Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
5 Issue 3
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
Newborn deaths still high among US minorities; A.M.A. to Develop Measure of
Quality of Medical Care; Health care difficulties in the Big Easy
9 tips for Stress Management; AustraLearn; Logan College of Chiropractic Student
See what graduates and alumni are doing now
Dates and Reminders:
Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) Regional Conference; UCSF Admissions
of the Month: Yuliya Schoenling, Accepted to Midwestern University
Physician Assistant Program for the Entering Class of 2006
the Month: Will a 7 on the MCAT Verbal Reasoning section keep me
out of medical school?
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
By March, everyone who is attending a winter or spring term is now taking
midterms, sometimes your second exams.
As you may have read, Lewis Associates is phasing out long-term advising except
for those already contracted and a few new folks, and focusing on Personal
Assessments, essay and interview packages, and hourly problem-solving advising.
We are moving toward e-billing and more online services. In fact, we will
establish an online Blog and teleconferencing in the near future! We had our
maiden voyage into tele-conferencing yesterday.
And, in a couple of years, some new books and CD's should be out from Dr.
Lewis about preparing for medical and other health professions schools. .
. keep on the lookout!!
Coming this summer
In July 21-23, 2006, we are hosting a gala Alumni Reunion in San
Diego for our over 700 alumni. We are trying to locate them now. If you have
some contact information about any alumni, please email it to email@example.com.
Our goal is to locate as many as possible by the end of March, 2006. If you
wish to be invited and you are not an alumnus, but wish to meet some of our
wonderful alumni, please let Zakiya know in our office. We will try to include
as many as we can on a first come basis.
We are proud that over 90% of our Class of 2006 applicants are interviewing,
22 have been accepted to date, with 2 applicants who interviewed at Harvard
Medical School this year!
100% of our Class of
2005 applicants were accepted!
100% of our Class of 2004 applicants were 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 get the most out of 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 as evaluated by your clinical, service
and other experiences and your GPA/MCAT/DAT/GRE, etc. profile--in a timely
fashion. This requires a well thought out strategy to carry you through the
difficult year-long application process.
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 on average 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 other Lewis Associates Advisees--highly motivated and
intelligent, but needing focus, guidance and specific technical expertise.
Dr. Lewis solves problems for her Advisees and finds opportunities for them.
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
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
Verbal Reasoning on the MCAT exam seems to be every premed student's
worst nightmare (unless you are a humanities major!). If English is your second
language, you are at even a greater disadvantage. So, here is a book that
can help you and is not that expensive ($12.95 at Amazon):
Critical Reading Questions by Learning Express (see also LearnATest.com).
Even though mention is made about the SAT in this book, it is excellent practice
for VR on the MCAT, reading comprehension on the DAT and the verbal section
of the GRE exam. Obviously, use of this and other resources takes time and
effort. Give yourself enough time to use it effectively. Master the 7 strategies
for success. . . practice them! One of our April 06 MCAT takers has found
this book to be very helpful in skills building. Go for it!
to Develop Measure of Quality of Medical Care (New York Times)
The American Medical Association has signed a pact with Congress promising
to develop more than 100 standard measures of performance
deaths still high among US minorities (Yahoo! News)
care difficulties in the Big Easy (CNN)
Editors Fired in Plan B Dispute (Washington Post)
Trial Data Can Trouble Former Participants (HealthDay)
For years, the conventional wisdom among those in the research community has
been that patients involved in any clinical trial must be told of all the
findings once the study ends and the data becomes available.
L I N K S :
9 tips for Stress Management (aka Test anxiety for the MCAT, DAT,
is an official representative for 28 universities in Australia and New Zealand.
They provide comprehensive application and enrolment services for students
as well as assist with all their pre-departure needs (student visa, housing,
travel arrangements, etc) and provide 24 hour in-country support services
and emergency response (one of the only organizations to do so). AustraLearn
is a non-profit organization that offers the largest choice of study options
in Australia and New Zealand for Canadian and US students. They have sent
over 11,000 students from the US and Canada to Australia and NZ over 16 years
and are the education specialists for these countries.
Websites for US students: http://www.australearn.org/
and for Canadian students: http://www.australearncanada.org/.
Logan College of Chiropractic Student Connection Newsletter
Contains some very informative articles about the chiropractic profession
and the Logan College community.
Find these and other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's
a l u m n i u p d a t e s
| Darcy Thompson
of Southern California Medical School
January 12, 2006
"Hello Dr. Lewis,
No, I have not dropped off the face of the planet, but some days it
feels like it!! All is going well here at USC. I survived the first
semester of my first year and actually did pretty well. I had a great
x-mas break and am getting back into the swing of things. Right now
we are studying Hematology. It's all really interesting and a lot of
fun. We have recently learned to draw blood, and we have started learning
the physical exam.
