Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 4 Issue 9
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
100% Acceptance Rate for Class of
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
Read Misty Richards' Class of 2005 Comments
Improving Sleep ; Scholarship Opportunities for Health Professions students
Dates and Reminders:
Stress Reduction Workshop in Del Mar September 20
of the Month: Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara's Dr. Daniel
Peters; Update on Liana Au from the University of Hawaii
the Month: How do I prepare to answer secondary applications?
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
September is generally a new beginning for students…the month when
fall terms start and hopes are at their highest. For years, I have seen students
come into my office with the greatest of dreams in September, lots of energy,
then when first exams hit and those scores are seen, they may not have used
all appropriate resources or managed their time and talents well, it comes
crashing down. If you wish advising about how to do well academically. . .
we can put you on the right path.
September for Class of 2006 applicants is when your application should be
SUBMITTED (you are now officially LATE!) and you should be
responding to secondaries! 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.
Our first Class of 2006 applicants are now interviewing!!!
Congratulations to Michael Nevarez, Ashley Pistorio, Danielle Acosta, Setu
Trivedi and Nat Kittisarapong!! YAY!!
100% of our Class of 2005 applicants have now
We are proud to tell our readers that as of last week, our last Class of 2005
applicant was accepted off the waitlist at the MS program school where he
just completed his thesis. Sooooo. . . 100%
of our Class of 2005 applicants have now been accepted!
From Class of 2005 Misty Richards on August 22, 2005: "How
are you? I just wanted to thank you for everything you have done for me. From
day one, you have always believed in me--you have always told me that I would
be a doctor someday. Well, you were right (as always) and I appreciate the
much needed encouragement and support you have given me. Not only were you
my advisor, you were my friend and confidante. Thank you for that. I hope
things are going well for you in beautiful and sunny San Diego. You are so
lucky! I am excited to attend Albany Medical School next
week and also a bit nervous. I am ready, though! I have never missed school
more than now -- the working world is tough! Anyway, I will keep in touch
and contact you as soon as I know my new address and contact information.
You are the best! -Misty"
Maybe we can get Misty's Success story told in the next couple of months.
. . everyone has challenges and I think it helps to see how your peers overcame
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 that roller coaster ride I mentioned. 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!
Class of 2007 applicants--you still have TIME to prepare
and plan well. . . and we can help you sidestep mistakes and jump over roadblocks
that everyone seems to face.
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
Contact the experts! For more information email email@example.com
or call 805-226-9669 and ask to set up your first appointment.
n e w s & l i n k s
N E W S
Getting Help; Essential but Uncommon Knowledge: Patients Have Many
Rights. Just Ask. (New York Times)
You can refuse treatment. You can almost always leave when you are ready to.
You can demand to know the name of anyone who enters your room. You may be
able to have better food - and even wine - brought in from outside. In many
cases, you can ditch the hospital gown and wear your own clothes. More
In the Hospital, a Degrading Shift From Person to Patient
(New York Times)
Mary Duffy was lying in bed half-asleep on the morning after her breast cancer
surgery in February when a group of white-coated strangers filed into her
Without a word, one of them - a man - leaned over Ms. Duffy, pulled back her
blanket, and stripped her nightgown from her shoulders. More
L I N K S :
Improving Sleep: A guide to a good night's rest
Sleep is a necessity that no person can do without. Yet for many people, it
doesn't come without numerous challenges. Improving Sleep: A guide to
a good night's rest provides in-depth information on the biology of sleep,
the factors that can disturb sleep, what you can do to get a good night's
sleep, and sleep disorders, including restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy,
and sleep apnea.
Scholarship Opportunities for Heath Professions students
The NHSC offers a competitive scholarship program designed for students committed
to providing primary health care in communities of greatest need. Scholarship
recipients serve where they are most needed upon completion of their training.
d a t e s & r e m i n d e r s
s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis
Dr. Daniel Peters
Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, 5th Pathway
"My class was 1992. Born and raised in North Palm Beach, Florida I was
a straight A student until high school. Concentrating on surfing and soccer
(was going to play in college but did not), I sort of lived out an irresponsible
youth much to my advantage (I feel). I grew up fast under the guidance of
my older brother Michael with whom I am very close. . . tried most "bad"
things so that I had experienced them and knew what it was all about.
