Lewis Associates
Lewis Associates
Subscribe to Newsletter Order Brochure
Go To Book Recommendations

Pay your bill online with PayPal

Subscribe to our Monthly e-Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust
Search Newsletter Archives

    Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
    Volume 6 Issue 6
    June 2007

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

    What's inside:
    Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!

    How to Communicate with us

    Class of 2008

    Track Record

    Be Competitive

    Important News: Lewis Associates office on central California coast; AMCAS/AACOMAS experiences/activities section; AACOMAS transcripts; MCAT; and more

    Useful Links: America's Best Graduate Schools, Spring 2007; AOA's website "How to Find A Mentor"; Sicko; and Healthcare Issue Awareness

    Alumni Updates, Photos, and More: Dr. Todd Cook (Chiropractor and Physician), Dr. Joseph E. Allen (Artist and Physician), Dr. Jacqueline Lapin (Dentist starting Residency), Andrea Casillas Class 2007 entering Michigan State University School of Medicine, Allopathic)

    Success Story of the Month: Kelly Dorsey, Class 2007 entering Loyola University School of Medicine

    Question of the Month: Should I apply before I am the most competitive I can be?

    Our Services


    Welcome to Lewis Associates!

    We apologize for the June 2007 newsletter going out "late" this month. We changed internet servers and have had some "technical difficulties". Luckily, Zakiya continues to be our web master and technical guru.

    We are settled into our temporary office while our permanent office is built on the Central Coast of California. The construction crew is working beyond expectations, including a full crew that worked all day on Memorial Day! Here is progress over the last few weeks:

    April 30, 2007
    June 10, 2007

    If we continue at this rate, we may be able to move into our new facilities by the end of 2007.

    This time of the year is exceedingly busy, with all of the application cycle "stuff to do" and tests to take (MCAT, DAT, GRE, PCAT, etc.). Contact us to find out how we can support YOUR application or help you plan for a future application to be successful.

    NEW Mailing Address

    1885 Laguna del Campo, Templeton, CA 93465

    NEW Phone

    NEW Fax
    805 226-9227

    Other changes
    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 PST 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.

    Class of 2008:
    If you haven't yet started getting your letters of recommendation/evaluation or writing your application personal statement, then you are BEHIND! Are you REALLY ready to apply this year? How do I know? Use our Personal Assessment--and you will be given your personal strategy and path to your future!

    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!

    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?

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

    Track Record
    92% of our Class of 2006 applicants were accepted! (and 2 more 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/AACOMAS experiences/activities section
What should you do if you have planned exciting and interesting activities this summer and next year…how do you put them into your application?

AACOMAS: Craig Benson, Manager of AACOMAS indicates: "Our applicants can list past, current and future work/activities. They do need to list start and end dates, so if these are not definite, they just give estimated start and/or end dates."

AMCAS: enter a future start date for experiences as June 2007, then in the space provided explain how the start date maybe slightly inaccurate. Included in the description might be an indication of when the experience (job, internship, etc) was officially offered. For instance, if you start your 2007-08 job in August but it was offered in March, you might either list the current month (June) as the start date or March as the start date since the position was offered then. In either case, a detailed explanation is warranted.

AACOMAS transcripts
AACOMAS has initiated a transcript request form this year for the first time, but it is to be used only if you wish, and is NOT required.

AMCAS will process an application without an MCAT score if there isn't a score at the time of processing. There is a question within the application that states, "Have you taken, or do you plan to take the MCAT in calendar year 2007 from May through September?" If the applicant selects "Yes" a drop down menu will appear with all the MCAT dates. The applicant should select the date in which they plan to take the test. This information will be provided to the medical schools. If the applicant decides to forgo the exam or take it on a different date, he or she can make this change at any point during the application cycle within the AMCAS application. The applicant will be asked this question whether they have taken the exam previously or not.

When the MCAT score does come out, if an application is already processed it will be automatically updated into the AMCAS application and sent to the medical schools as an update.

2007-08 PHARMCAS application, 5 Jun 2007

The new PharmCAS web application for the 2007-08 admissions cycle is now available and features a new platform. To access the application, visit the PharmCAS web site at www.pharmcas.org.