I'm still commuting back to Carlsbad every weekend to spend time with
my husband. He returned home from his 6-month deployment in Nov. It
has been great to have him back around. It forces me to get my school
work done during the week, so I can focus my attention on home during
the weekends. It's a different lifestyle than most of my classmates,
but well worth it!
I hope all is going well for you and your family. I hope you had a great
break and can't wait to hear an update on your Central Cal property!!
Have you started building yet?
Happy New Year!
Sincerely, Darcy Thompson
PS. I've included a picture from my White Coat Ceremony. My parents
came from Illinois. It was a special day! I guess it's better late than
| Dr. Liliana Reynoso
3rd year Resident in Ob-Gyn at Kaiser, Los Angeles
February 5, 2006
"Dear Dr Lewis,
I know that you have many past SDSU students and it must be hard keeping
track of all of your alumni, but I sure hope you remember me. I graduated
from SDSU in 1995 and started medical school at Stanford in 1997 (with
Eunice and Joel) and graduated in 2002. I took a year off after medical
school to stay home with my then newborn son (he was born 5 days before
med school graduation). I then started my residency training in Ob-Gyn
(2003) at Kaiser Los Angeles, where I am currently a third year resident.
The only person I keep in regular contact with is Raquel Franco. I know
that Joel is finishing his residency in Anesthesia this year and that
Eunice is now on staff at Stanford. Wow, I am so proud to be part of
such a strong history of success stories! Hope to hear from you soon.
Liliana Reynoso, M.D."
Class 2006, Accepted to UC Irvine School of Medicine, Prime LC Program
"January 3, 2006
Hi Dr. Lewis,
I'm not sure if you're back from vacation yet but I wanted to let you
know that I received "THE CALL" from UC Irvine right before
Christmas that I had been accepted to both the School of Medicine and
the PRIME-LC program!!!! The best Christmas present ever. So you can
imagine how excited I am and I want to thank you for everything because
I know that without you this could not have been possible. . . so thank
you thank you thank you!!!
And I wish you a very, very Happy New Year!!
d a t e s & r e m i n d e r s
22nd Annual Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) Regional
Conference hosted by the LMSA chapter at Stanford University School
of Medicine. The theme of this year's conference is "Creating Leadership:
Striving to Improve Latino Healthcare", and it will be held on the Stanford
University campus from April 7-8, 2006. For more information visit http://lmsa.stanford.edu/conference/
UCSF Admissions Workshop
Saturday, March 18, 2006
9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
To register, refer to web site at: http://medschool.ucsfedu/msaw
$8 per person
s u c c e s s s t o r i e s
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis
Accepted to Midwestern University Physician Assistant Program for the Entering
Class of 2006
We are interrupting our serialized story of Dr. Glenn
Valenzuela's path to medical school with a story of someone Dr. Lewis helped
move off the waitlist for Physician Assistant School last month and be accepted
by doing a Personal Assessment and some problem solving with personal advocacy
"Hi Dr. Lewis.
You can use my story so anyone can know that if they set their goal and constantly
work on achieving it no matter what others may say or even try to discourage
them it's possible! Good professional advisement is a great help in an applicant's
successful road to medical school.
Yuliya was born in Sebastopol, Ukraine, USSR. Her father is a computer engineer
and mother is an accountant; both live in the Ukraine, but will immigrate
to the US. Her first language is Russian, and she knows Ukrainian and some
German. She is in her late 20's, and married with a son.
She entered primary school in the Ukraine at age 7 and attended for 4 years.
School seemed easy and she especially enjoyed math and literature. In secondary
school, ages 10-14, she found English interesting and took some German language.
In HS, she competed in state and national levels for English skill, in oral,
written translations and grammar, earning 6th place in the Ukraine and 2nd
in her state one year. She competed in argument statements, and in controversial
questions, graduated in 1994, earning an A in the state diploma exam.
Yuliya applied to the Sevastopol State Technical University, and was accepted
into a 5-year program: Diploma for Economist, taking 9 courses each term.
It was during this time that Yuliya helped her mother for 2.5 months during
her first year of college while her mother was in the hospital: 7A-2P at school,
then in the hospital from 2P-10P, then home to study. There were no private
rooms, with 6-10 patients/room so she helped the other patients too. Her mother
developed kidney failure, and had dialysis. She liked helping patients.
In her second year, she helped again for 3 weeks when her mother returned
to the hospital. The hospital asked her to train as a medical assistant. She
learned to take medical histories, be a scribe for doctors, do phlebotomy,
IVs, injections, assist in biopsy. She worked the 3-11 PM shifts after a full
day in college. (Dr. Lewis' Note: DO NOT attempt this - few
people can do this and earn good grades!).
