Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 4 Issue 12
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
Lewis Associates Will Focus on Specific Advising Packages in 2006; Medical
Schools to Expand
Johns Hopkins Summer Courses; New Public Health Site
Alumni Updates: See what
graduates and alumni are doing now
Dates and Reminders:
Computerized MCAT; Georgetown Programs
of the Month: Dr. Christie Martinez
the Month: What courses should I take?
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
December means all those holidays--Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaaa--are
imminent. Of course that also means finals are upon us. If you are taking
classes, you may be studying for finals right now, a stressful time.
Class of 2006 applicants should be responding to secondaries and interviewing!
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.
Class of 2006 applicants, 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!
We are proud that 75% of our Class of 2006 applicants are now interviewing,
10 have been accepted to date and we have 2 applicants interviewing at Harvard
Medical school this month! !
100% of our Class of
2005 applicants were accepted! Not to mention 100% of
our Class of 2004 were also accepted.
Class of 2007 applicants: We are preparing for your applications to
be submitted early next summer. We have some 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 you need the time to DO them! We can help you sidestep the mistakes
and jump over roadblocks that everyone seems to face.
In order to be a competitive Class of 2007 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 year-long
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!
We spend 7 hours working to develop an effective strategy of taking you from
where you are to where you want to be.
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. Maybe you wish
to use our hourly advising to solve a 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.
If you are serious about making your dreams to become a physician,
dentist, Physician Assistant, veterinarian, optometrist, podiatrist, naturopathic
physician, 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Lewis Associates Changing Focus
Dr. Lewis will be moving her office from San Diego to the central coast of
California winter 2006/7 and refocusing her Advising Practice to address your
specialized needs in essay writing, interviewing, and Personal Assessments.
From Dr. Lewis:
"I will be taking new preparation and
application year Class of 2007 and 2008 Advisees only through December 31,
2005. We are booked for appointments through the end of 2005 already,
but if you make your appointment in December for January 2006, I will honor
my commitment to a long term advising package for you. After that, I
will provide the same high quality of Advising for new Personal Assessments,
application essay packages, interview packages, and hourly advising.
I am adding 2 new packages: Personal
Assessment for Re-applicants and Preparation
of the Medical Residency Essay. This refocus allows me to write some books
about my Alumni among other things."
Services and Prices
will change after December 31, 2005.
From a current Class of 2006 Advisee (re-applicant now accepted):
"Hi Dr. Lewis,
OK, now that I have a moment to think. . . Wow. That message sent about your
move toward retirement was a surprise. Silly me, thinking you'd be around
As sad as I feel that you will be phasing out your long-term services to all
of the hopeful applicants out there, I am definitely the first to understand
the need to let your life go where you need it to. I think it's just great
that you will be giving yourself the time to reflect and write a couple of
books. Who knows, maybe you will find a new passion in writing? You certainly
have some great stories to tell, and I think they will be a great contribution
to the lives of the readers.
Your planned life at the new house, making wine and growing olives, sounds
just wonderful! You will have to tell me all about it when you finally settle
in. Hopefully then, I will be well into my journey of med school and beyond.
We can swap new-life stories.
Thank you so much for all of the help you have given and continue to give
me in this application process. You are a good person, and I really enjoy
seeing good things happen for good people.
Take care, Ashley"
Schools May Increase Enrollment by 5000
In his final Annual Meeting address as president of the AAMC, Jordan J. Cohen,
M.D., outlined five present and future challenges facing academic medicine
that will require strong leadership from the association. The big news for
premedical students is Dr. Cohen's urging of LCME accredited medical school
to increase admission by a total of 5000 students per year!!
case highlights gap in drug system (Boston Globe)
By the time Dr. Michael Brown was arrested in August, his reputation for liberally
dispensing painkillers had earned him a nickname in law enforcement circles:
Dr. Feel Good.
Coffee reduces liver risk (CNN)
Coffee and tea may reduce the risk of serious liver damage in people who drink
alcohol too much, are overweight, or have too much iron in the blood, researchers
reported on Sunday.
Drinking May Lower Obesity Risk (Forbes)
The benefits of light to moderate drinking when it comes to heart disease
have been touted for years, but new research suggests it may also help you
L I N K S :
Important Information about Medical Schools
Schools with higher MCAT scores have lower Family Practice matches, rural
and poverty choices and increased research choices
New Public Health Site
Interview ideas about health care issues
Human Anatomy for Undergraduates
The sixth annual summer course in Human
Anatomy for Undergraduates will be offered by the Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine this year. The course will run for four weeks in June,
2006, on the Medical School campus in Baltimore, and will include lectures
and demonstrations using human cadavers.
