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    Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
    Volume 6 Issue 5
    May 2007

    Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, Phd., Editor
    Email imaclewis@lewisassoc.com with your comments. Enjoy!

    Ground breaking news - Lewis Associates central coast office

    What's inside:
    Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

    Important News: Lewis Associates office on central California coast; Go live dates for AMCAS, AACOMAS, AADSAS, VMCAS, PharmCAS, and CASPA

    Useful Links: Rosalind Franklin Biomedical Sciences MS Program; St. Georges University Global Scholars Program; American Pharmacy schools; and more

    Alumni Updates, Photos, and More: Gala CUHRE dinner celebration in San Diego with alumni; The Next Generation: Olga Rosito, MA, Glenn Valenzuela, MD, and Nick Cahanding, DO

    Success Story of the Month: Stephen Williams, MD, Urology Resident at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston

    Question of the Month: Professionalism: Accountability

    Our Services


    Welcome to Lewis Associates!

    We are now settled into our temporary office while our permanent office is being built on the Central Coast of California.
    Beautiful weather and deer visiting our site--we saw tracks this morning-all this is evidence of a good move. We will keep you posted with monthly photos of our progress.

    NEW contact information
    1885 Laguna del Campo, Templeton, CA 93465
    805-226-9669 phone
    805 226-9227 fax

    Submit a fun acronym for our new phone number! The winner gets one an hour of free advising!

    Other changes
    Dr. Lewis, Lewis Associates, to absorb Long Distance Charges

    All appointments/phone conferences will be made from our office to you. Lauren, our new Administrative Assistant, will call you at your appointment time, and transfer you to Dr. Lewis.

    Faxing documents to Dr. Lewis, Lewis Associates 805-226-9227
    When faxing documents during office hours 8am to 3pm, (PST), you must first call the office 805-227-9669 so the fax can be switched on. During non-office hours, the fax will be automatically connected.
        *8am-3pm CALL BEFORE FAXING

    Overnight/Express Mail Packages
    At this time Lewis Associates is only able to receive expedited mail from the United States Post Office, no special Ground Services like UPS/FED-X/DHL

    When sending an expedited package, please use usps.com. Click on mailing tools, then mailing products & services. The standard overnight pricing begins at $14.40. Please remember to give this information to your Letter Of Recommendation writers!

    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? This is a scary time.
    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 and dental residency programs too! Whatever niche you fit, we advise students just like you.

    Many whom I advise are really not yet ready, and need to develop some aspect of their background to become competitive. It is best to apply when you are ready, be competitive, and do it ONLY ONCE!

    Let's work together to make that one time application successful…earlier is better so we can develop your strategy and address all those difficult problems…months or even years prior to application. Why not set yourself up for success, rather than toy with the proposition of failure?

    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 an Ex-Prosecuting Attorney, now medical student
    Background: John was an Assistant State’s Attorney (prosecutor) in Chicago, Illinois, when he 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

    What's New?

    Ground Breaking News
    The Lewis Associates Office broke ground in mid-April and is making great progress. As of this morning, rough plumbing is being installed and foundation forms are being built; the foundation looks like it will be poured starting next week! The photo to the right was taken the morning of May 3rd.

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

    Coming Soon
    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!!

    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!

    Be Competitive
    In order to be a competitive Class of 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. If you use advising with Dr. Lewis, you will find that we begin preparation early in the year BEFORE submission of your application!

    EARLY is always better, removes much pressure, and allows time to solve unforeseen problems.

    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 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 one 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 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

AMCAS 2008 change
A new question on the application is: "Have you taken, or do you plan to take the MCAT in calendar year 2007 from May to September?"

If the applicant answers "yes" he/she will be brought to the next screen where they will identify the date in which they plan to take the test from a pull down menu with the dates pre-populated. It is very important to note that the applicant can and should change their answer at ANY time throughout the application year including applications that have already been processed. Typically, medical schools will use this information to decipher when they should start reviewing the application with the MCAT scores. You can also find a screen shot of the question as used in the AMCAS application in the AMCAS 2008 PowerPoint Presentation located in the toolbox of the advisors page: http://www.aamc.org/students/applying/advisors/amcas2008presentation.ppt

MSAR now available
The new Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR) 2008-2009 is now available. "This must-have book -- often called the 'bible of medical school guides' -- is the #1 source for medical school applicants. The 2008-2009 edition features more information than ever before and is designed to improve functionality and access to the information you need when applying to medical school." -AAMC

AMCAS 2008
Applicants can start entering data about May 3 and should be about to submit the 2008 AMCAS around June 5. The 2008 Application information is now available via aamc.org/amcas.