Yuliya's training included finance, supply info, personnel, inter-personal
skill development so she could recruit pharmaceuticals to her hospital. In
her last year, she did 2 theses on statistical analysis of the financial responsibility
of her hospital, and graduated in 1999 with an almost perfect GPA. She originally
wanted to become a physician, but there was no medical school in her region
Yuliya continued to work fulltime at the hospital, now as a health care administrator/manager.
She did financial analyses and built a pharmaceutical supply line. She married
an American business executive and immigrated to Arizona in 2001, and got
a Green Card in 2003. She did sales fulltime for a year and was promoted to
manager before returning to college, taking English and accounting classes.
Unfortunately, her marriage did not last and she remarried and had a baby
Why Physician Assistant?
In HS, Yuliya considered entering medicine
or business due to encouragement from her parents. There was only a business
school in her state, so to attend college, she needed to live at home and
attend this school. She thought that she could train to become a hospital
administrator and use both of her interests.
After having a difficult pregnancy, she became interested in becoming a physician
again. She decided that to balance having a family and a career, the PA profession
fit her perfectly.
From 2002-5, Yuliya took pre-PA courses part time. PA Programs told her that
she needed direct patient care in the US, so she became a Nursing Assistant
in a local Hospital in oncology fulltime.
Class of 2006 application
Yuliya applied in June 2005 to enter the 2 local PA programs: AZCOM Midwestern
and Kirksville Arizona School of Health Sciences; CASPA processed 7/05.
GRE: used Kaplan prep a total of 160 hrs over 10 weeks (which is about
half of what Dr. Lewis advises to study); 6-7 mock exams; actual
She had 2 letters of recommendation (not confidential)
from a chemistry faculty and a nursing assistant faculty.
CASPA Essay: nice early story, but also needed to discuss how Ukrainian system
differs from American and why Hospital Administrator career choice first.
Also needed to tell more about Ukrainian volunteer experience and job, and
current job. . . be more detailed.
She was granted interviews for both programs:
ASHS Kirksville September 2005 interview, open file. She interviewed
with the Dean and faculty panel. She felt the panel interview did not go well.
1. What does community mean to you?
2. If you disagree with your doctor's medication, what do you do? She answered,
"Get a second opinion."
3. Diabetic patient question, having frequent urination and pain.
4. What do you like about the PA profession?
5. What will you be doing in 10 years? Oncology, pediatrics?
6. What do you not like about the PA profession?
Outcome: placed on the waitlist to be reviewed in February.
Midwestern AZCOM 12/06, closed file, 2 clinical faculty on a panel:
Yuliya spoke to the Dean who that said International students may struggle
with the heavy load and either do well or fail, thus they take few. Yuliya
wrote a letter in December to him, and the Associate Director called her.
The Associate Director said the new Dean limits the selection of only 4 applicants
for matriculation from each group of 20 interviewees. They rank their waitlist,
but do not give out the ranking. They accept about 32 outright and take another
52 off the waitlist for a total of 84.
Outcome: placed on the waitlist to be reviewed in February.
Yuliya's science and overall GPAs are excellent.
Her direct patient care experience in the Ukraine coupled with current nursing
assistant experience in a US hospital and nursing home and her years of health
care administration and management work in the Ukraine indicate depth and
breadth of experience.
She is bicultural and sensitive to other cultures, speaking 3 languages.
The 2 letters of recommendation are supportive.
Yuliya's biggest weaknesses includes not having a PA preceptor, not
understanding the PA profession as much as she could from shadowing a PA for
a few weeks or months, not having a PA letter of recommendation.
Her GRE verbal score is low, coupled with a moderate analytical score. This
may be a problem for the schools thinking how you can handle a heavy science
load; how many units were taken at once in the US?
Her essay could be improved.
Her interviews may not have reflected that she understand the PA profession
well and is committed to it.
Being waitlisted in both PA programs she applied to means she is acceptable
to those programs, but other people ranked higher.
General weaknesses that could be addressed include:
She only had 2 letters of recommendation
She had NO PA Mentor or PA letter.
Her GRE verbal score was low.
I spoke with the Associate Director of the PA program at Midwestern University
who told me there was nothing "glaringly" bad in her application,
but that her interview had some problems. They wanted to
know that Yuliya understands the PA profession well and can address ethical
advocated for Yuliya.
The following Friday, the Admissions Committee of PA faculty, met
to review the waitlist. There are points given for every part of the application:
the interview counts 23%, health care experience, grades, GRE, degree, all
count. There is a class of 86 and only 43 had deposits holding positions at
that point. Sending additional documentation, fall 05 transcripts, and Yuliya's
letter to them was very helpful.
Outcome: Yuliya was ACCEPTED 2/9/06 into her first choice
Stay tuned for more from Dr. Valenzuela in April, 2006.
Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate
about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success
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
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