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Lewis Associates e-Newsletter
Volume 7 Issue 7
July 2008

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

What's inside:

Advisor's Conference

Dr. Lewis with Advisor friends in Chicago: Dr. Tony Smulders, Loyola Marymount University, Dr. Charles Chapman, Athens State University

Dr. Lewis just returned from the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions meeting in Chicago. She spoke with Deans and representatives from American medical, dental, PA, pharmacy, oriental medicine, and all kinds of health professions schools and also with schools from all over the world!

This is an exciting time…with lots of changes in admissions!

Applications continue to climb, so you must be competitive to be successful!

Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
Current Students' Progress
How to Communicate With Us
Changes in Services
Your journey to a health profession
Are You Ready for the Class of 2009?
Track Record
Be Competitive

Getting Started

Hot Topics at the National Advisors' meeting

Useful Links
Child Family Health International
Explore Health Careers.org

Alumni Update
Tracy Reese, entering Class of 2008, UCLA-Drew
Dr. Robert Carpenter, D.O.
A.T. Still University at Kirksville, MO, Class of 1996
Jenny Papazian, entering Class of 2005, George Washington University School of Medicine
Michelle Garrido, MSY1 University of Illinois at Chicago
Angelica Vivero, MSY 1, Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara

Success Story of the Month
LaDawn Hackett, Medical College of Georgia entering Class of 2008

Question of the Month
How will the AMCAS new electronic Letter service affect me?

Our Services


Welcome to Lewis Associates!

July is when applicants should have submitted their applications if they want to be in the "early" group! Timing of application is becoming more important each year as the process speeds up with electronic secondaries, and now for the first time this year, AMCAS' pilot electronic letter service for 20 schools.  So, off we go, to the start of another -- the Class of 2009 -- application year!!
Are you ready?

Current Students' Progress
96% of Lewis Associates 2008 Applicants were accepted into medical, dental, veterinary pharmacy and naturopathic medical schools; several into their top choices! Congratulations!

If you are interested in personalized advising from “The Best in the Business,” (quote by Dr. Patrick Linson, Harvard Medical School Alum who is the only Native American Radiation Oncologist on the planet!), call Lewis Associates today to schedule YOUR personal assessment. Dr. Lewis invests in you, so you may live up to your potential to be the best applicant you can be!

Dr. Lewis' note:  Dr. Linson installed the newest, most advanced Radiation Surgery machine in the world in his Vista, California, medical office this year… a step up from the ones at Stanford and Harvard! Congratulations Dr. Linson. Click here for news video.

How to Communicate With Us
Phone: 805-226-9669 Fax: 805-226-9227
Mailing Address: 1885 Laguna del Campo, Templeton, CA 93465

Lewis Associates absorbs Long Distance Charges

All phone conferences are made from our office to you. Marcia, our Administrative Assistant, calls YOU at your appointment time.

Changes in Services

  • After September 1, 2009, new Year-Long Packages will be not be available. If you are considering long-term advising, this is the year to lock in your Advising Agreement with us
  • After September 1, 2009, Applicants will still be able to select from our highly effective Assessment, Essay, Hourly, and Interview Packages. 
  • Current Advisees will 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…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.

Are you REALLY ready to apply for the Class of 2009?
How do you know?

Use our Personal Assessment--and you will be given your personal strategy and path to your future!
Then, if you use our advising, we help implement your strategy!

Many whom we 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?

Margaret Jolley, Accepted to UC San Diego School of Medicine Class of 2008
"I never would've made it without my weekly conference with the calm, experienced Dr. Lewis. She kept me sane. I am so grateful for her guidance, for her editing help, and for the confidence she instilled in me. She is a genuinely caring committed Mentor who takes pride in helping our dreams happen. I have urged every fellow student I know to call her. Let her help you, too!"

LaDawn Hackett, this month's Success Story: "Thank you for helping my dream of attending MCG become a reality.  Words cannot express my gratitude!"

Ariel Chairez, Scholarship Awardee, University of Wisconsin Medical School Class 2004
Dr. Lewis, I would like to thank you for all of your help. Without your guidance, I would not have been accepted into medical school this year. I am extremely happy to have been accepted to one of the top medical schools in the country, and to have received a scholarship of $130,000. For any student who questions the value of your services, I can say that you have saved me $130,000 in tuition!  Thank you.

John Fiszer, University Of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine Class of 2005
Dr. Lewis' note: John was an Assistant State's Prosecuting Attorney in Chicago, Illinois, when he contacted me in 2004.Finishing his 4th year of medical school, he said: "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."

