This year a Naturopathic applicant was accepted into her first choice program--National University of Naturopathic Medicine!... and the list goes on!

    In order to be a competitive applicant, you need to submit a quality application in a timely fashion as evaluated by your clinical, service and other experiences and your GPA/MCAT/DAT/GRE, etc. profile---this requires a well-thought out strategy to carry you through the difficult application process. You should complete all secondary applications and submit your letter packets to complete your files at all your schools by October at the latest. Your competition did! Don't forget that once your application is submitted…even if ALL transcripts are already received at the application service, it may take up to 6 weeks to verify and process it!!!!

    This is the most intense time you will experience as a pre-health student. It is a roller coaster ride. Let us know how we can assist you.... sooner is now!

    Class of 2006 applicants, we are now running out of time....a very precious commodity: Time to plan, to locate and use new opportunities, time to live up to your potential! Many times, I locate clinical or service experiences for my Advisees…but they need the time to DO them!

    For those who choose to wait to begin these tasks in June, or even later, you do yourself a big disfavor. Who do YOU know who can whip out an essay in a week on top of gathering many letters of recommendation (remember that the writers may not be at your beck and call, nor even be in the US when you get around to asking them) and developing your experiences, while deciding if you need to take the MCAT or DAT in the summer?---these tasks hold your future in the balance!

    If you are serious about making your dreams to become a physician, dentist, Physician Assistant, veterinarian, optometrist or pharmacist a reality --- Lewis Associates can help you. We have made the difference for over 700 alumni now practicing in medicine during the last 20 years.

    What are your chances?

    If you want to change your career or reach your new career goal, but do not know how to begin or how to jump over all those hurdles, Lewis Associates will implement strategies to change your life. Read about it in our newsletter and website, then phone or email us directly to get started with your personal Assessment!

    You may be like our 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. 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.

    Dr. Lewis teaches Professionalism, Leadership, and Quality, and sets high standards for her Advisees.

    Lewis Associates will save you money and heartache on your application process.

    Contact the experts! For more information email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com or call 805-226-9669 and ask to set up your first appointment.

    From Liana (Olszewski) Au on July 13, 2005:"I wanted to thank you so much for all the help you gave me as I was applying for medical school. I am in the med school of my dreams and having the time of my life! Your efforts are truly appreciated and I am excited for all of your clients who get to feel the same joy I feel to finally be here living the dream."

    n e w s & l i n k s


Recruiting physicians from Generation X (Healthleaders)
Physicians from Generation X-commonly defined as those born between 1965 and 1980-are using different criteria for choosing their employers than their workaholic baby boomer predecessors. Gone are the days when young doctors put dollars and prestige on top of the list.

From Director of AMCAS 6/30/05:
The question is, "In what order should applicants enter their experiences?"
In the old AMCAS, 2005 and prior years, the software automatically sorted experiences by ascending chronological order, regardless of the order in which the applicant entered the experiences. The applicant then had the opportunity to sort them by type. In the new AMCAS, the system automatically sorts by chronological order, oldest to most recent within the application and most recent to oldest on the print out, and it does not provide any sorting options. These differences between the old and new AMCAS applications, and between the on-screen view and the printed application in the new AMCAS, are causing confusion.

In the medical schools' AMCAS software, the schools have the ability to sort by date and sort by type. They also have the option of exporting the data into their own systems, in which they can sort in any way they choose. Therefore, applicants should not be concerned about the order in which they enter their experiences.

Do You Trust your Advisor?
An Advisor pondered to a national listserv recently: "Do our students take our advice?"

"That seems to be based on factors like whether students know us well, we have a good reputation among peers, others on campus back up what we say, they see us for advice, and are open to taking advice. I have found that working with students closely over their first 3 years and getting to know them well is the best way to help them understand what they need. At a small school, I can do this. I know that this is not likely in larger schools. I often use stories of other successful applicants from our school and what scores, grades, and other attributes they have needed to be accepted. It is an interesting job that advisors have because it often comes to whether students believe us…"

Dr. Lewis' 2 cents: I believe Advisors earn the trust and respect of Advisees...generally it is personal trust, sometimes it is by referral of a trusted friend or family member. And, that ANY effective advising is PERSONAL advising.

