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    Lewis Associates e-Newsletter

    Volume 6 Issue 1
    January 2007
    Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
    Email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com with your comments. Enjoy!

    Happy New Year!

    Lewis Associates is Extending its Sale
    Assessments will be $50 off until January 31, 2007. Call 805-226-9669 for more info or visit our services page.

    What's inside:
    Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

    Important News: Computerized MCAT news from AAMC; Who dies when the world catches the flu?; Doctors give drug reps less time

    Useful Links: MCAT registration link; Stanford University Minority Medical Alliance (SUMMA) Conference

    Alumni Updates: Sam, MD, Nicolas Cahanding, Liana Olszewski Au, and More

    Success Story of the Month: Dr. Darin Ward, DDS…Orthodontist-in-training

    Question of the Month: How should I dress for an interview? (a male perspective)

    Our Services


    Welcome to Lewis Associates!

    How did it get to be January…or 2007 for that matter? A new year ... and "new life". So many new babies in 2006 ... and some coming in 2007. See alumni updates!

    I am not sure why as one gets older, time seems to pass more quickly. I am sure there is a philosophical or psychological teaching moment there, but I think it is just a universal "truth". So, as we jet into 2007, where are you in your journey to a health profession? In high school (yes, we advise high school applicants, particularly, those interested in BA-MD programs), just starting college, moving into your difficult upper division sciences as a junior, a re-entry "older" non-traditional student? Whatever niche you fill, we advise students just like you.

    Thanks from Dr. Adrian Miranda, Class 1994, Faculty at Medical College of Wisconsin
    "I have never really taken the time to express my sincere gratitude for everything you did for me. I have often mentioned your name during talks and to friends and family as the person who was the most influential in my path to success. I can’t tell you how many times my wife has answered that question right on the "newlywed" board game. Without your guidance and support I would never have accomplished my goals. I am so glad to hear you are doing well and I want you to know that I still often think of you and the years at SDSU. I am now married with two children (Alex 3 and Sofia 2). My wife Heidi is from Madison and much to my dismay, she does not plan on moving to California any time soon ... I wish you the best and I hope that you have a wonderful party surrounded by people who love you and whose lives you have changed. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you or your family and please stay in touch."

    Your friend and Protégé,
    Adrian Miranda, M.D.
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
    Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatalogy and Nutrition
    Medical College of Wisconsin

    Thanks From Andrea Casillas, entering the Michigan State University ABLE Program in fall 2006
    "Dr. Lewis, Thank you so much. I am very grateful to have had you along my side during this stressful year. I appreciate all your work and patience! I wish you the very best. May God bless you always. Thank you very, very much." Andrea

    Comment from an Alumnus
    "Wow! What a website. Are you sure you want to retire? Based on what I've seen, you have to be the most successful Advisor on the planet! I owe a great debt of gratitude to your ability to encourage young people to achieve their goals."

    Joseph E. Allen, MD, MS, FAAFP, CAQSM
    Family Practice and Sports Medicine
    (Editor's note: Dr. Allen did a consult on my torn knee meniscus a couple of months ago ... Thanks again, Joe!)

    Discount for Current Advisees
    Remember if you refer a client to Dr. Lewis who selects a Preparation Year or Comprehensive Application Package, you receive a $100 discount on your current Advising Package. Don't miss this opportunity!

    What's New?

    Mailing Address
    Until further notice, our Lewis Associates mailing address will be our office address:
    2727 Camino del Rio South Suite 156, San Diego, CA 92108.

    NEW FREE teleconferencing and videoconferencing. You need to register for free AOL Instant Messaging, and will get free audio and/or video contact with us!!

    Lewis Associates now uses Skype!
    This free service allows you to make phone calls over the internet without long distance charges. Please tell us in advance if you are using this for your appointment as we need to use a headphone.

    In a couple of years, some new books and CD's will be out by Dr. Lewis about preparing for medical and other health professions schools ... keep on the lookout!!

