Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
6 Issue 3
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd.,
with your comments. Enjoy!
Spring is around the Bend!
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
NEW Relationship with AustraLearn Study Abroad Programs!; 3 NEW Osteopathic
Medical Schools in 2007 Will Help Alleviate Physician Workforce Shortages;
Just announced: New procedure for June and July 2007 MCAT registration!
University post-baccalaureate programs; Medical Science Master's Program at
the University of North Texas Health Science Center
Alumni Photos and More
of the Month: Dr. Norma Ramirez, DDS Practicing Dentist!
the Month: Compliance--what does that mean?
||FREE BOOK for New Advisees
Sign up for an Assessment in March or
April and receive a copy of Get into Medical School: A Strategic Approach
(A $20 value.) Offer good while supplies last.
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
I am off to Chicago tomorrow for a week-long trip to visit most of the local
medical schools, a podiatric medical school and some post-baccalaureate programs.
It brings back the memory of visiting close to 15 schools in 5 cities during
December of 1989. On that trip, I advocated for my applicants just like I
will be doing this time. This year, I have the added benefit of getting to
spend some time with several alumni who are in training in Chicago.
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? Re-entering as an "older" non-traditional
student? We help prepare those of you submitting applications for medical
residency programs too! Whatever niche you are in, we advise students just
Class of 2008: If you haven't yet started getting your letters of recommendation/evaluation
and writing your application personal statement, then you are BEHIND! And,
are you REALLY ready for an application? Many whom I advise are really not
yet ready and need to develop some aspect of their background to become competitive.
Best to apply when you are ready, be competitive and do it ONLY ONCE!
Thanks from Dr. Adrian Miranda, Class 1994, Faculty at Medical College of
"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."
Thanks from an Ex-Prosecuting Attorney, now medical student
Background: John was an
Assistant State’s Attorney (prosecutor) in Illinois
State Attorney’s office when he first contacted me in 2004. Now in medical
school, he says: "I am really enjoying med school, and I am thankful
to Dr. Lewis for her help. Her methodical, disciplined approach to the med
school application process, as well as her insight into the transition to
med school were right on target."
John Fiszer, University Of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
On April 1st, we will be moving offices to the Central Coast of California.
Mail will be forwarded for several months and we will have a phone message
forwarding calls. We will post on our website the NEW address, phone number,
and fax information as soon as it is set, likely in early March.
Our Lewis Associates mailing address is our office address through April 1:
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!!
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
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 22 years! Two more in the
Class of 2007 have been interviewed. We shall know their outcome in March
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 life.
Read about your Personal Assessment on our website,
then phone or email us to get
started! We spend on average 7 hours developing 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 almost 800 alumni now practicing in medicine
during the last 22 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
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
with AustraLearn Study Abroad Programs!
with a semester or year abroad in Australia or New Zealand
Note from Dr. Lewis:
My older daughter did an internship with a graphic design firm and
then a term of coursework as a study abroad student in Sydney, Australia
in 2001 after our family took a vacation to Australia. She loved it!!
Since then, I have visited Australia twice more, including visits
to medical schools at U of Sydney and Flinders in Adelaide. Let us
know that you have an interest in study abroad so we can discuss AustraLearn!
"I feel this experience
helped me become more flexible with my life. While studying abroad
I was forced to make many adjustments in a new atmosphere. Studying
abroad forced me to meet people from different backgrounds and different
parts of the world of which I communicated with on a daily basis.
This experience gave me a more diverse view of my peers throughout
the world. All of these experiences and many more will help me be
a more well rounded person in the future!"
- J. Nusser, semester abroad in Australia
A semester or year abroad in another country will enhance
your cultural awareness, increase your adaptability, challenge you
to learn through listening and observing, diversify your communication
skills, and improve your ability to solve problems, all of which will
make you a better doctor, pharmacist, veterinarian, or therapist.
Professional health schools also recognize these benefits from study
abroad, and an international experience will add depth to your application
and interview process.
Studying abroad in Australia and New Zealand allows you to take classes
in any area of study at internationally-recognized universities. From
organic chemistry and calculus to Indigenous studies and international
relations, there are hundreds of great classes available. Credits
can be transferred back to your home university, so you will stay
on track towards graduation.