I am a second generation Italian-American with my mother from Pittsburgh,
PA (Chiappetta was their name and she had 10 brothers/sisters) and my father
from New Jersey (originally Petrucelli, he changed to Peters along with his
brother for a "better professional career in America"). They met
at Temple University in the 1950's while my mother was studying nursing and
my father dentistry. They married, went to Chicago where my father completed
Orthodontia training before joining his only brother (and the only other one
on his side of family to change his name) in practice in South Florida. That
was 1961. I was born in 1969 and have a sister (born 1962, VP for Solomon
Brothers in Atlanta, Columbia University MBA) and a brother (born 1964, BFA
from U. of Florida, former elementary school art teacher, works in Real Estate
with our mother). My mother, 12 years younger than my father, was active in
fund raising/church/community eventually got into real estate as a bored housewife
with her best friend after she got divorced (rare in our neighborhood at that
time) in 1976. She went on to own the business with 3 girlfriends 2 years
later for the next 25 years; it was the most successful women-owned business
in FL. They sold the business, and my brother and mom still work non-stop
while my father retired in 1995 and gardens/reads daily. In 1994 my mother
had an acoustic neuroma removed and was out for 6weeks. Now my family is all
in good health, thank God.
After attending Catholic grade school, I went to college in St. Augustine
Florida (Flagler College) for 1.5 years before going to San Diego State University.
I always wanted to go West (surf, new people, etc.) so as not to keep associating
with the same people or ultimately attend U. of Florida/FSU/U. of Miami. There
are 4 Catholic grade schools that ultimately join to the high school. . .
all the same people. Anyway, I went to Flagler, took all my pre-requisites
and earned straight A's. . . I took all the science classes (thought I wanted
to be a biologist, did not think I had what it took to be a doctor--Pediatrics
appealed as I had great respect for my Pediatrician/family friend) and prepared
to transfer without my parents knowing. . . when I got accepted to SDSU/USD/UCSB,
I presented the opportunity to my parents and sold them on how inexpensive
it would be. . . I had never been west of Tennessee at that point (1989).
They bought it.
I packed my car, headed with a family friend to Northern Georgia where my
brother got married, and then proceeded to SDSU where I took calculus and
chemistry to "get a head start" on my now "pre-med" academic
career. I did well, and though I lived in South Mission Beach with lots of
"partying" around me, I was over it and focused on my studies and
the wonderful surf of Southern California. I got a job at Scripps La Jolla
as an orderly in radiology (patient transport) where I really came to realize
and appreciate the stories of patients and the confidence they could develop
in me even as an orderly bringing them to tests (explaining things, helping
the techs perform studies, etc.). I would later take interest in the pathology,
medicine, and the 'trauma service' as I was eventually promoted to trauma
tech helping transport patients from trauma hawk to the trauma room and ultimately
developing films (getting c-spine films cleared by radiologist, processing
films, really being a part of an important team). This extracurricular activity
affirmed my conviction to study medicine. In high school I was known as that
goof-off, soccer star surfer. I was the guy that people knew would do something
important, but really was quiet on the periphery. (I did not get a high school
superlative, did not want one, or the attention.)
Well, this is where your memory may come into play (meaning--Dr. Lewis!):
I was at pre-med at SDSU from 1989-1992 (lost a year in transfer), biology
was my major and I did pretty well (3.51 GPA overall and 3.7 in my major if
I recall correctly), but did not test well and got average MCAT scores despite
prep courses. I was in clubs, worked, and in 1991 went to work with Dr. Paolini
harvesting rabbits. I worked with Dr. Sabbadini also and still keep in touch
with him to this day. Well, when the time came, I was not deemed a "good
candidate" for medical school and you tried to help me realize that;
I don't recall offshore schooling being an option at that time. Despite your
guidance to strengthen my application, take post-bac courses, and retake the
MCAT, I applied as a California resident and got only one interview (Penn
State, probably because I have more than 15 family alums there). I did not
Something I remember distinctly from that time: I was a TA in physics and
had helped many classmates succeed. As I watched a girl "that I helped
get through physics" go to Harvard, I reflected on my Italian heritage
that my father abandoned so that he could go forward. . . I was "not
smart enough" to go to medical school, I thought. This was a tough time
for me, a time that actually made me more determined. At this point, I started
to build on 2 second cousins, Petrucelli's who studied in Guadalajara (UAG)
in the 1970s. They went on to be orthopedic surgeons and ER MDs. . . I only
thought about UAG at that time.