New PHARMCAS institutions for 2007-08
To date, there are 55 pharmacy degree institutions participating in PharmCAS. We are pleased to welcome the following eight programs to the PharmCAS community:

* Cincinnati, University of
* East Tennessee State University
* Hawaii at Hilo, University of
* Louisiana at Monroe, University of
* Massachusetts College of Pharmacy - Boston
* Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Pharmacy (NEOUCOP)
* Temple University
* Tennessee, University of

Contact the PharmCAS office directly at 617-612-2050 if you have questions.

2008 VMCAS web application available 5 Jun 2007

Important News: Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) Welcomes Applicants to VMCAS 2008!

The VMCAS Web Application for 2008 matriculation is now available at www.aavmc.org . Applicants can now create an account to receive their VMCAS ID. They can also begin to register their evaluators. Once an evaluator is registered, the evaluator will automatically receive an email with details on how to access the eLOR system. The application deadline this year is midnight eastern time on Monday October 1st, 2007.

Physician, Upgrade Thyself
By Thomas Goetz
Electronic medical records would reduce the risk of medical errors and spare hospitals the expense of missing records and unnecessary treatment.

Organized medicine delivers plan to Congress on Medicare pay reform
Physician associations chart out an incremental Medicare reform option in case an immediate repeal of the formula isn't possible.

    L I N K S :

    US News and World Report Spring 2007: America's Best Graduate Schools - see Medicine

    Warning: Beware that only primary care and research-focused medical schools are evaluated, and note the specific criteria used to evaluate. YOUR personal criteria may not coincide!

    AOA's website and links "How to Find A Mentor"

    I am looking forward to seeing Michael Moore's new film Sicko (Dr. L)

    Healthcare Issue Awareness - Sources for awareness (and also to prepare for interviewing):

    New York Times online http://nytimes.com read the sections on Health, Science, Technology.

    Verbal Reasoning preparation idea

    Read something from a "boring" section of the NY Times or another source with technical information as preparation to comprehend and extract information from some item that you know nothing about. TRY TO STATE THE MAIN IDEA SUCCINCTLY!

    The 5th Annual AMSA ARC Pre-med Conference
    "Your Passion in Action: Transforming Your Journey to Medicine" will be on October 6-7, 2007 at American River College. Last year the conference sold out, and this year, they anticipate it to sell out even faster. Visit www.conference.amsaarc.org to register and plan to enjoy this educational and inspirational weekend.

    Hastings Report Ethics in Medicine: http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx

    Dr. McGee's Health politics site http://www.healthpolitics.org

    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

    Dr. Todd Cook, Chiropractor and Orthopedic Surgery Resident!
    May 9, 2007
    Hello Dr. Lewis,
    Been a long time. I wanted to let you know how things ended up for Alexis and I. We had our first child in March, a boy we named Kyle David, and both mom and baby are well. I ended up doing very well at GW being selected to AOA and plan to graduate next week. The match went as planned and I was selected to my first choice of orthopedic programs in Fort Worth, TX! So, the last three months have been interesting to say the least. We have already moved to Dallas to temporarily stay with Alexis' folks and immediately we found a home to purchase in Fort Worth. All of the pieces really have fallen into place and you were such a huge part giving me the tools and courage I needed to start this journey. I hope this letter finds you and your family well in your new Californian retreat. I'm sorry I could not make the send off party awhile back. Hopefully we will cross paths again if you plan a trip to TX.
    Sincerely, Todd

    Dr. Jacqueline Lapin, DDS Graduate of Case Western University Dental School
    May 30, 2007
    Hi Dr. Lewis,
    Thank you for the card and all the support. In July, I will be starting a one year residency program at the Louis Stokes VA in Cleveland. I am very excited about the program. There is so much to learn. So far, that's all I know. One thing at a time. I will be in touch.
    Hope you are well.
    Jacqueline Lapin

    (Jacqueline is in the right front of the photo.)