As a study abroad student, you will enroll directly into the university,
allowing yourself to immerse with locals and international students
from around the world. Additionally, you can round out your study
abroad experience by joining student clubs, participating in a volunteer
project, and traveling around the country on your free time.
The academic year in Australia and New Zealand runs from February
to November with semester one being February- June and semester two
being July-November. The application deadline for the February intake
is November 15, and April 15 for the July intake.
AustraLearn is the leading study abroad provider for educational programs
in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. With over 30 universities
to choose from, as well as internship and summer opportunities, you’ll
have no worries finding the best study abroad option for you. Learn
more at australearn.org
or contact us at email@example.com
or 1-800-980-0033 for more information.
"I think this experience
has allowed me to become more independent, more self reliant, better
able to cope with changes and challenges that I have not done before.
I also think this situation developed my personal self esteem and
overall ability to become the person I am inside, by showing personal
achievements on the outside."
- R. Willers, semester abroad in Australia
NEW Osteopathic Medical Schools in 2007 Will Help Alleviate Physician Workforce
With the addition of A. T. Still University of Health Sciences in
Mesa, Arizona; the Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine of Lincoln Memorial
University, in Harrogate, Tennessee; and the Touro College of Osteopathic
Medicine in New York City, a new wave of future osteopathic physicians will
be prepared to help meet the nation's increasing health care workforce shortage.
These 3 schools are slated to admit their first class in Fall 2007 (Note:
several of our Class 2007 applicants have interviewed and been accepted to
all 3 of these schools!); two additional schools in the states of Washington
and Colorado are planning to open in 2008; and the growth in class sizes at
the existing colleges all will help strengthen Osteopathic medicine's ability
to provide high-quality health care to patients nationwide. And with Osteopathic
medicine's special focus on primary care, especially in rural and urban underserved
areas, there will be a greater impact on health and well-being.
Just announced: New procedure for June and July 2007 MCAT registration!
The next round of registration for the new, computer-based MCAT begins
Wednesday, February 14, 2007, at 9:00 AM. But due to high volume during registration
periods, the AAMC has instituted a regional schedule to accommodate test-takers.
To register for the June and July 2007 tests, you must log in on a specific
day according to region. Check the chart below and find your region, and log
in on the appropriate day to register for the test.
Here's the new registration schedule for the June and July MCAT:
|Canada and International
||9:00 AM EST
Wednesday, February 14
Alabama, Arkansas, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee,
Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
|9:00 AM EST
Friday, February 16
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska,
North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
|9:00 AM EST
Tuesday, February 20
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey,
New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
|9:00 AM EST
Thursday, February 22
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada,
New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Guam
|9:00 AM EST
Friday, February 23
Obama, come out swinging (Chicago Tribune)
Fundraiser's barbs spark war of words.
Health Care Spending Seen Doubling in 10 Years (Medscape/Reuters)
U.S. spending on prescription drugs, hospital care and other health services
is expected to double to $4.1 trillion annually over the next decade, up from
$2.1 trillion in 2006, a government report released on Wednesday found.
New Problem for Farmers: Few Veterinarians (NY Times)
Veterinarians who care for the animals that provide the United States with
food are in increasingly short supply.
Reaches Across Borders (AACOM)
With Global Osteopathic Medical and Public Health Mission Last summer, 12
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) students participated in
the International Medical Society's (IMS) Summer Abroad Program, embarking
on a medical mission to help underserved populations in the Dominican Republic.
The students were accompanied by Dr. Reza Nassiri, LECOM professor of Clinical
Pharmacology and Medical Virology, and Dr. Mark Brown, a medical missionary
physician in the Dominican Republic.
New way of training med students touted in NEJM (boston.com)
Doctors from Cambridge Health Alliance, which includes Cambridge Hospital,
and Harvard Medical School tout a new way of training medical students in
tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine.
L I N K S :
Loyola University Master of Arts in Medical Sciences
Loyola University Post-Baccalaureate/Pre-Health Program
Loyola University has two post-baccalaureate programs. One is geared for students
with some or none of the undergraduate science courses which are necessary
for admission to medical school. The second program, now in its third year,
is designed for students who earned above a 3.0 GPA as undergraduates, have
scored at least a 25 on the MCAT, and may have applied to medical school,
but were not successful. We are careful in selecting applicants who fit Loyola's
mission of service; in other words, there's strong evidence of altruism and
character. More often than not, their undergraduate GPA is influenced by good
values; they made choices based on a desire to engage in the entire college
experience. Perhaps their study skills and time management skills needed honing.