    L I N K S :

    Great Charts from UC Berkeley and Cornell to compare MCAT scores with GPA's for accepted applicants from their schools:


    d a t e s   &   r e m i n d e r s

    Worried about the August MCAT?

    Dr. Brian Alman's FREE workshop especially for August 2005 MCAT and other test takers!
    How to beat anxiety of the MCAT, DAT and other tests…

    Dr. Alman will be coming to UC San Diego School of Medicine to give a workshop co-sponsored by the CUHRE students (San Diego State University) and Dr. Lewis on July 26. The workshop will take place in Garren Auditorium on the UC San Diego Campus at 7PM. Download the flyer or email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com for more information.

    Through 25 years of helping students faced with difficult tests that could make or break their careers, Dr. Brian Alman has found some simple strategies that allowed students to cope well and successfully pass their tests. He has also learned the consistent behaviors that caused students to test badly. Everyone feels performance stress but how one copes does effect the results. One needs to learn how to block negative thoughts, use breathing exercises, gain better perspectives of situations and learnt how to utilize self-support approaches. These strategies can generally be described as gaining a sense of control over the situation (as compared to the strategies that fail are associated with a sense of losing control). It's the difference between feeling relaxed and confident as opposed to rushing, allowing negative thoughts to interrupt concentration, or finding that stress controls those thoughts.

    I work with so many students who have significant fears and anxieties…about their abilities, their goals, their future. I believe that Dr. Brian Alman's self-hypnosis tools can be extremely valuable to you. In fact, I am using Dr. Alman for my own weight loss and stress management. Dr. Alman is the author of 5 self-help books. His newest book is called, Keep It Off (Dutton 2005). He is in private practice in Encintas, California and he has taught workshops to Harvard Medical School, Kaiser Permanente Positive Choice Wellness Center, Scripps Clinic, University of California, University of Paris, etc.

    s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
    by Dr. Cynthia Lewis

    Liana Olszewski Au Class of 2003

    June 13, 2005:

    "Hi Dr. Lewis,
    Sorry I haven't been good at keeping in touch, but med school has been so busy! Just wanted to update you on what I've been up to. I did matriculate last year, and just finished my first year at University of Hawaii! I can't believe how fast it went! But I LOVE medical school... it is very intense, but so interesting, and learning is tons of fun. We just finished our finals this week and I passed all my Units this year :) The PBL system has been wonderful, and makes learning a lot more interactive and uses a style that makes us think like doctors. In addition, UH implemented the Basic Sciences Foundation Series 2 years ago, so that we don't miss a lot of ground when going through the Health care problems. We have had TONS of clinical experiences, and my last preceptor even commented that I am like a 3rd year when seeing and presenting patients :) I wouldn't go that far though... I know I need to work on my patient presentations and write ups a lot more... although I know that will become more refined with time.

    Being married and in medical school has worked out really well. Kalani is doing his undergrad work and recently decided that he wants to go to dental school. He has always wanted to go into the dental field, but recently made up his mind that he wants to go for the long haul. It is fun when we get to study together and talk about things we're learning. He is very supportive and is a wonderful cook :) No children yet, but possibly sometime in the near future. We have been blessed financially to get a lot of scholarships and financial aid this year... I finally took the time to apply for a lot of scholarships and ended up getting a bunch! This summer I am doing a research project on asthma with a Native Hawaiian Health organization, and I will also be doing my clinical skills preceptorship with a family practitioner here in Hawaii. Soon, I will start studying for the USMLE Step I that will be coming up before I know it. Most likely, I will go into FP or Internal Medicine, but I'm still trying to find out whether or not I want to work with kids.