See other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's
a l u m n i u p d a t e s
I was blessed to meet up with many of my Alumni at the annual Association
of American Medical colleges meeting in Washington DC in early November, and
to touch base with others via email and phone. Here are a few of those connections.
| Irina Kolomy
2003 Success Story, 3rd year at Touro University
Medical School, Mare Island
White Coat ceremony photo
at the end of 2nd year classes: Irina
with son Ilan and husband Oleg
November 6 , 2005:
"Hi Dr. Lewis,
I still religiously read your newsletter every month and I just read
the announcement about your move. Sounds really exciting!!! I'm sure
there are so many people in San Diego that will really miss you and
your services. But seems like you will be doing something that you will
enjoy very much. I guess this also means that you will be closer to
I'm doing my 3rd year rotations and loving every second of them. I did
OB/GYN, 2 months of Family and 2 months of Internal Medicine so far.
Surgery is starting on Monday. It's amazing how much I've learned and
how much I can already do in such a short period or time. Next Friday,
I'm going to Washington, DC to present a poster at the Neuroscience
convention from the research that I did in Florida last summer. I'm
also starting to think (stress out) about residency programs. I saw
that you have started a residency application service. Can you please
tell me more about it. Would I still be able to do it with you if I'm
applying next year?
Ilan is already two and a half . It's very hard to believe. He started
daycare a few months ago and had a very rough time getting used to it
especially since he didn't speak any English but he seems to be doing
much better now. He is now going through the "trains" stage.
Everything we read, draw, color, sing or talk about has to do with Thomas
Well, I just wanted to say hello and wish you all the best with this
new endeavor. Hope to hear from you soon, Irina."
| Raj Daftary
February and March
2002, December 2003 Success Story, graduated
from Texas A&M Medical School
October 27, 2005
"Hi Dr. Lewis, I just started a pediatrics residency in June with
Children's National Medical Center in D.C. As you probably remember,
I have an interest in addressing health disparities and because of that,
I am currently enrolled in the combined CNMC/Howard community health
track. In general, all is well and I am looking into a career that focuses
on international health and public policy. It's still early, but we'll
see how things go.
Hope all is well.
October 2004 Success Story, 2nd year at
Johns Hopkins University Medical School
Abtin, Sara Samie (Class
2006 applicant accepted into several medical schools) and Dr.
Lewis in Washington DC.
Nov 2, 2005
"Hi!! It has been way too long since we have talked, and I must
say, it is my fault. First year was a wild ride and second year is shaping
up to be an even crazier time. There is a lot to tell, but mainly, I'm
in the top third of the class and holding my own. I spent my summer
in orthopaedics and just submitted an abstract to present at a national
conference next year. Surgery is for me, but haven't plugged in to a
specific specialty yet. I am probably going to take a year off, but
not to do research. I hope to do something in film and media. Hopkins
is great. The school is going through a big curriculum overhaul and
is pretty exciting. I will give you the insider scoop when we talk.
I hear that Lewis Associates Medical Strategies will ride off in to
the sunset in 2008. (Author's Note: No. . . We are just limiting
new advisees to assessment, essay and interview packages and hourly
advising, and adding an exciting new medical
residency package.) Although everyone is sad that you are retiring
(Note: semi-retiring!), I have to say you totally deserve it
,girlfriend! Wine country sounds like a wonderful place to be. Please
reserve some your finest Templeton Cabernet, I plan on visiting.
Dr. Tim Francisco
December 2004 Success Story, graduated
from Michigan State Osteopathic Medical School
Dr. Tim Francisco and son in Michigan
Stephanie, son and daughter.
October 12, 2005
"Hi Dr. Lewis,
It was so very nice to hear from you. I'm doing great. We had a great
summer. We actually bought a boat this spring and have been skiing all
summer. Steph and I decided that it had been long enough without being
able to ski. So we thought " whatever it takes, we're going to
get one" I actually found a 1993 Ski Nautique in great shape. It
was wonderful because I was able to teach my kids to ski. Even Kali
went skiing once in the early summer. She got scared at the end and
fell off and didn't want to ski anymore--maybe next summer.
Regarding my future plans. I thought that I was going to start an anesthesia
residency, but it turned out that they couldn't start me until 2007.
Funding was the main issue. That is just too long to wait and then try
to complete a 3 year program. I want to stay in patient care and be
a physician--that's why I went to medical school! I then decided that
I would take some refresher classes and open up my own osteopathic manipulation
practice in the winter or spring of 2006. I started volunteer teaching
at MSUCOM. I talked with some of the Attendings and discovered that
I might have problems with insurance reimbursement and possibly referral
problems from other physicians if I was not residency trained and board
We will be in San Diego next fall. I think in September as we are trying
to arrange a Sea World skier's reunion for anyone who has skied at the
San Diego show. I hope to see you then. Please let me know when the
alumni reunion will be held. I have had a lecture/discussion about my
experiences as a physician turned patient/experiences with a severe
disease and lung transplant. I would be able to talk about these experiences
if you have venue for it with your students or conferences.
