Volume 6 Issue 9
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
to Success Stories Newsletter!
How to Communicate
Class of 2008
News: Secondary Application Question; Response to Sicko
Links: MCAT eligibility;
Dr. Flowers' Test Prep
Update, Photo: Dr. Jonathan Bloom, Anesthesiology Residency;
Darcy Thompson, USC School of Medicine; Zaihleen Keller, Entering
class 2007, Rosalind Franklin School of
Story of the Month: Janelle Pieros, A. T. Still College
of Osteopathic Medicine, Mesa Arizona, Entering Class of 2007
of the Month: How do I relax if I am Type A? (including
taking tests like the MCAT, DAT, etc.)
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
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 and we are ahead of schedule!
The fall is exceedingly busy, with all of the application cycle "stuff
to do", and the last MCAT's of 2007 around the corner; DATs, GREs,
PCATs, etc. Contact us to find out how we can support YOUR application
or help you plan for a future application to be successful.
|August 26, 2007 - Construction crew completed installing dry
wall and now is tiling floors and installing cabinetry.
NEW Mailing Address
1885 Laguna del Campo, Templeton, CA 93465
Lewis Associates now absorbs Long Distance Charges
All appointments/phone conferences will be made from our office to
you. Meagan, 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 4pm, (PST), you must first call the office 805-227-9669
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At this time Lewis Associates is only able to receive expedited mail
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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 students,
particularly, those interested in BA-MD programs)
Just starting college? This is a scary time. Everything
is new…and how do I meet all those new expectations?
Moving into your difficult upper division sciences as a junior?
Possibly, the "dreaded organic chemistry"…
Re-entering as an "older" non-traditional student?
Re-establishing academic discipline…
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 gotten all of your letters of recommendation/evaluation
to your letter service or written your application personal statement,
then you are way...BEHIND!
Are you REALLY ready to apply this year?
How do you know?
Use our Personal Assessment--and you will be given your personal strategy
and path to your future!
Many whom I advise may not yet be 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
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
Thanks from Lily Marouf, entering into Sackler University
Medical school in Tel Aviv Fall 2007:
"Dear Dr. Lewis, thank you for all of your help over the past year. It
was one of the most challenging years of my life and I could not have been successful
without you. I appreciate all of your support and patience and look forward to
sharing many memories with you when I come back to the States. Love, Lily"
FREE teleconferencing and videoconferencing.
You need to register for free AOL Instant Messaging, and will get free
audio and/or video contact with us!
CLASS OF 2007... 94% acceptance to
medical, dental and MS/MPH programs plus 2/2 applicants accepted
into residency programs of their choice.
92% of our Class of 2006 applicants were accepted! (2 more were
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 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
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 805-226-9669 and ask to set up your first appointment.
Secondary application question:
"How am I unique?...or How have I met challenges?" secondary
question used by Stanford (and many other schools)
The Committee on Admissions regards the diversity of an entering class
as an important factor in serving the educational mission of the school.
The Committee on Admissions strongly encourages you to share unique,
personally important, and/or challenging factors in
your background, such as the quality of your early educational environment,
socioeconomic status, culture, race, ethnicity, or life or work experiences.
Please discuss how such factors have influenced your goals and preparation
for a career in medicine.
We have learned a few things over the years we have used this question
- Essentially every applicant writes an answer
to this optional question, usually with more "personal" details
than the personal statement.
- Applicants read our intent in asking the question correctly
- your unique experiences shape your world view, and Stanford is
interested in how you will bring diverse views to our learning
- Applicants who answer this question seriously sometimes realize
that everyone has biases and can be subject to bias, and write about
it. We think people who are in touch with themselves and their biases
make excellent clinicians.
- Personally important factors can describe both the distance
traveled and the amazing personal growth that characterize the
stories of people who have experienced bias and took the opportunity
to reflect on these experiences.
- The question signals to applicants that we embrace diversity
in the broadest context, and when asked they appreciate the opportunity
to tell a more personal part of their story to an audience that will
Every time we have made an admissions decision that has been relied
heavily on the quality of the personal statement or the answer to
this question, it has been because we want this applicant's unique
voice in our classrooms and clinics. We are going to keep it.
Gabriel Garcia, MD
Professor Of Medicine
Associate Dean of Medical School Admissions
From a Lewis Associates Class 0f 2008 California
Premedical applicant, responding to Dr. Lewis' challenge about Michael
"Hi Dr. Lewis,
As a premed student, I (with peer health or the
premed club) plan on hosting a screening of Sicko. I was planning
on passing out fliers or tabling at the different fairs/events we have
in the community and at ..name of university.