Maybe a relative died, and in their first encounter with death in the family,
they did not have the inner resources yet to get through it. During the course
of an intensive one-year curriculum of rigorous graduate-level courses in
the biological sciences, their mettle, motivation and talent is definitely
put to the test. Students must develop the skills they need in order to be
successful. In the first 2 of our classes of graduates about 84% have gained
admission to medical school. Anecdotally, students now in medical school seem
to be doing very well, and have reported, almost uniformly, that they feel
like they've got an advantage over others, since much of what they're learning
as MSY1 is review. So much maturing goes on during our year -- empathy, compassion,
and self-confidence blossom.
Medical Science Master's Program at the University of North Texas
Health Science Center
The Master of Science program in Medical Sciences is designed to provide additional
opportunities to those individuals who would like to enhance their credentials
for entry into medical school by offering a strong, challenging biomedical
science core curriculum in the environment of a health science center. The
average time to complete the M.S. in Medical Sciences is twelve months (mid-May
Find these and other useful links on
a l u m n i u p d a t e s
Michigan State University Entering class of 2004
Linda and her two daughters
Dhillon , MD
TJ is an OB-gyn practicing in Madera, California,
a rural agricultural area. She writes: "I am beginning the process
of building a new office building...!"
Yay for TJ!
s u c c e s s
s t o r i e s
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis
Dr. Norma Ramirez, DDS Practicing
"While still in grammar school, I remember wanting to attend college.
I would go on field trips to colleges and I knew how important it was to earn
good grades. Both my parents are immigrants from Mexico and My father always
emphasized education. Because he worked 6 days a week in construction to support
6 children, I remember him saying, 'make sure you get an education because
no one can take that away from you.'
I always did well in school, especially in math and science. I also visited
patients in convalescent homes, spent time with geriatric patients, and tutored
other students. In high school, I took college preparatory courses and considered
studying medicine to become a doctor of some sort. In my junior year, I was
preparing to take the SAT and remember discussing college options with my
parents, but I became discouraged when they said I could not attend college
because we could not afford it! My parents had 6 children and my father's
work was unstable. None of us knew much about college, and certainly nothing
about financial aid. This was my first major roadblock.
My parents had a high school education, so I had no role models for college
preparation. That summer before my senior year, I got a job to earn money
for college. I worked as many hours as I could, but my grades began to suffer,
and I became discouraged about attending a university. My high school counselor
recommended attending a local community college.
I graduated from high school and attended that community college, again without
a role model or guidance. I did well my first semester, and made the dean's
list taking general education courses. The next semester, I started taking
math, biology and chemistry while working close to full time. By mid-semester,
I was struggling to maintain passing grades. Toward the end of the semester,
I was again discouraged. I had earned a few passing grades, but failed calculus,
physics, and chemistry. I retook those courses the following semester, but
not much changed. This was my second roadblock. I was not going to get into
graduate school, or even a university with these poor grades on my transcript.
I was in desperate need of some guidance.
I made an appointment to see a career counselor at the community college.
My counselor was also a counselor at San Diego State and I told him about
my interest in becoming a doctor. We made a strategic plan to transfer to
SDSU the following year. He gave me an application to the pre-health HCOP
program that had been successful in supporting minority students into medical/dental
school and which offered mentoring, tutoring and personal advising. This was
exactly what I needed!
I sent in my HCOP application. A few weeks later, I received a denial letter.
In the letter were the reasons for my denial and suggestions to become a better
applicant for the following year. The letter was signed by Dr. Cynthia Lewis.
I transferred to San Diego State the following year and reapplied to Dr. Lewis's
program, but this time I hand-delivered my application and made an appointment
to review it with Dr. Lewis. I was determined to work hard and follow all
her suggestions. I was accepted to the HCOP program on 2 conditions: 1) I
had to reduce my work hours and 2) I had to earn a B average in her summer
program. That summer, I studied hard, consulted my mentors, used advising,
reduced my work hours, learned how to study, used tutoring, and earned all
A's. From then on, I had the really important academic and personal resources
While in the HCOP/CUHRE program, I worked with students who had similar goals.
Together, we tutored and mentored each other through our SDSU career. Dr.
