Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
6 Issue 1
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis,
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
Welcome to Success Stories
Computerized MCAT news from AAMC; Who dies when the world catches the
flu?; Doctors give drug reps less time
MCAT registration link; Stanford University Minority Medical Alliance
Sam, MD, Nicolas Cahanding, Liana Olszewski Au, and More
of the Month: Dr. Darin Ward, DDS…Orthodontist-in-training
the Month: How should I dress for an interview? (a male perspective)
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!
Until further notice, our Lewis Associates mailing address will be our
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.
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!
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
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
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 email@example.com
or call 805-226-9669 and ask to set up your first appointment.
n e w s &
l i n k s
N E W S
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
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."
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
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.
Doctors Turning to the Business of Beauty (New York Times)
Obstetricians, dentists and other specialists are embracing the lucrative
business of cosmetic medicine.
View: Health Care Problem? Check the American Psyche (New
The economic case for a single-payer system is surprisingly strong.
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.
Doesn't Cure Health-Care Disparities (HealthDay)
Having health insurance does not eliminate the poor outcomes that blacks with
colon cancer experience, researchers report.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
a l u m n i u p d a t e s
Currently in Plastic Surgery Fellowship
"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.
1st year at Drexel University Medical
Getting married in March in Phoenix!
Success Story coming in February 2007 issue
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."
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!
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
with Newsletter Question in the subject line.
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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