AMCAS dishonesty
AMCAS receives both anonymous and named reports of application discrepancies. For example, they receive anonymous reports from applicants regarding their peers' applications.

AACOMAS Fee Waiver
AACOMAS plans to go "live" with their new 2008 on-line application on Monday, June 4, 2007. AACOMAS offers a Fee Waiver program to applicants which allow you to apply to 3 Osteopathic Medical schools free. There are a limited number of waivers available each cycle. You need to apply early and must receive a response from AACOMAS prior to submitting an application.

In order to apply for waiver:
1) Send a letter to AACOMAS indicating intent to apply for the waiver and cite specific reasons which support your application
2) Send a copy of your FAFSA for the current school year (signed and dated)
3) If your FAFSA is not available for the current year, you may send a copy of your most recent tax return (and tax returns of anyone that can claim you as a dependent) along with a letter of intent to apply for the Fee Waiver.

March 23rd groundbreaking of Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine Colorado

The new COM, located in a Denver suburb, is scheduled to admit its first class in fall 2008, subject to accreditation approval by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. Rocky Vista, Colorado's second medical school and its first Osteopathic medical college, will help ease the state's physician shortage, particularly in rural counties. The college "will focus on educating primary-care providers for rural, underrepresented, at-risk and underserved populations," said Ronnie B. Martin, DO, chief academic officer and dean of the new school.

    VMCAS 08
    2008 UPDATED VMCAS and SCHOOL information is now available at aavmc.org.

    * The 2008 Application will launch Tuesday, June 5th.
    * The application deadline, this year, is Monday, October 1st, 2007, at midnight ET
    *Admissions information on college prerequisites, college descriptor pages, and web application tips can be found by navigating through the Applying to Veterinary School link

    College requirements vary among the colleges. VMCAS encourages applicants to check the school's website for specific admission requirements and procedures. Applicants should confirm with the college(s) when their updated information will be available.
    NOTE: RECENT TREND is no longer requiring embryology/developmental biology and adding microbiology for upper division requirements.
    Student Hotline availble Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM ET 877-862-2740 vmcas@aavmc.org.

    MCAT Verbal Reasoning Prep

    Read something from the section of the newspaper or a non-science technical journal you believe is the most "boring" - as prep for verbal reasoning - learning to understand what you read when you are reading something about which you "know nothing".

    2007 Match: record number of US seniors apply to Medical Residency programs

    In March, more than 15,000 U.S. medical school seniors participated in "Match Day" ceremonies nationwide to learn where they will spend their years of residency training following graduation. The record number of seniors applying for residencies through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) this year, nearly 200 more than in 2006, reflects recent increases in medical school enrollment. Results from the 2007 Match also showed a significant increase (9%) in the number of participants who are graduates of non-US medical schools. This year, 27,944 applicants vied for one of the 21,845 first-year residency positions available; 15,206 of these applicants were U.S. medical school seniors, 93 percent of whom matched to a residency program.

    Go Live Dates
    AMCAS May 3rd. Earliest date to submit is on or about June 5th • 1-202-828-0950
    AACOMAS June 4th • 1-301-968-4100
    AADSAS May 15th • 1-800-353-2237
    VMCAS June 5th • 1-877-862-2740
    PharmCAS June 1st • 1-617-612-2050
    CASPA April 16th • 1-617-612-2080

    L I N K S :

    Rosalind Franklin Biomedical Sciences MS Program

    Students learn side-by-side with students in allopathic, podiatric and other health professions programs.

    SGU Global Scholars Program
    St. Georges University has a new Global Scholars Program where medical students spend their first year at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK under the direction of SGU course directors, then continue at the SGU campus in Grenada followed by clinical studies at one of the many affiliated hospital and clinical centers in the US or the UK, providing flexibility and breadth of knowledge to be the more experienced, and most able modern medical practitioner.

    American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy schools listings

    Pharmacy School Admissions

    ADEA newsletter with Class 2008 AADSAS newest information!

    International Service Learning in Belize
    ISL is offering a Public Health Program in Belize June 16-29 and August 11-25--Both programs are 2 weeks - cost is $1585, airfare not included. financial aid available.

    ISL is sending out 70 teams to 8 countries this summer and has openings for students to participate on only about a dozen that aren't staffed. ISL will serve approximately 35,000 of the underserved. ISL sends medical/dent/opt/public health/PT/vet/pharmaceutical teams to Latin America, Central America, and Africa. Students receive supervised hands-on experience, health-related seminars, and financial sponsorship. Listings of university, professional, and student references available upon request. Over a 12 year period, over 300 teams have provided health care for 15,000 underserved annually.