    Harvard Medical School Track Record
    We are proud that 2 of our Class of 2006 applicants were accepted at Harvard Medical School! This brings Dr. Lewis' record to 29 Advisees accepted to Harvard Medical and Dental Schools in the past 21 years! Two more in the class of 2007 have been interviewed. We shall know their outcome in March 2007.

    Track Record
    92% of our Class of 2006 applicants were accepted! ... and 2 were waitlisted.
    100% of our Class of 2005 applicants were accepted!
    100% of our Class of 2004 applicants were accepted!

    Being Competitive
    In order to be a competitive Class of 2007, 2008, 2009, or 2010 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. And, if you get advising with Dr. Lewis, you will find out that we begin preparation early in the year before submission of your application!!
    EARLY is always better and removes much pressure.

    What are your chances?

    If you want to change your career or reach your present career goal, but do not know how to begin, or how to jump over all those hurdles, Lewis Associates will advise and implement strategies to change your life.

    Getting Started
    Read about your Personal Assessment in our newsletter and website, then phone or email us directly to get started! 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 21 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 preparation and application process.

    Contact the health career 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

Judge Challenges MCAT Rules
(Inside Higher Ed)
A California judge’s ruling last week, ordering administrators of the Medical College Admission Test to provide special accommodations to students who meet the California standard for disability, could have national implications.

Disabilities and the Medical Student (Inside Higher Ed)
As the proportion of students deemed to have disabilities has grown, so has the pressure on colleges to ensure that they are meeting the students’ educational needs and treating them fairly from admissions to graduation.
Computerized MCAT news from AAMC

December 28, 2006 (day after registration opened for the April and May 2007 MCAT dates):

"Yesterday afternoon our technical staff implemented some changes to help alleviate the bottleneck in our system. In addition to these changes, usage began to drop, although it remained steady throughout the afternoon and evening. Several thousand examinees were able to register by this morning, compared to only 553 by 4 pm yesterday. We do not yet have a permanent solution, so during times of peak usage, the system will continue to slow down. We will update our Web page as necessary."

From the FAQ: "For 2006, there were just under 71,000 examinees (first-timers + retakes). For 2007, there are almost twice the number of seats available as the highest number of examinees expected for the year. Therefore, if there is the increase AAMC has seen the past few years (a few percent each year), there will be enough seats for everyone. Some examinees may have to travel farther than they wish, but a seat will be there if they really need it."

Top 10 Health Stories of 2006 (ABC News)
It's been a busy year in medical news, with stories ranging from E. coli infections to New York City's ban on trans-fats receiving broad coverage. ABCNews.com polled dozens of experts to determine which of this year's stories had the most significant implications for health in general.

Combining Medical and Dental Education
(Inside Higher Ed)
At some point in the near future, you may flop down in the dentist chair for a routine cleaning and also get examined for your heart condition or be asked about your diabetes. This latest innovation in medicine is being launched by Case Western Reserve University, which plans to graduate students with dual medical and dental degrees.

More Doctors Turning to the Business of Beauty (New York Times)
Obstetricians, dentists and other specialists are embracing the lucrative business of cosmetic medicine.

Economic View:  Health Care Problem? Check the American Psyche (New York Times)
The economic case for a single-payer system is surprisingly strong.

Oregon senator prepares universal health coverage plan (USA Today)
A dozen years after Congress rejected a Clinton administration plan for universal health care, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is readying a proposal to provide health care coverage to all Americans through a pool of private insurance plans.

Insurance Doesn't Cure Health-Care Disparities (HealthDay)
Having health insurance does not eliminate the poor outcomes that blacks with colon cancer experience, researchers report.

Sexy Surgeons, Dull Doctors? (ABC News) Just For Fun!
Patrick Dempsey won't be your surgeon when you wheel into the operating room, but the man in scrubs who greets you might be pretty sexy himself, according to new research.