Hopefully, I will be at a California medical school so that I can
learn more about Schwarzenegger's health care plan for California. It
sounds like it is a step in the right direction, but there are some
issues with the plan: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6749432
The AMSA fellowship sounds interesting. At AMSA, I would be able
to work towards advising agencies/companies/the government on steps
they can take to make universal health care possible.
As a doctor, I plan on volunteering at free clinics and continuing
working with organizations that are focused on universal health care. At
this point, I am not sure how I will accomplish this, but I know I
This is a sad, but hopeful time!"
8/23/07 unveiled a 3-year AMA campaign
to focus public attention on the need to expand health insurance coverage
to more of the nation's 45 million uninsured patients. The first phase
of the "Voice
for the Uninsured" campaign asks those
planning to vote in the 2008 election to urge their elected leaders
to reform our nation's health care system—and ensure that more
people have access to health insurance. Using the theme "Because
1 out of 7 is 45 million too many," the campaign features real
physicians and uninsured patients to illustrate the human side of this
E-mail means fewer patient calls and visits
Despite concerns that online consults are not usually reimbursed, e-mail
advocates say the technology offers greater practice flexibility, time
efficiencies and marketing power. http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/08/27/bil20827.htm
Arbitrate, not litigate:
A growing and popular alternative to lawsuits
"Whispering strokes" often go unheard, but still cause damage
Posted on the AAMC Web page is a listing of medical schools
accepting the September 2007 MCAT administrations for application to
the 2008 entering class. This list will be updated periodically.
Test Prep useful for students who cannot afford other programs but
really need some quality test prep time.
Find these and other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's
Alumni in Boston and Los Angeles
From His mother, Cindy Wilkins 8/1/07:
"Just got back from my first visit to Boston. Jon just loves it
there. Can you believe he is in his third year of Anesthesiology residency? Wanted
to send you this picture.
(Read Jonathan's December 2001 Success
Jonathan Bloom with mother Cindy Wilkins
From Darcy Thompson
MSY 2, University of Southern California
" I live in Pasadena Mon-Fri and usually go home to Carlsbad on the weekends. Some
weekends I stay up here and study (like this one). Third year has been
hectic already, but I absolutely LOVE it. I definitely had my doubts after
two years of classwork. Sitting in lecture was definitely not my forte. I
was not sure if the sacrifice was all worth it. After two weeks in the
hospital I was reassured that I had made the right decision. I really like
I hope you have a great summer. I'm sure you're busy with
the next class getting ready to submit applications in a month.
Talk to you soon,
at her White Coat Ceremony
'Roar' The Jeep's Trip to Medical School
It’s me Roar…Zai’s jeep. I’m emailing
you all to tell you about my new adventure! I’m going to
medical school! Well, actually Zai is going to medical school,
but I get to take her there each day…well actually it
is really hot right now and the air-conditioned Honda gets to
take her. BUT you know it will get cold, and then it will be
ALL ABOUT ME and my 4x4 capabilities!
had quite an adventure moving here from California. Chris and
Zai (in their infinite wisdom…ha!) decided to pack up
a 26’ truck, hook me up to the back of it on a tow carrier,
and drive across the country. Thank goodness they have great
friends who helped them load the truck in Berkeley! Here is a
picture of our huge truck.
case you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting me, I’m
the good looking one in the back!
was fine until night-fall on our first day. We were about an hour
and a half past Reno, NV when the wheel on my tow trailer bent.
I was sound asleep, dreaming about rugged terrain and boom smoke
everywhere. Of course Zai didn’t even notice and pulled me
and the broken trailer along. Thank goodness a scary-looking, kind
fellow made us pull over. Burning rubber smells terrible!
Love ROAR J
PS~ Chris and Zai send their love too J
Watch for the Success Stories coming for these alumni!
