Volume 7 Issue 8
Published by Lewis Associates. Dr. Cynthia Lewis, PhD., Editor
with your comments. Enjoy!
This is an exciting time…with lots of changes in admissions!
continue to climb, so you must be competitive to be successful!
Welcome to Success Stories Newsletter!
Current Students' Progress
How to Communicate With Us
Your journey to a health profession
Are You Ready for the Class of 2009?
What should I read to prepare me for interviews?
Falling Behind: Americans' Access to Medical
Care Deteriorates, 2003-2007
AMA Reform Proposal
care access problems surge among insured Americans
Becoming a Physician: Relevance and rigor in Premedical Education
Becoming a Physician: From All Walks of Life — Nontraditional
Medical Students and the Future of Medicine
Social networking could haunt
of all DO/PhD Programs and Other Dual Degrees
Accepted and Applied charts for 2007 Premedical students
POWERFUL medical education search site
ISL - new clinical program in Dominican Republic
LaDawn Hackett, MSY1 Medical College of Georgia
David Cahn, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Story of the Month
Nikita Shah, Indian-American from
California entering Class of 2008
of the Month
Should I retake the MCAT exam?
Welcome to Lewis Associates!
August is when secondary applications begin to hit the current (Class
of 2009) applicants if they submitted their applications in a timely
fashion earlier this summer! 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?
96% of Lewis Associates Class of 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 even from the ones at Stanford and
Harvard! Congratulations Dr. Linson. Click
here for news video.
to Communicate With Us
|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 not be available. If you are considering long-term
advising, this is the year to lock in your Advising Agreement with
- 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
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.
you REALLY ready to apply for the Class of 2009 or 2010?
How do you know?
Use our Personal Assessment--and you will be given
your individual strategy and path to your future! Then, if you use
our advising, we help implement your strategy! ! If it were easy to
do, all applicants would be accepted...and, that is not
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…contacting
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
Margaret Jolley, Accepted to UC San Diego School of
Medicine Class of 2008, her first choice school
"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, last month's Success
class of 2008: "Thank you for helping my dream
of attending MCG become a reality. Words
cannot express my gratitude!"
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
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
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
Ali Warrick, entering Class 2010 Advisee
I would like to tell you how much I appreciate your help 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
"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 was 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-image
and conquer many of my insecurities. Without her guidance and letter
of evaluation, I would not have been able to earn an acceptance to Mayo
Medical School, which granted me a merit scholarship that covers
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!"
Class of 2008...96% acceptance
Class of 2007...97% acceptance
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
Read about getting your Personal Assessment on
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
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.
Call 805-226-9669 to set up your first appointment.
Note from Dr. Lewis: Applicants are always asking me: "What should
I read to prepare me for interviews?" *See the first 3 articles
*Falling Behind: Americans' Access to Medical Care Deteriorates, 2003-2007
June 2008 by Peter J. Cunningham, Laurie E. Felland
*You can also read the 2008 AMA Reform Proposal
*Health care access problems surge among insured Americans
One report finds that millions more insured patients are delaying or
not getting care, while another shows a spike in "underinsured" Americans.
Note: Dr. Dienstag is the Dean of Admissions at Harvard Medical School
a Physician: Relevance and rigor in Premedical Education by Jules L. Dienstag,
a Physician: From All Walks of Life — Nontraditional Medical Students
and the Future of Medicine by Sandeep Jauhar, M.D., Ph.D.
could haunt doctors
Comprehensive Listing of all DO/PhD Programs and Other
Accepted and Applied charts for 2007 Premedical students at
POWERFUL medical education search site
Providing Online Resources to Advance Medical Education Learning
ISL is offering a new clinical program in the Dominican Republic
Find these and other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's
entering Class of 2008, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic
"Thank you for all your help getting me into medical
school. I could not have done it without you!"
LaDawn Hackett, MSY1 Medical College of Georgia
LaDawn sent a thank you note to her family
and friends: "I
thank all of you for your support during my journey into medicine. I
am enjoying the last few days of my Pre-Matriculation program
at the Medical college of Georgia, and was interviewed for the
story I am sharing with you. Thank you for your encouragement."
LaDawn, from our July 2008 Success
she continues to be the media star: Read her story in
Pipeline Paves Way to Health Care"
Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!
Nikita Shah, Indian-American from California,
Entering University of Texas at Southwestern University Medical School
Class of 2008
Rice University graduation
Note from Dr. Lewis: Nikita came with both parents to see me
for beginning her Personal Assessment back in August 2004 before Nikita
even entered college. It has been a 4-year journey through undergraduate
school at the very rigorous Rice University for Nikita. She began
college with just a vague idea about what becoming a doctor meant,
but loving science. Below is her story.
"My primary motivation for becoming a physician was my relationship
with my lifelong pediatrician, Dr. Brown. When I was in high
school, and then in college, Dr. Brown made sure to address any emotional
concerns I had.
Through her invaluable guidance and advice, I
came to realize the value of our patient-physician relationship. I
realized that medicine would be the perfect career for me, because
it combines my love for the sciences and my desire to connect with
people on a meaningful level.
