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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 6 Issue 10
October 2007

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

What's inside:

Welcome to Lewis Associates!

We are getting ready to move into our permanent Templeton, California office. The construction crew is currently 3 months ahead of schedule!  Our tentative moving date is the middle to end of November 2007, around Thanksgiving.  We will need at least a week to establish all our new communication lines, pack, move and unpack.  So, there will likely be a period when Dr. Lewis will be consumed with this move.  Hopefully, Meagan will only be away from the phones for a couple of days.  So, Advisees, plan accordingly please!

Photo is taken from the hill across the lake from the new Lewis
Associates offices. Both interior and exterior work underway as we write!

The fall has been exceedingly busy, with all of the application cycle "stuff to do", and the last MCAT's of 2007 in September; 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.


Permanent Mailing Address
1885 Laguna del Campo, Templeton, CA 93465
805 226-9227

Lewis Associates now absorbs Long Distance Charges
All appointments/phone conferences are made from our office to you. Meagan, our Administrative Assistant, calls YOU at your appointment time and transfers 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 so the fax can be connected. During non-office hours, the fax is automatically connected.

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/FEDEX/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!

Changes in Services
Dr. Lewis has been providing high-quality services for applicant for over 20 years. In the coming months, there will be a few changes that potential advisees should be aware of

  • Last Chance for old rates! On November 1, 2007 Lewis Associates' rates will go up. Call today before its too late!
  • After September 1, 2008, Year-Long Packages will be discontinued for new Advisees. Applicants will still be able to choose from our highly effective Assessment, Essay, Hourly, and Interview Packages after September 1, 2008.
  • Current Advisees will be able to continue working with Dr. Lewis until Matriculation.

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 years prior to application. Why not set yourself up for success, rather than toy with the proposition of failure?

[Annonymous] (Class 2007)
[The applicant's] mother says, "We are so happy about [her] acceptance this year!  We could not have done this without you!  We would like to express our appreciation and gratitude for helping make possible [our daughter's] admission to medical school.  [She] is so happy and excited to be already in medical school.  [Our daughter's] happiness gives our family a reason to be happy.  We saw how you guided our daughter step-by-step to help her in the application process and we thank you very much for it."

Thanks from an Ex-Prosecuting Attorney, now medical student
John was an Assistant State's Attorney (prosecutor) in Chicago, Illinois, when he contacted me in 2004. Now in his 4th year of 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 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"

What's New?

Track Record
CLASS OF 2007... 94% acceptance to medical, dental and MS/MPH programs, one Class of 2007 applicant now accepted into 2008 class and all applicants accepted into residency programs of their choice.

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 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. Call 805-226-9669 and ask to set up your first appointment.


What Does it Mean to be a Physician?
The October 2007 issue of Academic Medicine has a great editorial by Michael Whitcomb following up on previous and similar editorials on "What does it mean to be a physician?"  It goes into the 3 major personal attributes (simplistic as that can be) that the ideal physician must possess. Click here for article.

Osteopathic Medical School statistics
The matriculated Class of 2006 had a 3.37 science GPA; VR 8.4, PS 8.1, essay P and BS 8.7 MCAT scores


  • Processing takes 3-6 weeks AFTER all transcripts are received and the application is submitted.
  • There are 2 types of academic record: undergraduate and professional (generally a graduate program)
  • Make sure you understand the Osteopathic medical philosophy. 
  • Cost: $ 155 for the first school and $35/school on a sliding scale to $25/school after the first 10 schools.  The fee waiver program provides the first 3 schools free and is limited in how many are available--APPLY EARLY! f you applied and were screened as eligible, but did NOT get a waiver, you are eligible for waivers for secondary fees.
  • AACOMAS provides for changes during the application process: transcripts, name, email, SSN, etc.
  • Check your STATUS often:
    1. Transcripts
      GPA calculations after processing (note that science include Bio, chem., physics only; non-science includes math)
      Designations (schools of application)
  • Applicants can select more than one ethnicity
  • These need to be inputted in chronological order:
    Work, extra-curricular experiences
  • Honors include publications
  • DEADLINES for complete individual school submission are listed from October through April, BUT early is best because late applicants are generally applying only for wait list positions.

New Osteopathic Medical Schools
AACOM welcomed 2 new colleges: Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine  (PNWUCOM) and Rocky Vista University (RVUCOM).

Osteopathic Medical statistics
Today's colleges of Osteopathic medicine (COMs) annually educate and train some 15,500 medical students. In 2006, Osteopathic medical students accounted for nearly 21 % of all U.S. medical students.The increasing numbers of COMs, combined with increased class sizes, will allow Osteopathic medical education to play an even greater role in helping the nation contend with its projected physician workforce shortages. Current projections indicate that COMs will graduate more than 4,300 physicians in 2012.