Ali Warrick, entering Class 2010 Advisee
"Dear Dr. Lewis,
I would like to tell you how much I appreciate your involvement in my transfer process to UC Berkeley. You have been an integral part of the transition, and I would like to thank you for your time and efforts.  I know that your work is very thorough and well thought out. In addition, I believe that you really care about your students and believe in each student's "right fit" in a school. You lead many people toward a brighter future and I would like to say Thank You! for your contribution toward my academic goals. This process has been much more enjoyable with your assistance and guidance. Thank you for being so good at what you do."

S, accepted with full scholarship to Mayo Medical School
"I cannot thank Dr. Lewis enough for her support and invaluable advice. When I came to her more than a year ago, I was apprehensive about the formidable task of applying to medical school especially with my past academic and personal hardships. She helped me to see that overcoming these difficulties were a testament to my strength, dedication, and diligence. One of the most surprising outcomes of our relationship was that she was effective in helping me to develop a more positive self-analysis and conquer many of my insecurities. Without her guidance and letter of support, I would not have been able to earn an acceptance to Mayo Medical School. Mayo also granted me a merit scholarship that will cover almost all of my tuition. I truly appreciate all of her help. She went above and beyond her role as an advisor by becoming a mentor to me. She is absolutely the best in the business!"

Track Record
Class of 2008...96% acceptance
Class of 2007...97% acceptance

Be Competitive
In order to be a competitive Class of 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 Dr. Lewis' advising, 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 and challenges.

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 you 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!
Dr. Lewis spends, 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. Or, you may wish to use 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--Dr. Lewis can help you. We have made the difference for almost 800 alumni now practicing in medicine the last 23 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 to set up your first appointment.


The "hot topics" at the National Advisors' meeting last week included:  MCAT updates and accommodations, Criminal Background Checks, stereotype threat, holistic review of applications (not just the numbers!), the new AACOMAS 2009, a superb talk: "Preparing our students to survive health professions' training with their souls intact", and MUCH more. 

Osteopathic medical applications reached an all time high for the entering Class of 2008:  they increased 3.4% over the 2007 pool, and by May 2, 2008, 11, 849 applicants had submitted applications to the AACOMAS! This surpassed the previous record of 11,459 applicants in 2007.  Since 1996, the number of available seats for first year students in the 25 colleges and 3 branch campuses that are part of the AAOCMAS application service has grown from 2200 to 4389.  The entering Class 2007 academic profile: average overall GPA: 3.46, science GPA 3.36; MCAT VR 8.5, PS 8.2, BS 8.8,

Dental applicants increased to 13,742 for 2007, with the applicant to enrollee ratio of 2.9 to 1, but declined very slightly for 2008.  Enrollee mean overall GPA for 2007 was 3.53 (with 47% of enrollees below the mean) and mean science GPA was 3.46.  DAT 2007 enrollee mean academic average 19.5, mean PAT 18.7, mean total science 19.5.  Two new schools:  Midwestern University in Arizona (class of 100 begins in 2008) and Western University in Pomona, California (class of 64 begins in 2009). 

Allopathic medical schools:  There are now 129 US schools, and the AAMC has launched a Holistic Review Project, to assist medical schools enhance the diversity of their students through an individualized, holistic review process in applicant selection.   Diversity includes more than culture, ethnicity and race.  It includes sexual orientation, languages, rural/urban and socioeconomic backgrounds, sex, major, age and life experience, etc!  Currently, there are 10 schools with applications in various stages of the accreditation process.  The newest school is The Commonwealth Medical College in Scranton, PA, open for Class of 2009. 

There were 42,315 applicants and 17,759 matriculants for the entering Class of 2007,  (see AAMC FACTS www.aamc.org/data/facts/). 
Average matriculant MCAT scores:  VR 9.9, PS 10.3, BS 10.6, essay P; science GPA 3.59, overall GPA 3.65. 

Physician Assistant Class of 2007: 10,550 applicants, up 16.8% from 2006 , mean age 26.  For the Class of 2006, mean overall GPA of matriculants was 3.39 and science GPA was 3.29.  there are currently 140 PA programs and 107 participate in CASPA.  The most frequently listed titles related to direct patient health care experience reported by the applicants are volunteer, medical assistant, certified nursing assistant and intern.  Those in health-related experience include PA shadow, research assistant and observer. 


Health Care Made Simple

Explore Health Careers gives 7 steps to a Successful Health Career

Child Family Health International

Child Family Health International


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

alumni updates

Tracy Reese
Tracy Reese

Tracy Reese, entering Class of 2008, UCLA-Drew

"I am so happy and excited!  Thank you for encouraging me to write my Letter of Intent to Matriculate to the UCLA/Drew Admissions Committee.  I believe it made a huge difference.  I am so grateful for all of your help."