When I entered Rice University in the fall of 2004, I majored in Biochemistry
and Cell Biology, so that I could explore my two favorite subjects
in high school—biology and chemistry. I started to volunteer
at a local hospital. After volunteering at several hospitals
in Houston, Texas, I eventually found myself volunteering as an intake
assistant at a local homeless clinic. I saw how the physicians
working there took extra effort to restore dignity for their patients. I
loved this experience and being able to affect a small, but positive,
change in the patients’ lives. After this experience, my
strong interest in Spanish language (almost completing a minor in Spanish)
and Hispanic culture led me to Nicaragua, where I spent a week working
with Project Chacocente, an organization aimed at helping people living
in a dump develop into a self-sustainable community. It was a
With the encouragement of Dr. Lewis, I started my application for
medical school in the summer of 2007. In October, I received
my first acceptance to an allopathic medical school! I continued to
receive interview offers throughout that fall. By the time I graduated
this past May, I was thankful to be entering medical school, but I
was still frustrated with the uncertainty of my future plans as I was
sitting on several waitlists
All in all, I was accepted to 3 schools, and waitlisted at 5 more,
including my top choice of University of Texas at Southwestern. Having
lived in Texas for 4 years, I appreciated not only the excellent UT
educational system, the early clinical experiences offered and the
focus of Southwestern on primary care medicine while also supporting
research opportunities, but also the lower cost, compared even to our
California state programs. However, being accepted to a Texas
medical school as a non-resident is very difficult; non-residents are
treated completely separately and only a few slots are available. It
was not until early May (late into the application process) that UT
Southwestern ranked their non-resident waitlist. I was persistent
with Dr. Lewis' support, calling and providing additional information
to the Admissions Committee several times and letting
them know that UT SW was my top choice school. It worked. I
was accepted to UT SW on June 5th!
I would not be where I am if it weren’t for
Dr. Lewis! Her
guidance and patience throughout the last four years helped me immensely
through tough courses and the struggles of the application process. Thank
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
Should I retake the MCAT exam?
Dr. Lewis' Note: This case was posted by an Advisor and another
Advisor answered. I agree with the reasoning in the answer which
should be used in order to respond to any particular student.
Question: I have a postbac student who had poor undergraduate grades
(2.8) and a degree in Business. He has several years experience
in the business world and decided it wasn't for him. He now has
60 credit hours of post-bac work, (all of it in natural science) with
a postbac GPA of 3.99, raising his overall GPA to a 3.4. He's
a great guy and has a real interest in working with the underserved
urban population. Volunteer experience at the Free Clinic, shadowing
local docs who have to manage urban clinics, write grants etc. I
thought he'd have a great shot with reasonable MCAT scores, however
his score was a 28. His practice scores were 30-32. He wants
to know if he should retake the MCAT in August.
The simple answer: If he consistently scored 30-32 on AAMC practice
under realistic conditions, it would be worth retaking.
The more complete answer (and you can ask yourself these questions):
Looking at your past history, how have you tended to perform on standardized
How well did you prepare? Did you thoroughly review and take practice
How did you score on practice tests?
How did you feel the actual test went for you? Were you sick? Were
you overly anxious? Did you run out of time before answering all the
Do you feel your scores accurately represent your ability?
How competitive are the other aspects of your candidacy? Grades, activities,
Are there other important contexts for interpreting your scores? Are
you disadvantaged, learning disabled, a first-generation college student,
or a member of an underrepresented minority with lower average scores?,
Was English your second language?, etc.
Where would you like to go to school? Admissions guides usually list
average test scores for accepted candidates. Schools also have different
policies for how they will use the scores from multiple tests.
What was your overall performance?
Dental schools usually use the academic average, but differ in how
they use the perceptual ability score. Optometry schools usually use
the academic average. And, medical schools usually use the total of
the verbal, physical and biological science sections.
Are there individual scores which might be seen as significant weaknesses?
Whether or not a score is seen as weakness depends on the evaluator
and the context (grades in related courses, English as a 2nd language,
What happened to other people who re-took the test with similar initial
scores? In general, those who scored lower than average tend to improve,
while those who scored higher than average, often score lower on a
re-take. Hint for medical school applicants, there
is some helpful data at www.aamc.org/students/mcat/examineedata/tables.htm
How thoroughly would you prepare for a retake? Because most students
are out of an academic mode in the summer, it is especially important
to thoroughly prepare for an end-of-summer test.
What opportunities would you miss out on by re-taking the test? Would
your time, effort and money be better spent strengthening other aspects
of your candidacy, or do you really need an improved score to be competitive?
Do you want to retake the test? Are you energized enough to do the
preparation and practice necessary to improve your scores?
And, if you do decide to take the test again, don't fall into the
trap of studying just for the test you already took. It's important
to re-review for all the topics that could be sampled!
In general, if you scored lower than average for
admission and you have indications that you can do significantly better,
and you are motivated to thoroughly review and practice, then re-take.
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.
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
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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