Osteopathic Colleges Boast 9 % First-Year Enrollment Growth

First-year enrollment in the 23 colleges of osteopathic medicine and 3 branch campuses enrolling students this year is 4,408, compared with 4,055 in 2006. This growth mainly reflects enrollment of first-year students at 3 new colleges and planned growth at several others. Total fall 2007 enrollment in the 23 Osteopathic medical colleges and 3 branch campuses is 15,586. This is an increase of 8 % over fall 2006 enrollment.

In Class 2005, 45% of graduates matched in Osteopathic residencies; 55%
matched in allopathic or military residencies.

Five-Year Osteopathic medical Strategic Plan

Western University is launching 3 new colleges: Dental Medicine, Optometry and Podiatric Medicine  website westernu.edu

CCOM Students Roll up Their Sleeves to Help Nonprofits
Before putting on their surgical masks and hitting the books this fall, 173 freshmen medical students donned work gloves, wielded mops, and brandished hedge clippers as part of Midwestern University's Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) annual service project.  More...

DMU Receives $1.9 Million to Improve Rural Health Care Access Des Moines University (DMU) is embarking on a project to improve the availability of health care in Iowa's rural areas. The university has received a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This grant matches the money DMU will put toward the school's $3.8 million, three-year project to create four AHECs. The DMU-organize

UNTHSC Osteopathic Research Center Receives NIH Grant
The Osteopathic Research Center at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) as received a four-year Research Education Project Partnership Grant (R25) from the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. This grant of $758,000 will support the integration of biomedical research competencies into the osteopathic medical school curriculum. 

TOUROCOM Welcomes First Students
The Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - New York (TOUROCOM) opened its doors to its first 135 students on September 4. Located just across the street from the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, TOUROCOM's mission includes increasing the number of underrepresented minorities (URMs) in the profession and developing DOs who are committed to serving the underserved. Fifty-one percent of the new students are members of ethnic minority groups; 12 percent are members of URM groups. TOUROCOM's inaugural class is 64 percent male and 36 percent female. 

Opening Day Greeted with Cheers, Anticipation from Tennessee's Newest Medical Students
When the online countdown clock of Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM), located in Harrogate, Tennessee, ticked down to zero on August 1, the members of the inaugural class were ready. 

ATSU School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona Officially Opens
On July 31, ATSU officially opened the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA). The school is welcoming 106 students into its osteopathic medical program and will operate using a unique curriculum model and strategic health partnerships. 


New Osteopathic 2008 College Information Book
The latest edition of AACOM's Osteopathic Medical College Information Book is now available at aacom.org/data/cib.

This comprehensive resource for prospective students, applicants, and health professions advisors includes entrance requirements, admissions procedures and deadlines, financial aid resources, and other valuable information. In addition, the book provides detailed descriptions of each of the nation's colleges of Osteopathic medicine.

Find these and other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's Links Page.

alumni updates

Kelly Dorsey
MSY1 at Loyola University Medical School

Kelly Dorsey and Boyfriend

Kelly Dorsey and Boyfriend at her White Coat Ceremony

Dr. Daniel Calac, MD
(HCOP alumnus from the Class 1995)
Graduate of Harvard Medical School, UCLA Internal Medicine/Pediatrics combined Residency
Indian Health Council, Medical Director

Dr. Calac invited Dr. Lewis to give an in-service training to his NIH grant staff at San Diego State University about academic and personal support systems and the application process for medical school. 

Watch for the Success Stories coming for these alumni!

success stories
by Dr. Cynthia Lewis

Rena Sarhangian
MSY1 University of Arizona (Arizona resident), Entering Class of 2007
Rena Sarhangian

As I sat in the familiar UCLA classroom taking the MCAT for the second time, I felt confident, secure and ready to give the test my best shot.   Less than a year before, I had a vastly different experience taking the same exam.  After spending many hours studying the material, reviewing difficult concepts and attending MCAT prep classes, when the test arrived I felt stressed, anxious and ill-prepared.  When I got my score, I was surprised at how much lower it was than my practice test scores had been, and knew that if I was to be successful in taking this test,and ultimately, getting into medical school, I was going to need the right support to make significant changes.

After hearing about Dr. Lewis from a friend, I soon realized that she could provide the expertise, experience and assistance that I would need.  During her initial assessment, we discussed my journey to medicine and the obstacles that I would face and need to overcome.  My low MCAT score we concluded was most likely a result of test anxiety because I had prepared so extensively for the exam.  Over the next several months she designed and then helped me implement a comprehensive plan to improve my score on the MCAT that included dealing with my test anxiety by meeting with a relaxation specialist, adequately reviewing the material by re-taking the prep class and being accountable for my study time by keeping a tracking sheet.  As I talked with Dr. Lewis, she repeatedly instilled within me the confidence and belief in myself that I had been lacking.  Her help gave me more confidence in my ability to overcome difficult and seemingly unsurpassable obstacles, which was a crucial component to my success. 