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis
Janelle Pieros, A. T. Still University--Mesa,
Arizona, Entering Class of 2007
Pieros' White Coat Ceremony
Janelle was born in Lander, Wyoming, a rural area, and moved at age
5 to the Imperial Valley, an agricultural community with a high proportion
of Mexican Americans. Her Italian American father was a coal
miner, now retired, who then worked for the Imperial Irrigation District
as a mechanic. He hurt his back, had surgery and has
a disability retirement. Her Mexican mother's family
is from Sonora, Mexico and has a 2-year RN degree. She is staff
coordinator at the El Centro Regional Medical Center. Janelle's
older sister earned her RN and works in OB at the Medical Center. Her
younger sister attends Imperial Valley College and started the RN program
this fall. Janelle's
mother speaks both Spanish and English at home; it is a truly bicultural
Janelle attended public elementary school in El Centro through 6th
grade, attending the GATE gifted program where she did extra projects. She
enjoyed science, California history in 4th grade, and writing, but
did not do much reading outside of school and continued in the GATE
program through 12th grade. She attended Central Union HS and was
co-captain of the drill team, which did local competitions and played
center field in varsity softball for 4 years, going to CIF playoffs
was in the key club, giving service at convalescent homes and was a
candy striper at a local hospital 100 hours. Her church
youth group did outreach trips to Mexicali frequently. In college,
Janelle volunteered with the EAOP clinics in Ensenada for Flying Samaritans
and did Spanish interpreting monthly. AP biology, pre-calculus,
chemistry, no physics and 3 years of Spanish and graduated in 1999
with a strong GPA and mediocre SAT scores.
Janelle applied to all the UC campuses due to a fee waiver and was
accepted to UCSD, UCR, UCD, and selected UCSD because it was close
to home. She attended the Summer Bridge program learning new
study skills and about UCSD resources, OASIS, clubs and administrative
information. She made a good group of friends in the summer bridge
who she studied with that first year, lived in the dorm, worked 10
hr/wk as a Mentor and tutoring Spanish at the charter junior high. Financial
aid was crucial to support attending UCSD.
That year, Janelle first realized that she was "different",
as a Mexican American and felt some culture shock with all the Asian
and Caucasian students. Her summer bridge staff
signed her up for OASIS for her first year classes. As first
in her family to attend a 4-year college, Janelle had to learn time
management and new skills, which was a challenge. She used all
the resources, including clubs like AED and IVF, SOMA. Janelle took
the required calculus and chemistry classes, learning how to do well
in them, and built her confidence. In summer
2000, she returned home and took 2 GE classes at the local community
college. Here, she worked full time doing health histories and shadowed
her Argentinean pediatrician in El Centro. She spoke with Spanish-speaking
patients and learned a lot, and also in her second college summer for
In her second year at UCSD, Janelle worked at their daycare center
10 hr/wk, used OASIS academic support and volunteered in some clinics. She
continued taking sciences and in her third year, changed to an interdisciplinary
major of Human Development because she wanted to study psychology,
biology and development. She continued to work 10 hr/wk at the
UCSD daycare as a teacher's aid for ages 1-5 kids. She trained in the
UCSD student health service as a student health advocate, taking vitals
during her second year and doing High School student preventive medicine
In Janelle's 3rd year, became the VP of Students for Osteopathic Medicine
Association (SOMA), selecting speakers, and volunteering at the Osteopathic
Center for Children. In her 3rd year, she shadowed Dr. Morelli who
attends children at OCC (Dr. Thomas worked with adults) and was a scribe
for Dr. Thomas 4 hr/wk. She helped restrain Down's Syndrome kids
and enjoyed how Dr. Morelli kept the children entertained during doctor
visits. In her 4th year, she observed the iconic Osteopathic
physician Dr. Frymann, which gave her chills--seeing the holistic approach
and interaction with patients. In summer 2001, Janelle went to Peru
outside Lima on a mission for 2 months, living and
working at a missionary school. She helped build a church, worked
with children in a youth program, like doing puppet shows and put the
roof on another church. She loves working with children!
In her 4th year, she found that she did best in labs, as a kinesthetic
learner. For a year, Janelle volunteered as a tutor/Mentor
at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church with mostly Hispanic children and
teens; tutored all subjects K-12. She did a thesis in field research
required by the human development major of her own selection: the
affect of siblings and gender on conflict resolution in after-school
programs. She found that females responded more emotionally and
drew out conflict for days; that males were aggressive, then let it
go. She enjoyed having the freedom to create her own personal
curriculum. And, 2 years ago, Janelle developed a high school
health curriculum about nutrition, STDs, etc and taught it. From 3/03-6/03,
Janelle volunteered for a chiropractor/PT/nutritionist office, doing
PT aide work 4 hr/wk to see if you wanted these careers. She graduated
in 2003 with a 3.1 GPA in a BA in human development; slightly lower
She was a survey worker for UCSD pediatrics Dept for 6 month, researching
the benefits of implementing the Healthy Start Program at Head Start
by doing pre/post tests with preschool children and their parents/teachers. Janelle
launched into a full-time job at the Fusion Learning Center in Solana
Beach in 8/03 with about 200 kids K-12+ with Learning Disabilities
and ADHD. This schools teaches classes for school credit and
does mentor/tutoring. Some kids are retaking classes; all must
pass a mastery test before moving on. Janelle taught math up
to pre-calculus, science, biology, chemistry, physics; all teaching
is one-on-one and personal. After two years at Fusion, she took
on the role of department head of foreign language and test prep coordinator.