Dr. Rob Carpenter
Cycling for AIDS

Dr. Robert Carpenter, D.O.
A.T. Still University at Kirksville, MO, Class of 1996

Cycling for AIDS…536 Miles Completed! Update from last month

Dear friends and family,

Yesterday, we completed the 536-mile bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.  There were 40+ states and 10+ countries represented among 2500 cyclists and 500+ roadie volunteers who participated in the event.

It is certainly a bitter-sweet ending to a magnificent, life-changing experience.  I personally raised $3000 through sponsorship from generous sponsors and the Ride raised over $11.6 million which will go to people affected by HIV who do not have the resources to stay healthy.

I rode every one of those 536 miles.  I won't miss using the porta-potties or sleeping in a tent every night....but I will miss the community.  It is difficult to describe the camaraderie that is felt when 3000+ people get together to live, eat, sleep, cry, and ride for one cause, one goal.  We took care of each other by loaning a cycling glove to friend who lost his, to stopping and helping a stranger change her flat tire on the side of the road, to offering encouragement to other riders as they struggled to reach the top of a long, steep climb.  Another remarkable feature was the local community support.  People came out along the entire route to offer support.  There is a woman, called "The Cookie Lady", who bakes cookies and sets up a table on the side of the road so that all riders can stop and enjoy her home-made cookies as they pass by.  There is another woman who bakes brownies (they were the best brownies I have ever had) and sets up a spot at the half-way point for all riders - she won't accept donations to cover her costs.  Staff from coffee shops would set-up tables, karaoke machines, free coffee, etc, outside of their store fronts which attracted local residents who would then cheer us on.  The cities of Bradley and Casmalia, CA, set up a block party environment complete with barbecue, dancing and music.  The city of Santa Barbara sets up an area where they provide all-you-can-eat ice cream, fresh-baked cookies, and fresh strawberries for all riders.  I chose to ride as a person living with HIV (you will notice the orange flag on my bike).  Although the flag was there for all to see, I felt as though it wasn't there or was transparent; there was no judging, no stigma during this incredible week.

Fortunately, I suffered no injuries, had no accidents, and had no mechanical difficulties during this amazing week.  Today, I feel pretty well with very minimal soreness, although I am battling a cold!

Registration is open for next year's Ride: https://www.aidslifecycle.org/register/ - I have already registered; I hope to ride and volunteer in the medical tents.  I encourage everyone to consider riding or volunteering as a roadie.  I will also be a Training Ride Leader and will be able to help other people train and prepare for the Ride!

For those of you who sponsored me - THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.  For those of you who weren't able to, I will be riding again next year and will ask for your support then.  $11.6 million is a lot of money but it is not enough - we have long way to go in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Please enjoy photos from the ride:

We Ride until there is a Cure,

Jenny Papazian
Jenny Papazian

Jenny Papazian, entering Class of 2005, George Washington University School of Medicine

May 31, 2008  "Dearest Dr. Lewis,  How are you doing? I know that it has been soo long since we last spoke. You are in my thoughts and my prayers often and I just wanted to email you to see how you and your family are doing. I hope that everything is going great and if you're ever in D.C., I would love to see you. I'm finishing my 3rd year of med school at GW. I have 3 more weeks to go to finish my Primary Care rotation . I can't believe how time has flown by! I feel so blessed and fortunate to be able to carry out my dream of becoming a doctor and I want to thank you for helping me get to this point. I never forget about all your help and guidance along the way. I miss you and hope to see you in the near future!"  Jenny Papazian

Michelle Garrido
Michelle Garrido in Chicago

Michelle Garrido, MSY1 University of Illinois at Chicago

Michelle and Dr. Lewis were able to get together during Dr. Lewis' recent trip to Chicago. Michelle is enjoying the rigorous first year curriculum and looking forward to more of the same next year. She loves Chicago.

Angelica Vivero
Angelica Vivero

Angelica Vivero, MSY 1, Universidad Autonama de Guadalajara

June 5, 2008
"Dear Dr. Lewis,
How are you? I hope everything is going well. I just wanted to give you an update on my experience and academic standing during this first semester of medical school. I studied my heart out and it paid off. Monday was my last exam for the semester , it was Biochemistry. I just loved the biochemistry professor he is a fantastic professor. I have never understood biochemistry so well.  Due to my class performance in both Biochemistry and anatomy I was able to exempt from both of these finals and therefore granted an extra two weeks for summer break. I do not think I have ever studied so much in all of my academic career, but it feels great to do so well. Finally, I get to enjoy the city. Gabe and I are traveling to the Yucatan peninsula next week. I am looking forward to some rest. Please write soon,

Angelica Vivero "

Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!

success story

LaDawn Hackett, Class of 2008 Medical College of Georgia--My First Choice

Click here to read more about LaDawn and PCOM's first class in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

June Yoshii
Donald Dickert and LaDawn Hackett

When I met Dr. Linda Zivalech, my first female pediatrician, I knew I wanted to model my life after hers.  She was a vivacious, intelligent, and compassionate physician unlike any I had met.  From that day when I was 8 years old, I changed my career goal from teacher to doctor, however bringing my career decision to fruition proved much more difficult.