My score significantly improved the second time I took the MCAT.  I was now within the range of accepted applicants and felt more confident moving ahead to the next step in the application process.  Dr. Lewis helped me gather my letters of recommendation and work on my personal statement early in the year so that we would be prepared to submit them in the summer.  During the spring semester of my senior year, having Dr. Lewis as a Mentor and coach helped me learn to study more effectively which along with my greater confidence allowed me to earn higher grades in difficult upper division courses.  A large hindrance to my academic success in the past had been due to overextending myself, which had resulted in lots of hard work with disappointingly less then perfect grades.  Dr. Lewis helped me recognize this and we developed a more realistic course load in which I could be successful. 

As we began to work on the secondary applications, I still wasn't sure whether or not I would gain acceptance into medical school but I felt confident in knowing that I had truly given it my best effort with the help of an excellent coach.  I was excited to receive my interview invitations and worked hard to thoroughly prepare to meet with faculty, professors and students.  My mock interviews with Dr. Lewis helped me prepare for difficult questions and begin to formulate answers to controversial topics and recent political events regarding healthcare and medicine.  This tremendously boosted my confidence by giving me the experience I needed before entering the actual interview.  My mock interviews with Dr. Lewis were harder than my actual interviews!

I gained acceptance into my first choice medical school and I know that Dr. Lewis was a major reason for my success.  The help that she provided greatly enhanced my application by strengthening my weak areas and teaching me to effectively write about myself and my interests in the AMCAS essay and secondary applications.  Dr. Lewis’ guidance and support was invaluable during the preparation and application periods and the confidence in myself that she helped me gain will continue to play an important role in my continued academic and professional success. 

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

question of the month

by Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD
What do I do about "low" MCAT scores?

This is a very complex issue that requires personal assessment! Many factors could have contributed to this outcome:

  1. Unrealistic about the quantity and quality of preparation.
  2. Not taking certain components of the exam seriously, e.g. the "essays"
  3. Having significant test anxiety that paralyzes
  4. Having an undiagnosed/diagnosed learning disability, ADHD or other disability
  5. Lack of time management, prioritization, study skills
  6. Test site problems

So, we will tackle the first response this month, and then, the others in ensuing months

For years, I have heard premedical applicants put a study schedule together that is "unrealistic".  Applicants may take on too much in the way of course load, paid work, extracurricular activities, family issues…. some or even ALL of these! during the period prior to the scheduled dreaded MCAT.  Usually, being unrealistic is just due to naiveté, but often it is borne of fear of failure.  The psychology goes:  if I studied diligently for this exam and don't do well, then "I am a failure".  But, if I don't really study hard and then fail, I can say I "didn't have the 'time or energyfill in the blank…' to study enough. 

So, that is why I have test prep logs that I ask applicants to send me weekly, so we can discuss strategy throughout the entire prep period…fine tune it where necessary, and it makes you ACCOUNTABLE…to yourself and to me.  This turns out to be a key important activity for many applicants.  We also have a daily log that you can use for your personal planning and accountability. 

The MCAT (and DAT, PCAT, GRE) is a "full time" job, if you are really serious.  Each of us has different natural academic gifts (verbal and quantitative reasoning skills), but generally, one needs to harness all study skills, those natural abilities and put real elbow grease into them.. 

And, we each come to this task with different study skills.  Some people have English as a second language and have other cultural norms. These backgrounds make the MCAT more of a challenge. 

If you can afford a prep class (Kaplan, Princeton Review and Berkeley Review are expensive; Dr. Flowers MCAT and Exam Krackers are less expensive and many find them helpful), great.  But, lots of applicants see a course as a brain feeder system...i.e., just show up and your brain will be fed…without "much effort on my part".  Guess, what?  That is a "no go". 

I advise all applicants that 300 hours of focused study, of content and test-taking strategies is the right ballpark for MOST people to do well.  So, an effective PERSONAL test taking strategy addresses many variables, including how long ago did I take the science subjects tested, how well did I learn them (grades, skills), what are my standardized test taking skills? ETC. This is a complex issue.  Mass produced answers are just not very effec
tive. Some may defer the test to "summer" when their intentions are to focus on test prep, but then get sidetracked with a vacation, with family problems, with having to retake a class they thought they passed….etc.

So, planning and accountability and being realistic about what is the effective quantity and quality of effort is a personal issue…and is the key to success!

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.

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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