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    Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

    Volume 4 Issue 12
    December 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: Lewis Associates Will Focus on Specific Advising Packages in 2006; Medical Schools to Expand

    Useful Links: Johns Hopkins Summer Courses; New Public Health Site

    New Section!! Alumni Updates: See what graduates and alumni are doing now

    Dates and Reminders: Computerized MCAT; Georgetown Programs

    Success Story of the Month: Dr. Christie Martinez

    Question of the Month: What courses should I take?

    Our Services


    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 application process.

    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 process.

    Contact the experts! For more information email imaclewis@lewisassoc.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

    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 forever! :o)

    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"

    Medical 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!!

    Doctor's 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.

    Study: 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.

    Moderate 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 stay svelte.

    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 Links Page.

    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
    April 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 Northern California.

    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 the train.

    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.

    My regards,
    Raj Daftary"

    Abtin Khosravi
    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

    Wife 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 certified.

    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:

      1. 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 taking classes.
      2. The test is so long: With the computerized test, you will spend much less time (probably 1 hours or more less) in the test.
      3. 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!

    Georgetown Programs
    - 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 (http://camprogram.georgetown.edu) 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: physio@georgetown.edu.

    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.

    Dr. Martinez

    Here is the rest of her story from 10 years ago:

    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 her record.

    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 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

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 student?
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!!

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.

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