    Osteopathic Medical School Admissions Data
    by Tom Levitan, AACOM Vice President for Research & Application Services

    AMCAS 2008 recent PowerPoint presentation

    Healthcare issue awareness

    1. New York Times Online Read the sections on Health, Science, Technology and scan business.

    2. Hastings Report and the University of Washington School of Medicine's site on Ethics in Medicine

    3. Link to Dr. McGee's Health Politics website

    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

    CUHRE dinner

    CUHRE Dinner Celebration Alumni Speakers: Drs. Patrick Linson, Christie Martinez and Norma Ramirez, Mr. Dino Guillermo
    Photo1, Left to right: Patrick Linson, MD, MPH Radiation Oncologist trained at Harvard Medical School and first Native American Radiation Oncologist in the US; Lorena del Valle, Class 07 applicant, Josh Boys Class 07 MSU allopathic, Kevin Hardiman Class 2007 Kansas City University of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Lewis, Mr. Dino Guillermo, MS Oriental Medicine and Herbalogy, Christie Martinez, DDS general dentist (Dr. Lewis' dentist!).

    Photo 2: Norma Ramirez, DDS general dentist in San Diego.


    Olga Rosito, Doctoral Student in Clinical Psychology--get the school name
    "We are all doing well. I am sending you a few pictures of Sophia; she just turned two and will be starting daycare next week. I am finishing the spring quarter and will be starting an internship at the Palo Alto VA Hospice in July. That runs for a year. I only have a few classes next year (2 or 3) so most of my classroom training is now over. I've been working at the student clinic this year, seeing some very interesting cases. I had a great application process for this internship: I applied to 7 places and interviewed at 6 and got 6 offers! I hope my luck continues for the post-doc training, which is terribly competitive in this area. I will also start working in the depression lab at Stanford in the summer; trying to get a dissertation out of that work."

    Nicolas Cahanding, MSY4, Midwestern University Osteopathic Medical School at Chicago
    "…I just returned to Chicago from my 2-month stay in California outside of Sacramento. Mariefe, Tavis and Sophia are doing well. Sophia was born on March 27 in Berkeley. Gotta run."

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

    Stephen B. Williams, M.D.--A Dream Come True in Harvard Medical Residency Intern, Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston

In 2000, I wrote a supportive letter for Stephen's application for the SDSU Quest for the Best (excerpts below). He was not selected, but he should have been….and now we know where his potential is taking him!

Academic Excellence
It is the mark of the best students, that they are able to overcome disadvantages. In Stephen’s case, his parents divorced when he was very young and he is the youngest of 4 from his father’s marriage to his mother with 4 more siblings from a previous marriage of his father. He grew up with his mother; his father is a retired urologist. He excelled at SDSU, earning very strong grades his last 2.5 years.

Student Service and Activities
Steve had 13 major activities in 7 Student, Departmental and University-based units, it is clear that he seeks opportunities for service and personal growth and uses them to the fullest. I am most aware of Stephen’s impact on CUHRE (student organization Dr. Lewis advised). He joined a year ago, and in that short time, has become an Enrichment Instructor for organic chemistry II, one of the most difficult courses premedical students take. He learned to do this very well, and I selected him to be the Enrichment Instruction Coordinator Spring, 2000. He was the most organized Coordinator we have had. His responsibilities included organization of our training session, the training manuals, communication with every instructor so that scheduling, attendance, and quality control was addressed in a timely fashion. For example, some programs begin academic support in week 5, and never track academic progress until the middle or end of the semester, when it may be too late to change the outcome of a grade. Steve was our quality control. He scheduled and ran our biweekly EI meetings, getting to the heart of any problems and solving them. Steve took a leadership position wherever he went. He was selected to be VP of CUHRE.

Community Service
Steve is drawn to "people-based" community service. He says, "My experiences with the community extend from feeding the homeless through St. Vincent de Paul to delivering food to AIDS-infected people with Mama’s Kitchen. No matter what community activity, I have found one clear answer and gift, which is looking into someone’s eyes and heart who is in need without knowing the individual. This establishes a relationship that one human can have with another--helping and receiving spiritual satisfaction." Steve’s selected activities put him in difficult personal situations, which include working in the poorest areas of Tijuana (Flying Samaritans), with the homeless (St. Vincent de Paul), and for those afflicted with AIDS.