Take care and please keep in touch. Tim"
d a t e s & r e m i n d e r s
TRUTH about the changes in the MCAT to help you relax. . . at least a little.
First, no final decisions have been made. However, with current plans, the
computerized MCAT does not come into place until 2007 at the earliest. It
has been tested and piloted for several years, first abroad and now in the
States, so that the kinks can be worked out. The computerized MCAT will address
some key complaints and concerns that students have had for years:
- The test is only given twice a year: With the computerized
test there will be 20 or so dates, providing you more flexibility and
the greater possibility you can prepare for the test when you are not
- The test is so long: With the computerized test, you
will spend much less time (probably 1 hours or more less) in the test.
- It takes 60 days to get the results: With the new test
you will get results in less than half the time, perhaps even in two weeks.
It should not be surprising that a Kaplan survey showed that 82% of students
felt they would perform worse on the test. There is no reason to think you
will perform worse on the test. You are all computer savvy and have been working
with computers since childhood. The MCAT staff have excellent online review
materials for a very reasonable price (www.aamc.or/mcat) that can help you
get comfortable with computer-based questions. You will have scratch paper
at the test and will be able to write if need be. You will work at your own
pace with the computerized test and not be held up by proctors who have to
collect booklets multiple times during the test date. You will have earplugs
to block out noise and not be affected by the party or Frisbee game or other
event going on outside the window. The computer will keep time, so you will
not be hurt by the clock on the test site wall that is incorrect.
The AAMC is aware of possible disadvantages to less well-off students in taking
this test. However, it will be no more true now in the past. It is mostly
because those who have the money can pay for a commercial review course that
makes them feel that they have an advantage. If anything, software to prepare
for the test will be more available and students may have preparation aids
that are less expensive. Since computers are such a large part of all our
lives, and certainly of medical students and physicians, that those aiming
for medicine should have familiarity with and access to computers. SO - RELAX.
This test will not be easy, but it will certainly be "better", computerized!
- Summer Medical Institute: June 19 - July 28 (http://gsmi.georgetown.edu)
Summer medical courses for college undergraduates and post-bacc students:
Gross Anatomy, Medical Biochemistry, Human Physiology, Microscopic Anatomy
- The Special Master's Program (http://smp.georgetown.edu)
and the Complementary & Alternative Medicine Program
will begin accepting applications on January 1, 2006. The Complementary and
Alternative Medicine Program now includes a joint offering of a MD/MS Program
for those students interested in attending Georgetown School of Medicine and
wanting to do a 1 year MS in CAM. Prospective students may email at: email@example.com.
s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis
Dr. Christie Martinez
Class of 1995, UCSF Dental Graduate
For several years, Dr. Christie Martinez has
been my personal dentist. She is also an Alumna from our Health Careers Opportunity
Program at San Diego State University. In 1995, Dr. Martinez was accepted
into UCSF Dental School and after graduation, she purchased a general dental
practice with another of my alumni, Dr. Kriston Gallipeau, and now they have
2 dental offices and have opened a new pet care business in downtown San Diego.
Quite the businesswoman!!
Dr. Martinez is also spearheading our Alumni Reunion Committee for this spring.
Here is the rest of her story from 10 years
Christie is a second-generation Filipina-American, born to middle-class Filipino
parents who immigrated to the United States in their youth. Her father joined
the US Navy and Christie's mother earned her nursing degree in the Philippines
before she moved. Christie's mother has been the Evening House Nursing Supervisor
at a local hospital for the past 25 years, is an officer in that group and
past President of the San Diego Filipino Nurses Association. Her father worked
several jobs while attending college at night to complete a degree in accounting.
The family is very involved with church activities and Christie's older brother
is a Pulmonary Lab Technician. Christie's mother is one of 12 children, and
her father has five siblings; many of them live in San Diego.
Christie has enjoyed sports since elementary school, including softball, "sluggo"
and teamball (thus, is a current season Padres ticket holder). Her junior
high school was about 80% minority; Christie was selected ASB President in
8th grade. The high school she attended was about 70% Caucasian, so there
were adjustments and new friends to make. In the autobiography Christie wrote
for me, she says, "Fitting in was hard because many of the students formed
their own cliques from the junior high they had gone to before. I became involved
in sports: softball, volleyball, and basketball where I began to form new
friendships. In 11th grade, I went out for the Varsity Cheer squad and made
it. Cheer did one thing for me: It made me feel comfortable talking in front
of large crowds. So in my senior year, I ran for the Commissioner of Public
Relations and won. I enjoyed being part of an administrative team. There is
one particular high school experience that stands out in my mind. It was having
the pleasure of being an editor, along with 19 other hand-picked people, on
the 1989-1990 Yearbook Staff. When I was chosen, I was proud, yet nervous
because Monte Vista has a reputation of producing the largest and most impressive
yearbooks in San Diego County, the whole state of California, and even the
entire United States. The new staff had a reputation to uphold. We were put
under great pressure to meet deadlines, which meant working before and after
school, weekends and even holidays. We were able to create such a large yearbook
(about 150 pages more than the average) because we were a 'camera-ready' staff.