    Liana's White Coat Ceremony at UHI

    Anyway, I wanted to thank you so much for all the help you gave me as I was applying for medical school. I am in the med school of my dreams and having the time of my life! Your efforts are truly appreciated and I am excited for all of your clients who get to feel the same joy I feel to finally be here living the dream :)

    Mahalo Nui Loa,
    Liana (Olszewski) Au"

    Liana's story
    Liana was born in Aiea, Oahu, Hawaii, a middle-sized city. Her Filipino mother retired as a civilian secretary working for the Army in 1998 and is a certified Nurse Assistant. Her Polish father retired in 1988 as a civilian computer systems analyst working for the Army; he died in 2000. Liana’s mother is Mormon and her father was Catholic; the Mormon religion has played an important part in her life. Liana took ballet and hula lessons from ages 3 to 6 and from 4th –10th grades she was in a dance performance group.

    When Liana was 7 years old, the family moved to the Philippines near Manilla after her father retired from the military. In 1990, there was a 7.7 Richter scale earthquake near Manilla; many died and her family was evacuated to the Subic Bay military base before they moved to Guadalajara, Mexico. Her parents separated when her father was jailed for abusive behavior. Liana moved with her mother back to Hawaii to stay with her maternal grandparents. When her father left jail and, he immigrated to Texas, California, then to Hawaii when Liana was age 10 to re-unite with her family and restart a new life together.

    Liana attended a Catholic girls’ school through first grade in Aiea. In the Philippines, she attended a small Episcopal International School, which taught in English through 3rd grade. In Guadalajara, she attended the American School of Guadalajara for 4th grade, and took Spanish classes. Back in Hawaii, she completed 4th through 6th grades at a Catholic coed school where she liked math, sciences and writing, but lost interest in reading. She attended a small Catholic Girls’ School from 7th through 10th grades in Hawaii and joined the National Junior Honor Society, was on the math team and loved math and science. Liana was on the JV basketball team from 7th-10th grades in Hawaii, and on her varsity team in the Philippines 11-12th grades.

    Liana’s family returned to Baguio in the Philippines when she began 11th grade so she could attend the International Baccalaureate Program at the International school where she attended elementary school; there were 13 students in her class year. It was a rigorous academic course; creativity, activity and service were also part of the IB program.

    Liana’s father was very supportive of her early goal to become a doctor and offered her $1000 for her over 1000 hours of volunteer work and perfect attendance from Kindergarten through high school graduation. She took this task very seriously and earned this reward. Liana graduated in 1999, with a strong GPA. She is the only person in her primary family to graduate from college.

    Liana selected UC San Diego and lived with her father in an apartment before she entered UCSD to help acclimatize to San Diego. Her mother stayed in Hawaii to care for her own parents who are elderly. Her father became very ill in early 2000 and moved to Hawaii so Liana's mother could care for him. In August, Liana visited her father in Hawaii and he died in September. She took only two days from school to attend his funeral; it was a difficult decision whether or not to miss school since he so encouraged her to keep perfect attendance. Liana earned Provost’s Honors and strong grades.

    Liana volunteered at local hospitals in Hawaii during 9-10th grades and at the Franciscan Adult Day Care. She has been active in Mormon Church service projects for most of her life, including feeding the homeless. She was the only volunteer/observer in a Filipino teaching hospital over two years during high school, rotating through all departments. In Baguio, she went on Catholic mission service projects to help fundraising and saw 3rd World medicine in rural areas, including working in an Alzheimer’s disease unit. She volunteered at a local hospital ICU during college.

    At about age 3, Liana decided she wanted to be a doctor and felt “chosen” for this purpose. Her father was very supportive of her goal to become a doctor. She wanted to help heal people and focused on community service her entire life.

    I observed Liana mature over two years. She grew from a motivated altruistic young woman into a serious premedical student and leader. She became a leader in the AED premedical honor society and in the Hawaii Club at UCSD, and took interesting opportunities that suited her personality, including the Homeless clinic and doing medical outreach in Mexico. She took all these activities very seriously.