Assembly bill would cut use of trans fats (San Francisco Chronicle)
In an attempt to improve eating habits, a California state lawmaker has introduced a bill that seeks to ban the use of trans fats in fried foods and baked goods at restaurants and school cafeterias.

Circumcision Halves H.I.V. Risk, U.S. Agency Finds (NY Times)
Circumcision appears to reduce a man’s risk of contracting AIDS from heterosexual sex by half, United States government health officials said yesterday, and the directors of the two largest funds for fighting the disease said they would consider paying for circumcisions in high-risk countries.

Ugandan president rejects circumcision/HIV study (Reuters)
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has condemned a new study showing that male circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection during sex, saying it sent out a dangerous message.

Lawmakers to try again on drug-import bill (Chicago Tribune)
U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said Democrats and Republicans in both chambers will push again for a bill that would allow prescription drugs to be imported to help reduce costs for U.S. consumers.

    L I N K S :

    MCAT registration link
    "MCAT examinee service is the AAMC's responsibility. Examinee contact with Prometric may be necessary for very specific reasons, but ultimately, the AAMC provides all service. We have help lines available for examinees, and this information is available on the AAMC Web site. (202) 828-0690

    Stanford University Minority Medical Alliance (SUMMA) Conference
    SUMMA, or the Stanford University Minority Medical Alliance, annually hosts one of the best pre-med conferences in the country. Saturday, February 3, 2007 • 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. • $13 (Includes Breakfast, Lunch, and Resource Manual) • Stanford University School of Medicine, Fairchild Auditorium

    The Dentist-Physician Program At Case Western

    Dual Degree– D.M.D., M.D. Program

    Find these and other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's Links Page.

    a l u m n i   u p d a t e s

    Sam, MD
    Currently in Plastic Surgery Fellowship in Sacramento

    Dr. Sam
    "Doctors in Training"

    Happy Holidays to Dr. Sam: "Great news - I passed my surgery board examination this week. After 10 years of medical training I am now board certified by the American Board of Surgery. I want to thank everyone for their love and support over the past decade. Kelly, Michael and I will be in Sacramento for at least another 18 months while I finish additional training in plastic surgery. Kelly's mother, Lyn has been staying with us for the past 6 months helping care for Michael while Kelly has returned to work. Michael is 6 months old and the light of our lives. He is healthy and doing well. He enjoys books and walks in the neighborhood. I have attached some photos of us in Sacramento.

    Chelsea Crist
    1st year at Drexel University Medical School
    Getting married in March in Phoenix!
    Success Story coming in February 2007 issue

    Nick Cahanding
    4th year at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine Midwestern University--December 2006
    "My wife and I are expecting our second child in March; we are having a girl. I'm currently at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County on a medicine subspecialty service. Cook County is the hospital on which the fictional County General Hospital on the TV show "ER" is based. It's nothing like the show of course, although it seems much more busy than the show's portrayal at times. At Cook County there a vast mix of pathology, oftentimes, only seen in textbooks. This is my 3rd rotation here; I will have completed 6-months of rotations here after this year. I love training in Chicago."

    Michael Nevarez
    1st year at Harvard Medical School

    Mike at His White Coat Ceremony

    "Hi Dr. Lewis,
    I hope this email finds you well! Life here at Harvard has been going very well thus far. My classmates, faculty, and just the whole environment has been great and very inspiring. As you probably have heard, we are the first class on the New Curriculum that they implemented and it has been just fine for the most part. It is more intense than the previous New Pathway curriculum in that they shaved some weeks off quite a few blocks (with same amount of material) and have added some required electives (medical ethics is one). The pass/fail system has been a real blessing though, and the problem-based learning is one of my favorite components of the coursework here.