I am an African-American female who was raised in a small town north of Atlanta, Georgia. Our school was proud, but small, only offering Advanced Placement English.  At Spelman College, I chose the biology major because it seemed logical to prepare me for medical school.  There were approximately 100 freshman pre-med hopefuls, however by graduation, our numbers dwindled to 30.  I was facing a dilemma when my senior advisor told me to choose another career.

I chose to re-apply to medical schools after re-taking my MCAT.  I began working as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Nuclear Medicine Technologist part-time while enrolling in post-baccalaureate courses at Georgia State.  There, I heard Dr. Lewis speak at an AMSA meeting about preparing for medical school and about her services.  At the time, I thought I would not need help, but after 3 failed attempts, I knew I needed her expertise.

My third attempt to get into medical school ended after I was waitlisted, but not accepted.  A family illness and eventual death was my turning point. I realized that my grandmother’s legacy of community service through dedication, empathy, and hard work encouraged my soul to persevere.  When I began working with Dr. Lewis in 2006, I was working 55 hours per week as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist at a large cardiology practice.  I had become a salaried employee, and was relishing my first “real” paycheck.  My family was elated with my success, and asked if I still wanted to be a doctor.  My career, though interactive with patients, left me still curious about the science behind the medicine.  Acknowledging that I could not answer patient’s health questions in depth, I remained determined to achieve my dream, and upon working with Dr. Lewis, we created my personalized plan to get me there.

Dr. Lewis and her staff worked with me, diligently answering my questions, encouraging, and assisting me all along the way.  My plan began with a Master’s of Science degree in Biomedical Science at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Georgia Campus.  There, I learned how to prepare for the rigors of medical school by taking courses taught by medical school faculty.  With each successive A and B grade in my graduate level courses, such as Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology, I became more confident in my abilities to master difficult material while also enjoying the learning process.  Today, I am poised to enter the graduating Class of 2012 at Medical College of Georgia, my “dream” school, and with a scholarship!

Dr. Lewis is phenomenal because she has the knowledge to get students where they desire to be.  Make no mistake, she is tough, but the results speak for themselves.  Thank you Dr. Lewis for your assistance in making my dreams come true!

June 11, 2008 update and note: 
La Dawn is attending MCG's summer pre-matriculation program and says, " The summer program here at MCG is amazing.  I have found the academic support adviser, and we have already discussed strategies.  My roommate and I spent time studying this weekend to prep for classes, and it paid off.  I know I made the right decision coming to this school.  Not only is everything closeby, but I LOVE the family atmosphere here!  I have also purchased my first sweatshirt, of many more to come… however, it was 100 degrees yesterday, so I only use it in the library!" 

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

How will the AMCAS new electronic Letter service affect me?

If one of your schools of application for the entering Class of 2009 is in the new AMCAS electronic letter pilot program (LIST), then, you need to complete the AMCAS letters form, and provide the paper copy with a 7 digit letter ID # to your Advisor, Interfolio or the letter writer, whomever is your source to send your letters.  They should then electronically or by paper copy send your letters to AMCAS. 

Example:  You are using your college Career Services to collect 3 of your letters, but 3 more are coming, and Dr. Lewis is sending 2 of these and one writer is sending another.  Each of these sources is considered a "letter" according to AMCAS. And, each needs to have a letter ID generated for it. 

If there are 3 letters/packets (note that 1 individual letter = 1 AMCAS letter, as does 1 Committee letter or 1 letter packet), then this is 3 sources and you need 3 ID #s.  It is optional whether or not you wish to list names of individual letter writers for a packet or Committee Letter. 

You do not need to input this information before you submit your AMCAS application.  You can go back at any time before deadlines hit to enter this information.  I advise waiting until after submission, then doing it ASAP, so that your letter sources can submit your letters in a timely fashion to AMCAS. 

The national Advisors meeting spent at least an hour discussing this issue…so, if you have questions, see AMCAS FAQs www.aamc.org/students/amcas/amcaslettersfaq.htm
Or contact Dr. Lewis or your Advisor.

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.

AIGAC Stamp of Excellence
The Association of International Graduate Admissions Consultants' (AIGAC) Stamp of Excellence is issued based on education, professional experience as a graduate admissions consultant, and commitment to the AIGAC's principles of good practices. AIGAC exists to define and promote professional excellence in serving graduate and professional school applicants worldwide.


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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