    Photo of Glenn Valenzuela

    From the talented artist, Dr. Joseph Allen, MD on May 28, 2007
    Follow this link for a preview of my recent work. alandeckerphoto.com/ARTgallery. These should be posted soon at joesworkshop.com. Three ("Rastaman," "Magestic," and "Any Which Way"), have been submitted for judging at this year's Del Mar Fair Art Exhibition. A second solo exhibition is in the planning for later in the year, so stay tuned.
    All the best,
    Joseph E. Allen, MD, MS, FAAFP, CAQSM
    Family Practice and Sports Medicine
    PS: In addition, Joe volunteers at the San Diego Rock and Roll marathon to staff a medical station.


    Andrea Casillas, Class of 2007 Entering Michigan State University
    Note: I consult with the UC San Diego School of Medicine (Dr. Daley) to work with some Advisees
    Hello Dr. Lewis and Dr. Daley,
    I hope you are doing well. It has been one very busy and challenging year at MSU. You were both with me in spirit because I learned alot from both of you during my application process, that I still use today.

        1. deadline doesn't mean submission date.
        2. Strive for A's in my classes
        3. Always be on time to anything.
        4. Never give up!

    I learned more, but those are the ones that I have even passed on to others! Both of you have been on my mind lately because I wanted to share with you some great news. I completed the ABLE program at MSU CHM and have been accepted to the 2007 entering class. It was a challenging year, and I ended my spring semester with a 3.71 GPA. That was exciting for me. I enjoyed my classes so much and did well in my medical school courses. I may even tutor and blue coat Anatomy this fall.

    I am doing very well, and am excited how wonderful things are falling into place for me. Two weeks ago I found out I was awarded the CHM Hispanic alumni scholarship by the admissions committee, and the Education Opportunity Fellowship scholarship for MSU graduate students. That will help out tremendously. I still await to hear from the National Health Service Corp. I was also selected to join a group of medical students on a medical learning experience in July to Peru. I will assist in cleft palate and lip surgeries. I will also be co-chair for the CHM Latino Midwest Medical Student Association this fall.

    I keep thinking how you and Dr. Daley have made all of this possible. You believed in me and made me believe in myself. I can't thank you both enough. I promise to keep in better touch. I just wanted to let you know that I am doing well. I do not forget those who have helped me along the way, and I appreciate everything.
    Have a great day,
    Andrea Casillas

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

    Kelly Dorsey, Class of 2007 Entering Loyola University School of Medicine

Kelly started working with me 2 years ago, preparing the year before her application, like many applicants who are good at planning. In many ways, she is a "straight arrow" applicant with many parts that are "standard". She is a Native Californian from a middle class family, doing most of those middle class things like selling Girl Scout cookies and attending camp in the summer growing up. She was lucky that her parents took her to Europe on a family vacation and she attended an outdoors scuba diving summer program in Egypt during high school. She attended public schools in the Bay Area, was in the GATE program for a few years, was a cheerleader, in school leadership and liked math, and science and read a lot outside of school. She took 5 AP classes in high school, including doing well in calculus AB, and graduated in 2002 with a strong GPA and good SAT scores.

By elementary school, Kelly said she wanted to be a doctor and enjoyed dissecting a cow's eye, liked science and animals, and considered becoming a veterinarian, then a physician. Kelly was accepted to all the UC campuses, and selected UCLA with a biology major in the honors program. One of her close friends died from bone cancer the fall she entered UCLA. The summer after her first year at UCLA, Kelly's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Kelly helped out at her mother's job while her mother had chemotherapy, radiation treatment, then a mastectomy and became her caregiver. This was a hard time to focus on college, and it took a toll on Kelly's grades.

By Kelly's second year, she found that the premedical "syndrome" of competitive, non-collaborative students at UCLA was not conducive to study and she changed majors to microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics so she could collaborate with peers in smaller classes, and she lived in a sorority house that year, which provided supportive friends during her mother's illness.

Kelly attended the Semester at Sea study abroad program, then sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh, the next year, stopping in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand (scuba dived a month before the tsunami), India, Tanzania, South Africa, Venezuela, and Brazil. She learned how fortunate she is to live in the US, and that most people in the 3rd world are happy, family-oriented, humble and hospitable. Then, beginning that spring, she worked as a receptionist for a gynecologist, checking in patients.