    You have done so much for myself and so many other students, thank you again Dr. Lewis! I hope that this new year is another successful one for you and I look forward to keeping in touch!
    warm regards,

    Dr. Jacqui Romero
    Class of 1995, Family Medicine physician in Naples, Florida
    Dr. Romero's husband was home from Iraq for the holidays, a blessing to her whole family. We send our best wishes to Jacqui and her whole family.

    Dino Guillermo
    4th year student at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
    Dino and his wife are expecting their first child this summer ... congratulations!

    Liana Olszewski Au
    4th year at University of Hawaii Medical school

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

    Dr. Darin Ward, DDSÉOrthodontist-in-training Dr. Darin Ward and Wife

"I began my 6 year college career at SDSU in 1988 as an undeclared freshman knowing exactly what I wanted to do…party and surf.

It was during the 10th visit to the dentist after having not used the “fuzzy end of the toothbrush” (aka: the end with the bristles) that I became interested in being a dentist. My dental hygiene hiatus resulted in my needing more fillings, root canals and crowns than I’d like to admit. At that time, I talked to my dentist, Dr. Paul Brent, who was a participating dentist in the SDSU preventive dentistry program. Dr. Brent explained why he loved the profession of dentistry and what it takes to get into dental school. This included actually declaring a major, getting my grades up including taking the pre-requisite classes for dental school, and meeting with the Pre-dental advisor, Dr. Cynthia Lewis.

During my 1st meeting with Dr. Lewis, she pointed out that my grades were not exactly stellar having received less than a C average in such challenging classes at “Marriage and Family” and “Sociology 101”. It’s interesting how challenging it is to get good grades without attending class.

It was during that 1st visit with Dr. Lewis that she lay on the line what it will take for me to get into dental school if I was serious about it, and not to bother if I wasn’t willing to do what it takes. Dr. L’s “kick in the pants” helped me realize what I needed to do to make dental school happen…but realizing what to do and actually doing it are two different things.

I started actually attending classes, changed my major to biology, got a daily planner and began penciling in study time, went from taking 12 hours/semester to 16+, joined the Preventive dentistry program, and became an active member in the Pre-dental club.

Dr. Lewis made it clear that my “challenged” GPA alone was not going to get me into dental school, even if I aced all the science classes for my major, and that an exemplary extracurricular resume would be crucial for my acceptance. It was at this time that I happened to be dealing with my mother’s 2nd bout with breast cancer, and her passing in 1992 was the wake-up call I needed. I realized how short life is and that no one was going to make my life happen for me.

I then became the president of the Preventive dentistry program. I participated a in pre-dental mission trip to Tecate, Mexico, I observed several practicing dentists, I applied for and received an all-expense paid 1 month preceptor-ship to Northwestern University Dental School [Editor's note: now closed], and became likely the 1st SDSU student to receive an F in marriage and family and an A in cell biology! I ended up taking more classes, studying more, working 30+ hours/week, and ironically I still had more time to enjoy playing rugby, surfing, scuba diving, and even a party or two!

In 1994, I graduated with a BS in biology, and was accepted to both Northwestern University Dental School and Baylor College of Dentistry. I chose Baylor to be near my family in Texas, and ended up graduating in 1998 with a 3.52 dental school GPA…..a far cry from the 2.9 I earned at SDSU! After dental school, I was accepted to a one year Advanced Education in General Dentistry program.

In 1999, I bought a practice in Eugene, Oregon, where I have practiced general dentistry, focusing on comprehensive care for the past 7 years. It was during this time, that I began studying orthodontics and practicing ortho in my general practice. In May, 2006, I decided to sell my general practice and apply to ortho school. Although my dental school GPA was an B+/A- average, compared to the orthodontic applicant pool, it was still less than ideal to be accepted into an ortho program (déjà vu!) It was at this time that I contacted Dr. Lewis who helped me write my personal statement letter to orthodontic school. She helped me organize my essay to emphasize my strengths including my 8 years of clinical dentistry to set me apart from the other applicants. I was elated to be accepted to University of Colorado’s orthodontic program this November and look forward to starting my residency in the fall of 2007.