Leadership Qualities and Development
Steve's leadership development began early. He says, "Throughout my life I have been actively involved in sports. However, football was the predominant sport in my life. In high school, I played varsity and in my senior year, I started at linebacker and defensive end. Football contributed to my leadership skills and working as a team member." I saw Steve’s leadership emerge in "making things happen" in CUHRE. Although Steve was not the Class of 2001 Liaison, he took on responsibility to schedule faculty evaluations for these students--a crucial part of the process of Medical School application. And, he had a vision for CUHRE; all strong leaders have vision. The best student leaders I have worked with (and I now have had 30 accepted to Harvard Medical and Dental Schools), have seen needs, stepped up, and met those needs in an organization. Steve brought the additional dimension of having a great sense of humor.

Most Outstanding Characteristics
Steve's honesty and integrity stand out. Instead of doing a specific activity or working with an individual because it is the "Politically Correct" choice, and may more easily lead to his personal success, Steve realized that quality is valuable and one's integrity can be measured by the difficult choices one makes. Steve made choices that reflect integrity. As a doctor, I expect Steve to continue to make decisions--now affecting the life and death of his patients--exactly the same way, using his internal compass.

What makes the applicant most eligible for this award?
"Quest for the Best" was established to set apart a select few students at SDSU who make a difference for their peers. Steve is such an individual. He overcame a difficult time in his personal life, rose to the occasion, and saw a vision for the future. He does not believe in political expediency--and follows higher values. These are the marks of a winner.

Personal Comments
My personal advising time with Steve was always uplifting and positive. He thought about others and how to improve a system. He has a positive, cheerful attitude. He managed a heavy workload, including up to 17 units, was in organizational leadership, did research, and made a difference. What more can you ask?

March 28, 2007
"I'm finishing my internship at the Brigham and getting married in September, 2007. I am also writing a book about surgical internship, so you may find it at a bookstore in the upcoming years.
Take care. Steve"

From Dr. Williams today
"I did not know if I would be competitive enough to pursue medicine, but with the help, mentorship, and guidance of my peers in CUHRE, I learned that I was not alone. Most importantly, there was a support system to fall back on. As a CUHRE enrichment instructor, and vice-president, I built on my teaching skills and gained confidence, which are invaluable in medicine and surgery."

Stephen attended George Washington University Medical School, in a great city (Washington, DC), with a supportive learning environment and excellent clinical research opportunities. "I am currently at the Harvard Program in Urology at Brigham and Women's Hospital--a dream come true!"

Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success Stories: imaclewis@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

We are back to our series on "Focus on Professionalism" from the Association of American Medical Colleges. The new AAMC Professionalism Assessment Form has Deans of Medical Schools evaluating the following: Truthfulness, adherence to ethical principles, punctuality, compliance, accountability, feedback, appearance, interactions, teamwork, concern for others, compassion, goal-setting, motivation, relationship, confidentiality. This month we focus on:


Inappropriate is defined as "avoids responsibility and work, assume too much responsibility, displays inability or unwillingness to delegate."
Appropriate is defined as "assumes responsibility and asks for help when necessary."

If we take the application process as an example, how could one be "accountable"? There are many occasions to become accountable during the application year…or not. Let's just use gathering letters of recommendation/evaluation for instance.

Let's say you have 2 science faculty, 1 non-science faculty, a clinical preceptor, a job supervisor, and someone from a service commitment whom you need to request letters from. Human nature usually drives applicants to tackle the "easy" people first--those we feel most comfortable with. If one of the science faculty and your boss at work are the people you feel least comfortable asking for letters, it is likely you will procrastinate with this task. In fact, you will make up all kinds of great excuses why you can't get those letters even though these people have responded to your first question: "Would you feel comfortable writing a strong letter of support for my application to medical school?" with a resounding "Yes".

You will see that time drags on…and some of your letters are coming into Dr. Lewis' office to put into your confidential letter file. If Dr. Lewis did not continually remind you of these letters…would you have tried to forget about them? Maybe…or maybe, you would be scrambling to get them in August, September, October, November or even later! Then, it may be too late for use in your secondaries…or won't make the same impact of having a cohesive and complete letter file that reflects all of what you have accomplished over many years in preparation for application.

Wow…could getting help from a Mentor/coach like Dr. Lewis improve your accountability? YES! It is a skill to be accountable; usually lack of it is due to fear or lack of organizational skills.

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.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to any friends, classmates, or colleagues you feel would find its contents beneficial.

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