So, under the advice of family friend who was also Dean of Students at UF
School of Medicine, I finished my work Sharp-Rees Stealy with Paolini, and
in December 1992, I moved back to Florida. I moved to Gainesville and enrolled
in Post-Bac classes, re-established state residency, and got a job as Senior
Lab Tech in Pediatric Cardiology building on my expertise I developed with
Paolini and Sabadini for the next year. I worked closely with the UF Admissions
Committee, and they did not feel like I would be a good candidate for that
next year 1994. (I applied to Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, got accepted,
and deferred). I was active with the student body, helped the Alpha Epsilon
Delta Chapter there ( I was SDSU member with Dr. Lewis who established the
SDSU chapter), and developed an interest as a political lobbyist (State and
DC), and ultimately in public health. Sad, as I was alone in a college town
with most people I knew there long gone, I applied to GW MD/MPH program and
got conditionally accepted. . . based on new MCAT scores (took it 3 times),
but they wanted me to do the MPH first. I did, earned a 4.0 GPA with multiple
honors and developed relationships with faculty who had joint appointments
in the medical school to no avail: "This year we have so many well qualified
applicants, re-apply for next year." I was upset, had it out with the
MD, MPH program director who recruited me. That was 1995. I chose the 2-year
track to really take away from the program the essentials; there were lots
of people in my place (med student wannabes) who opted for the one year track,
to better their records for medical school. . . they came and went. I loved
public health, its principles and the potential to travel (something most
people love). I envisioned working for the CDC abroad. My track was international
health promotion and disease prevention. . . I completed in 2001 because before
I left to Guadalajara, my thesis--carried out in Viet Nam helping ex-sex workers
deliver safe sex messages and condoms in the bars and brothels--was in the
data collection phase. It was lost as I tried to keep lines open from Mexico
and the NGO in DC went under.
So, at UAG I did well! I played soccer and captained the medical school soccer
team and won 3 university titles (an "American team"). Studied hard
and traveled around the country, surfing and studying at the beach. Went on
medical mission in Chiapas, etc.
Once I finished, I went to the Fifth pathway at New York Medical College (I
was at South Shore Medical Center) doing a year of US medicine. Got my first
match at Mt. Sinai Medical Center on Miami Beach where I did internal medicine
(I came here as a student to UM, did infectious disease--attending was program
director, fellow at time was ex-chief resident at Mt. Sinai and this helped
me greatly as I excelled). I finished and am now doing Infectious Disease.
Infectious Disease studies disease that can be cured like STD's as opposed
to oncology where you just prolong life with "other toxic substances".
In short, persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. . . Mexico was
the best thing that I could have done, by the way. I am fluent in Spanish
Note: Dan plans to go back to Palm Beach where he is from to enter private
practice next year!
Dr. Lewis recalls meeting with Dr. Peters while she was visiting UAG while
he was a student and having a great conversation.
Update: Liana Olszewski Au
(Read the Success
July 11, 2005:
"Hi Dr. Lewis,
My summer's going good 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 this past year. (Actually
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."
Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate
about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success
q u e s t i o n o f t h e m o n t h
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.
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD
How do I prepare to answer all those probing questions
on the secondary applications? There seems to be hundreds of them!!
Well, if you think that writing the AMCAS
or AACOMAS or AADSAS, etc. primary personal statement essay was tough. . .
wait till you get to the secondaries.
My fondest recollection is of one of my alumni who now practices physical
medicine in Minnesota. We had a potluck each May with the applying class and
those who had already applied when I was the university Pre-health Advisor.
This applicant brought the pile of 50 secondary applications she had completed
with her to the potluck. . . and dropped them---BAM!! Like a bomb on the table.
. . got everyone's attention!!!
I advise writing a 5-10 page autobiography
of all the important parts of your life (it can be longer if you enjoy writing).
This should not just be focused on your interest in medicine, as you will
be asked probing questions like: How have you dealt with a personal difficulty/challenge?
What are your weaknesses? Who is the most important person in your life? Beyond
these probing questions, you will need to "do your homework" about the curriculum,
the programs, the faculty, the facilities and importantly, the Mission Statement
of each school where you submit your secondary. Generally, they ask, "Why
have you applied to us?" or. . . "What makes you think you are a good match
for our school?" Their questions may be slightly less pointed, but these are
the real questions to answer.
Make sure you read their Mission Statement and read all about them on their
website, talk to their alumni and if you can, current students and faculty.
. . even admissions staff or other administrators. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!
Students generally do NOT do a good job relating how their personal track
record fits with each school's interests and how their programs relate to
the applicant's specific background. . . If you wish to be competitive, this
is what you must do!! Personalize your answers directly to them!
Imagine you are actually talking face to face with the Dean of Admissions
and telling him/her why you match THEIR school! Do NOT give empty platitudes
about reputation or quality of program! Be specific.
lewis associates advising
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
"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
Call or email today to set your first appointment!
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