At UCLA, Kelly was in the dance marathon program (26 hrs), which did fundraising for pediatric AIDS, was assistant social chair for her dorm and arranged to bus inner city kids to tour UCLA. She joined a sorority to make friends and was asset Finance Director her first year. In her second year, she lived in the house and became Director of Sisterhood, developing social trips. She volunteered as a "gofer" at Cedars Sinai clinic doing computer data entry and observation in the ER with no patient care or physician mentoring and earned a respectable MCAT score after studying about 300 hours. Her final year at UCLA she joined the SCOPE Program, Students for Community Outreach, Promotion, AND Education. This volunteer group at UCLA aims to provide health and social resources to community members. She split her time between volunteering in the waiting room at the Venice Family Clinic and teaching nutrition to 5th graders.

Kelly is intelligent and hard-working, and took a difficult major at UCLA. Her interest in other cultures and people unlike herself is a long-term passion, having traveled internationally to the Sinai Peninsula, to Africa and Europe with her family, and in the Semester-at-Sea program, and most recently to Costa Rica and Panama, where she worked with a medical team for 10 days last year. She is adventurous and takes risks. Kelly has the high level of energy it takes to accomplish many tasks simultaneously with “integrity, dependability, adaptability” and has excellent communication skills.

What makes Kelly stand out, I think, is her leadership with measurable outcomes and international travel with clinical experience and service. After UCLA graduation, Kelly took a full time job as the Director of the SCOPE program at UCLA which establishes projects and commits volunteers into the Venice Family Health Center low-cost clinics in Los Angeles, one of the largest such clinic systems in the US. She wrote a proposal and funded new projects that she initiated during her year of application. This is called advocacy and leaving a legacy--essentially the most effective service one can provide.

Her biggest liability at the time of application was a slightly lower science GPA, but she worked hard to finish UCLA academically strong. She gained direct patient care and physician Mentor clinical experience those last 2 years by working in the office of a prominent gynecologist-physician who writes books, consults widely, and happens to be the health commentator for the Today Show, in addition to her full clinical practice.

Kelly applied to 26 allopathic medical schools, was interviewed at 3, and accepted to 2, selecting Loyola University to attend next fall. The application year was difficult, with rejections as well as acceptances. I advocated for Kelly at Loyola because I believe in her abilities and in her motivation to become a caring and effective physician. I think Kelly's positive attitude (she always answered the phone wanting to know how I was, and no matter how ill her mother was, and her father also had an illness during our advising time, she was upbeat) and her sense of her cup being half-full carried her through many difficult times. I am the proud holder of 2 postcards written by Kelly, one from Africa and one from Spain, and a photo of Kelly on a trip to Disneyland.

We did all the application activities: essays, secondary applications, collecting strong letters of recommendation interview preparation, deciding on which school to attend. It took about 9 months to do all of the application process after preparing all the AMCAS materials and submitting the AMCAS.

Kelly is so excited about starting at Loyola and just found out that she is one of only 2 incoming students selected for the Ignatian Scholarship, $10, 000 renewable for all 4 years, based on her community involvement and service work.

Congratulations to Kelly!

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

From another Advisor: A pre-dental student told me that he has heard through the grapevine (from other pre-dents) that it is good to apply to dental school this year, although he may not be competitive. The assumption is that dental schools like to see re-applicants who have made improvement, and if one applies one year, you can reapply the next year with more competitive grades and experiences.

The dental admissions officers' listserv responses can be summarized by Sandra Bolivar, Senior Executive Director of Admissions, University of Southern California School of Dentistry: "My advice has always been for applicants to be well prepared at the time they make their initial application to dental school. Should that application be unsuccessful, then the applicant should seek to improve in the identified areas of weakness. These areas may vary depending on the selection criteria of individual dental schools. As re-applicants are given no special priority at my school, we would never recommend that a student deliberately 'test the waters' with a non-competitive application in the hopes that enhanced future applications would improve his/her chance for acceptance."

I concur! APPLY ONCE and be successful! Otherwise you waste money, time, energy, and put yourself at emotional and psychological risk.

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.

Go to Movie Page Go to Newsletter Archive