    Liana has overcome social, financial and cultural disadvantages. There were abusive situations at home, but Liana’s father was an important motivator in her life, and when he died, maintaining focus on her postgraduate goals and a career in medicine was more difficult. Liana has a wonderful multicultural perspective with Third World medicine experience that is uncommon for many young premedical students. She is committed to practicing medicine at “home” in rural Hawaii and is committed to working with the disadvantaged. She is now attending medical school at the University of Hawaii.

    Update: July 11, 2005
    "Hi Dr. Lewis,
    My summer's going fine so far; I'm coming along with my asthma research and almost finished following a family practitioner. I really like Family Practice and the options it gives you. But I really loved the problem-based curriculum these past 2 years. Things really stick in my brain better when you can relate basic science concepts and disease processes to names and health care problems that we work through. I love our new campus. It is right next to the beach and so beautiful! It is nice; now we have everything all in one place: our health sciences library, medical bookstore, cafeteria, clinical skills learning center with simulated patients, numerous tutorial rooms each with projectors and hook ups, and lots of other neat things...

    I hope all is well with you and your current students are working hard!
    Take care,

    Update: Ariel Chairez Class of 2004

    Perhaps you realize that none of us get to where we are in life without mentors, teachers, advisors, supporters. . . and usually there are several. An update to give a bit more information about Ariel Chairez' journey (see Success Story from July 2004)

    During Ariel's post-baccalaureate year when he participated in the University of California, San Diego School Of Medicine (UCSD SOM) Conditional Acceptance Program, he handled a heavy load of science classes and participated in a Cognitive Strategies Instruction Program which complemented his work in the science classes while helping him develop his learning, study, and time management skills. Meeting the demands of the combined program helped Ariel learn to handle large volumes of science materials in short periods of time. Ariel's mastery of these skills resulted in an increase in his science GPA from a 2.8 to a 3.6 post-bac science GPA while taking only upper division science courses at UCSD. The combined efforts of this program, supported by the director, his instructors, advisors, and fellow participants, helped Ariel build the foundation he needed as he prepared to apply to medical school.

    I helped Ariel continue to strengthen his learning skills during his year of re-application and provided assistance with completing all secondary applications. We added schools to his list of applications, two of which offered him substantial scholarships in 2004! With my help, he demonstrated that his 2.8 science, 3.0 overall and 3.6 post-bac science GPA (an upward trend), MCAT score, social commitment to the Mexican American and underserved communities and leadership made him a competitive applicant. Because he developed his leadership skills and engaged in community service at the expense of maintaining academic strength, I helped him see that our most important goals were to improve study habits, manage his time, and prioritize and learn how to use assistance and resources effectively. Outcome: Ariel is attending the University of Wisconsin Medical school on a scholarship, entering his second year next fall.

    Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success Stories: drlewis@lewisassoc.com

q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD

An applicant attended a community college for his associate's degree, and then, enrolled at a local university expecting to finish his degree there. A week into the semester, September 11 hit, and since he is an EMT, he was deployed into Manhattan for lengthy periods of time. As a result, he withdrew from that school by the second week of September. He subsequently transferred and is due to graduate with a solid 3.8 GPA factoring all schools.
Question: Does he need to list that fall 2001 semester school on his AMCAS application?

Yes, FOLLOW THE AMCAS INSTRUCTIONS. Otherwise, he is academically dishonest. The AMCAS Help menu is clear on this one: "Enter the colleges you have attended. . .Misrepresentation or omissions will prompt an investigation. List every post-secondary institution where you were enrolled for at least one course, even if credits have been transferred, no credits were earned, or you withdrew."

Question: Should I begin to prepare or submit online secondaries to medical school even though the school has not yet requested my response?

There is NO downside to preparing in advance. EVERY school will want to know explicitly and specifically why you applied to them! Do not be vague; you MUST research the mission statement, curriculum and special programs and facilities at each of these schools...this takes MUCH time. Yes,...start NOW.

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 23 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.

Go to Movie Page Go to Newsletter Archive