She updated spanish curricula and organizes SAT/ACT prep exams, really
enjoying teaching and learning from her students.
Janelle's mother, a nurse, was her primary
role model. She completed
nursing school while Janelle was in elementary school and saw her commitment
to career. By Janelle's second year of college, she started thinking
that she wanted to be an osteopathic physician, after hearing about
Osteopathy during a SOMA meeting her first year. Her
mission in Peru working with children showed her how much she loves
children--they are her passion. She was treated like a Peruvian
due to her darker skin and fluent Spanish skills, and she felt very
connected. Janelle likes impacting people personally, especially children
and the Hispanic community; and has many years of work and volunteer
clinical, teaching and Mentoring experiences that support this.
Preparation for Class 2007 Application for Medical School
fall 2002, Janelle took the early bird Kaplan course to prepare for
the spring 03 MCAT, but she was not preparing effectively and did not
take it. She studied "on her own" for the 4/04
exam about 20 hr/wk for 12 weeks = 240 hrs, completing all sections.
While working full time, she prepared once again "on her own" for
the 4/05 MCAT using the early bird Kaplan schedule: 25 hr/wk for 11
week = 275 hrs; mediocre scores where she guessed at 2 passages for
each section (not completing). She studied 8 weeks X 25 hr/wk
= 200 hr while working full time for the 8/05 MCAT, also mediocre scores. She
found that interpreting the questions was the hardest part for her.
Janelle had strong HS grades, is a hard worker academically and follows
her heart, selecting an interesting major of human development--a
nice balance of science and humanities. She comes from a rural
area where physicians are in great demand. She uses her resources
available--academic and personal. And, in her teaching/mentoring
job for 4 years, she saw how those two components are integrated
to provide appropriate support. Janelle in her first year of
college learned how to focus and study the appropriate intensity,
became goal-directed, and disciplined. She is highly motivated
and focused, and her parents support her. Being bicultural
(Mexican-American) will be helpful to work with
the large Hispanic population in California or in almost any state. Janelle
has many years of meaningful clinical and community service volunteer
experience, including a mission trip to Peru building churches and
teaching children, and at OCC with Drs. Morelli and Thomas.
A. T. Still Mesa is a good match for me because of their focus on rural
medicine and hands-on learning. I want to practice in a rural or
urban area to treat the underserved. A. T. Still Mesa places students
after our first year at a community health center to give us contextual
learning in the environment where we will learn best."
Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to
communicate about medical schools or other issues or to contact those
profiled in Success Stories: email@example.com
question of the month
Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD
How do I deal with anxiety? (I am a type A person.)
and Answer from Dr. Brian Alman to his newsletter audience:
Are you a racehorse?
Type A people do
not know how to quiet their minds. They are
like racehorses; always on the go. This may be you, a family
member or a co-worker.
If you or anyone you know is like this, look out!
Get ready for INTENSE!
So, how does this kind of mind-set, attitude and personality ever
learn how to relax the ways many other people do? They don't! Oh,
they can try yoga or watching their breath or even star-gazing. Within
moments, the "analyzation" (means paralysis through analysis)
takes over...and goes on and on...
Here is one way to relax a racehorse and a Type A person.
By the way, to de-stress, be your best and enjoy your life, it is
essential to know how to relax while maintaining the racehorse "edge" at
the same time. It's not either-or; it's both.
Here is just one technique to try out today: This
is 4 steps
Step One: Close your eyes and focus on your exhales only
Step Two: Say your own name to yourself as you exhale
Step Three: Imagine a double-headed racehorse standing right in front
of you. No matter which way you run; left, right, back or forth,
the double-headed racehorse will get you. So, what do you do?
Step Four: Stay completely still. Be a statue. Keep saying
your own name on your exhales. Inhale and say, "Please Relax" and
exhale your own name. Continue this for 1-5 minutes. This
is just one way of relaxing your "Inner Racehorse."
If you are using 12% of your brain, the scientists of the world applaud
you. When you relax, you open up the doors to your unconscious
(intuition) and can increase that number to 50% or more.
Give yourself 5 minutes a day and watch what happens!
You'll be better with you and everyone else will thank you, too.
Yours In Health,
Dr Brian Alman
Communicate with Dr. Alman directly: DrAlman@selfhypnosis.com
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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