Lewis played a vital role in molding us into strong applicants by helping
us problem-solve life issues and becoming leaders and role models in our community.
At SDSU, I became a leader in our HCOP and in the pre-dental programs. I finally
figured out what type of doctor I wanted to be, a dentist. I became President
of the Pre-Dental Club, I organized preventive dentistry trips to local elementary
schools and orphanages in Mexico, and eventually Mentor Coordinator. As a
leader, I was a better applicant for dental school.
The third roadblock I experienced was during my application to dental school.
I was wait-listed. It was the most difficult roadblock I had faced so far.
I was so close, and had made it so far, but was not accepted. My "plan
B" was to reapply the following year. With the help of Dr. Lewis (my
Advisor) and Mr. Philip Aftoora (Case Western Reserve University's Director
of Student Affairs), we began building a stronger application. I had one year
to make myself more competitive. I retook the DAT and scored much higher than
the national average. I also took courses similar to those in dental school
(histology, gross anatomy, microbiology, etc).
Dr. Ramirez with Dr. Phil Aftoora
and her parents
The following year, I was accepted to Case Western Reserve Dental School
with a 2-year scholarship. After so many years of peaks and valleys, I accomplished
my goal, but the hardest challenge was yet to come. Dental school was not
easy! The first 2 basic science years were my most difficult because of the
large volume of information and the amount of laboratory work. My third and
forth years were a bit easier, but presented a different challenge, treating
patients clinically with more didactic work. The shear amount of information
was huge. After graduating in 2000, I did a one-year residency in Advanced
Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) at Case/University Hospital, a hospital-based
residency focused on implants, cosmetics, and full-mouth rehabilitation. Now,
I was ready to practice dentistry.
For the last year and a half, I have been traveling around the US as a private
dental contractor for our military. I am excited to now be home in San Diego,
practicing dentistry as an Associate. Many valuable life lessons were learned
along this long journey. The most valuable is that no obstacle is too great
to overcome with motivation and perseverance. But, my journey was not traveled
alone. I have many people to thank for their support and encouragement: my
family, Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Philip Aftoora, Case Western Reserve University
faculty and staff, and all my Mentors along the way.
Note From Dr. Lewis:
Dr. Ramirez is a prime example of someone overcoming difficult barriers, having
the resilience to work through many challenges by using support, mostly in
the form of peer Mentors and academic enrichment instructors, an Advisor,
and health professions school supporters. She is a shining star for mentoring
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
Compliance--what does that mean?
We continue our series on "Focus on Professionalism"
from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The Professionalism Assessment Form developed by AAMC
has a section on responsibility/reliability/accountability, with "Compliance"
being the second item on the list. The form indicates inappropriate behavior
is "to ignore policies, procedures, rules and regulation, miss required
sessions," or "displays inflexibility, rigidly relies on rules to
the point of obstructionism." Think about it…do you do
either of these to things?
Appropriate behavior is: "follows policies, procedures, rules and regulations;
attends required sessions."
One Advisee I worked with in the last few years had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder, which colored his perception of following school policies. His first
misstep was a big one: He ordered a confidential (meaning he was NOT supposed
to have access to it) letter of recommendation from a faculty member through
his university letter service to be sent to his home. The university caught
him and he was suspended from college during his year of application. After
meeting with the Dean and doing service, he was re-instated, and graduated.
His second misstep was to not take the AAMC "Traffic Rules" seriously,
meaning you must select the medical school you will matriculate to and release
all other acceptances by May 15th! He held several acceptances at that date,
and was given a verbal ultimatum by a Dean of Admissions...accept us NOW or
our acceptance is rescinded. He accepted (this was days or weeks past the
May 15th posted deadline). His third misstep was to use a campus room for
a class party that was specifically dedicated to other uses, and he did not
have official permission to use it. Again, he was caught. This time, there
were several issues noted in his file, and he was dismissed from the medical
school after one term of doing well academically.
Take a short personal test...ask yourself when you flaunted the rules. Be
honest...Now that you know that this characteristic is valued, how will you
be aware of and follow the rules? Awareness and effective communication skills
are really the key here. Ignorance of the rules is never an excuse. You are
expected to act as a professional...and will be held accountable. Forewarned
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!
Copyright 2009, Lewis Associates. All rights reserved.
Please do not repost on any website without direct permission from Lewis
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, classmates,
or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.