This meant that we did everything from taking the pictures, printing them,
writing copy and arranging it all together ourselves, and what we sent to
the publishing company was exactly how it would be produced; whereas other
schools had the publishing company do everything for them.
Our method cut costs tremendously, and we were able to sell the book for a
smaller fee than all of the other schools. I learned the basics of visual
journalism, photography and, very importantly, became somewhat computer literate.
As a results of our hard work, we were awarded 'Best of Show' in the Visual
Communication exhibit at the Del Mar Fair, and were also given various awards
in State Visual Communications competitions."
By high school, most of Christie's junior high friends had dropped out of
school. She says, "It was disheartening to see my friends struggling as teen
mothers, living on welfare, and reminding myself that I would never be like
them. Two of my friends have three children now, and a few of the others now
have two. It saddens me that I drifted apart from many of these people with
whom I was once close. Even now, when I do see them, we usually only talk
about our pasts, because our futures are so different.
Christie was involved, and a leader in every pre-dental activity at San Diego
State University: Preventive Dentistry high sales award, Student Health Advisory
Board Representative, Preschool Trip Leader and Preventive Dentistry Coordinator
1992-93; Harding Pre-dental Scholarship to Northwestern University Dental
School 1993; Coordinator of Topics in Dentistry course 1993; active member
of the Pre-dental Club. She attended trips to Home of Guiding Hands and orphanages.
Dental Club workshops include: pharmacology, pain control, tooth identification,
dental structural anatomy, pedodontics, root canal treatments, tool identification,
periodontal homecare, sealants, extractions with sutures, temporaries and
composites. She has over 75 hours of dental observation.
Even when she was applying to dental school in 1995, Christie was a poised,
mature and engaging person who was comfortable during her interviews, easily
dialoging with the interviewer. She was articulate, honest and thoughtful
in responses. One would predict that she would put her dental patients quickly
at ease. Her motivation, scholarship and intelligence have been realized in
In summary, I singled Christie out for leadership skills. I selected her as
one of two Harding Pre-dental Scholarship awardees in summer 1993 where she
attended a month of classes, and clinical and research experiences at Northwestern
University Dental School (note: NWUDS is no longer in operation). Her research
paper presented to the dental faculty, entitled "Management of Handicapped
Patients in Dentistry," was topnotch. I also selected Christie as a Mentor
and an Enrichment Instructor for Math and Biology in my Health Careers Opportunity
Program for minority students. I apparently saw the same take-charge and positive
attitude coupled with outstanding communication skills, as did the AVID folks
who selected Christie to teach and mentor minority high school students.
I also made a good decision in selecting Christie as the Coordinator of SDSU's
Preventive Dentistry Program. We worked with 8 community dentists and have
a planning meeting at the beginning of each semester. I have never seen a
Coordinator (in 9 years) as organized as Christie. All the dentists commented
about how impressed they were with her marketing strategies, calendars, parking
plan, etc. In short, Christie thought of details no one had addressed before--and
used her word processing skills to design some beautiful new flyers.
Perhaps, I was most impressed with Christie's strong work ethic, motivation,
caring attitude toward her peers, academic strength and outstanding communication
skills. Upon college graduation, Christie had already formulated ideas about
a group practice she wished to join as a general practitioner or an orthodontist.
Her solid academic achievement coupled with her outstanding dental experience,
leadership and communication skills will make her an outstanding practitioner.
We recommended Christie as Outstanding--and she still is!!
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
I am thinking about taking physics during the summer.
One of the institutions that I am considering has an algebra-based physics
sequence. At our university, physics is calculus-based. For the medical school
application process, does it matter what type of math a physics sequence uses?
Calculus-based physics is NOT required. Premeds can take the algebra
or calculus-based sequence. It has never been an issue for acceptance. Few
medical schools require calculus any more, much less calculus-based physics.
Of course, if you top choice schools require calculus, take it!
Is biochemistry helpful to take as a premedical
Actually both biochemistry (no lab needed) AND human physiology (again,
no lab needed) are VERY helpful for preparation for the MCAT. The AAMC, and
commercial test preparation companies don't say this! In addition, for students
who have a non-science major and have taken the "minimum science requirements",
it would really improve your understanding of science to take these courses
prior to the MCAT. For ALL pre-health students (predental, PA, preveterinary,
etc.), you will likely be taking biochemistry and physiology in your first
year of health professions school. Having had it in advance will be mighty
helpful, so that not ALL of what you hear is for the "first" time!!
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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