My advice to anyone considering the profession of dentistry: find out what it takes for you to get into dental school, make a plan, get help to put the plan in action, and do what it takes to make it happen NOW…because NOW is all we have.

Enjoy the present,
Darin J. Ward, DDS

From Dr. Lewis:
I wrote the Committee Letter on behalf of Darin's application to dental school back in 1993. He was raised by traditional older parents who taught him a hard work ethic and respect for living things (having been adopted at a few weeks of age). He became passionate about sports as a youth (soccer and football), and doing lots of outdoor activities including whitewater rafting, hunting and fishing, surfing, etc!

Darin said, "The month after I graduated from high school my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was a tremendous blow to our family, and in retrospect, the experience brought us all much closer together. We realized how important we are in each other's lives. Mom had a mastectomy and went through chemotherapy and radiation treatments that summer and came through with flying colors! My mom attacked the cancer that was assailing her with such a positive attitude and optimistic outlook; it was incredibly courageous and inspiring. By that spring she was in remission and off major medication. I made a conscious effort to let all the people I love know how I feel about them because that experience helped me realize how temporary our lives are."

During those early college years, Darin had no career direction, joined the college crew team, then a fraternity. Studying was not a high priority. He tells his story above about connecting with dentistry and focusing on academic work.

I selected Darin to coordinate our Preventive Dentistry program and to attend Northwestern University Dental School as a Harding Pre-dental Fellow in 1992. I was especially moved when Darin's mother died in May 1992, just before he was to fly to Chicago for the fellowship. He came to my office to ask if he could go to Texas to be with his father at his mother's funeral before going to Chicago. Darin says "I spent almost every weekend that year with her in L.A. enjoying every minute I had left with the most important lady in my life. She would sometimes get goofy from all the medication they were giving her, and we still have some good laughs about the funny things she said and did, half knowing and half unknowing! Her teeth were the first I flossed other than my own and I looked forward to brushing them each weekend. Ironically, my father told me, right after I had spoken on mom's behalf at her memorial service, that my natural birth mother was there to hear me speak."

You can tell how people-focused and caring Darin is by his actions. It was my pleasure to advise Darin as both an undergraduate and recently help support his effort applying to an orthodontic residency. I am learning lots from him about "living in the present"!

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

How do I dress for an interview? The Male Perspective
This month, we are taking time out from our "Focus on Professionalism" to give you ideas about dressing for interview from the male perspective. Next month, we will continue in our series on Professionalism.

This is from Dr. Sam, who recently interviewed and was accepted into the plastic surgery Fellowship at UC Davis. He interviewed at many medical schools, at a variety of residency programs, and recently for Fellowship.

"Tips I have found helpful:
• dress very conservatively - solid black or blue 3 or 2 button suit with conservative tie and white shirt - it is not a fashion show and looking ridiculous will only hurt you - Men's Warehouse has decent affordable suits
• buy a nice pair of conservative black leather shoes - I prefer cap toe lace ups - I shine my shoes or have a shoe shine in the airport do it. Don't forget solid black socks, a decent leather belt and wear a v-neck white undershirt
• bring a lint roller
• get a conservative haircut
• shave facial hair
• no earrings, etc
• remember these are old surgeons who are interviewing you. They are conservative by nature - think of it as part of the process. It's not about conforming so much as it is about playing the game.
• be confident yet humble
• have a decent hand-shake
• don't bad-mouth others during the interview - even if your interviewer starts to do it.
• don't gossip about people in your program - I've had interviewers ask personal questions about people from my med school/residency program
• some ortho programs also test dexterity - NY Hospital for special surgery - be prepared

Last thoughts - you are interviewing for a job - they are looking for a reliable employee, and in some cases people who may want to go into academic medicine. In other words, a good match for their program.


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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