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September is when schools usually begin. If Class of 2009 applicants
submitted their applications in a timely fashion earlier this summer,
then they are in the middle of completing all their secondary essays
and applications. This part of the application process is actually
the most time consuming and most difficult for many applicants for whom
writing is hard. Give it lots of time and do an excellent
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.
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
Where are you in
your journey to a health profession?
LaDawn Hackett, last month's Success Story and Entering Class of 2008: "Thank you for helping my dream of attending MCG become a reality. Words cannot express my gratitude!"
Entering Class 2004, Scholarship Awardee, University of Wisconsin Medical
John Fiszer, Entering Class of 2005, University
Of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine
Ali Warrick, Entering Class 2010 Advisee
S, Entering Class 2008, accepted with full scholarship
to Mayo Medical School
Two New Osteopathic Medical Schools Open Their Doors in 2008
2009 AACOMAS Applications Update (8-1-08)
Health Care Made Simple (article in Newsweek, June 9, 2008)
Caught in The Competitive Crossfire
AAHC Releases Health Workforce Report
New York Hospitals Create Outcry in Foreign Deal
GREAT FOR INTERVIEW PREPARATION:
MD-PhD Training and Career Guide
PTCAS: Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service Now Available
Students who need to improve BCPM GPA and consider career alternatives
The new Graduate Certificate in Public Health Microbiology and Emerging Infectious Diseases is offered by both GW Schools. This 24 credit graduate certificate may be completed in 1 year, and students may transfer credits to the MS degree by the same name, if they wish to complete that degree. In many ways, this Graduate Certificate is the "best of both worlds". It provides its students with knowledge of public health and medically-relevant biological sciences
Find these and other useful links on Lewisassoc.com's Links Page.
Watch for Success Stories coming for some of these alumni!
Against All Odds: Tracy Reese, African American Entering Class of 2008, UCLA-Drew
I was born in San Francisco, where I spent my early childhood. At age 6, my family moved across The Bay to East Oakland. I was the oldest of four children and I took responsibility for my younger siblings at a very early age. I helped my mother by babysitting, doing laundry, cleaning the house, and cooking meals on a regular basis, while she worked diligently to provide for her children.
I must admit that I was a very brave child. While caring for my siblings, I took charge by calling 911 when medical emergencies occurred and I often took my siblings to get medical care while my mother worked. My experiences with healthcare providers were always positive; they always made me feel safe and valued.
I feel very fortunate that I was raised in one of the most diverse and beautiful areas in the country. I still remember the colors and sounds of the Dragon Dance at the Chinese New Year Festival that took place at Sanchez Elementary School in San Francisco when I was in kindergarten. I had friends from many cultures and ethnicities, and I find that these early cross-cultural experiences continue to serve me well as I grow and develop professionally.
I was raised in a socially, economically, and educationally-disadvantaged household and community. I recall living in the “projects”, another name for public housing, and occasionally being without food and electricity. My childhood was very challenging by all accounts, and by age 5, I decided that I was going to college to escape poverty. Doing well in school became my primary focus and upon graduating from high school, I achieved my goal. I was accepted to UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UCLA. I chose to attend UC Davis.
Leaving Oakland and thriving in the very rigorous academic environment at UC Davis was extremely challenging for me. I was the first in my immediate family to attend college and I did not have all of the support that I needed to perform to my fullest potential. Some people discouraged me, telling me that I was not going to be successful or amount to anything in life. This fueled my lack of confidence and lowered my self-esteem. I struggled academically at UC Davis and made slow academic progress. However, despite all of the obstacles, including not receiving any financial aid and having to work 35-40 hours per week during my last 3 years, I persevered and graduated with a B.S. degree in Genetics with a minor in Psychology.
Immediately upon graduation, I secured an internship at the Parke-Davis Laboratory for Molecular Genetics in Alameda, CA, where I learned basic techniques in Molecular Biology. Under the direction of my mentor, Dr. David Ross, I participated in many activities, including the Journal Club. Through this experience, I became more knowledgeable about the application of genetic principles and became more confident in my academic ability.
I also signed up for a modeling class in an effort to build my confidence and prepare for success in the professional world. I participated in a variety of shows that were fundraisers for community service organizations, such as Oakland Children’s Hospital and the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation. Modeling was a very rewarding experience for me because I was part of a team working toward common goals: self improvement and community service.
I subsequently held a variety of positions in the Biotechnology Industry, and worked as a Teacher in Oakland and a Real Estate Agent. I often held two or three jobs at a time because I was paying off debts incurred while earning my degree at UC Davis, while simultaneously exploring career options. During this time, I also volunteered on Saturday nights at the ER at Highland Hospital, a Level One Trauma Center in Oakland. This was a pivotal experience because I discovered my passion for serving uninsured and disenfranchised patients. I enjoyed working as a valuable member of a diverse, yet cohesive team. I learned that treating patients with dignity and respect is a gift. This experience was so rewarding that I decided that becoming a physician was the best career choice for me.
I thought that my chances of gaining admission to medical school were nearly impossible. My academic record from UC Davis was not stellar. Looking at my transcript was very painful. However, nearly three years after graduation, I brought my official transcript to Ed Dagang, the Director of Admissions and Outreach at UC Davis SOM. He reviewed my record and told me that I had a chance. We immediately mapped out my plan of action.
I set my plan in motion when I enrolled at CSU East Bay. While working up to 60 hours per week as a QA Analyst at a major pharmaceutical company, I attended college to improve my academic record. I took my job as a QA Analyst very seriously, and in the process, I enhanced my communication and leadership skills. My hard work was recognized when I was awarded the Standards of Leadership Gold Award for Interdependent Partnering.
I stayed motivated and networked with other students by attending pre-med conferences and seminars. I met Dr. Cynthia Lewis at a SUMMA conference at Stanford University, one of the largest pre-med conferences on the West Coast. I knew in my heart that I wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but I also knew that I needed specialized help to reach my goal.
Our initial meeting included a detailed review of my entire life, in addition to my academic record. Dr. Lewis believed that I had a chance and we began the daunting task of helping me to become a more competitive applicant. Our next step was to contact professors and begin collecting letters of recommendation. Dr. Lewis also recommended that I apply to MEDPREP, a rigorous post-baccalaureate program at SIU Carbondale.
Dr. Lewis strongly encouraged me through the challenging process of working up to 60 hours per week while improving my academic record through earning a second B.S. degree in Biochemistry at CSU East Bay. Immediately after earning my second degree, I relocated to Carbondale, IL to attend MEDPREP.
At MEDPREP, I engaged in a rigorous curriculum and honed my test-taking, time-management, and study skills. I also gained additional clinical experience through volunteering at Abundant Health Resource Clinic, a free clinic for uninsured clients, and through shadowing an Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Dr. Walker, and an Urologist, Dr. Stokes. These experiences reinforced my commitment to become a physician who serves my community.
While at MEDPREP, I continued to work with Dr. Lewis. She was a constant source of inspiration and personalized attention. Even when I encountered what seemed to be road blocks, she always supported me and I am truly grateful. Dr. Lewis connected me with Dr. Jim Yeh, a distinguished hospitalist and internist, during the summer that I took the MCAT, in an effort to help me gain additional clinical experience. She also helped me network with several of her alumni.
Dr. Lewis coached me throughout my MCAT preparation, helping me to overcome test anxiety and provided me with an excellent strategy for success. I worked especially hard to prepare for the MCAT because I wanted to return home to California for medical school, and I knew that a good score would improve my chances of not only getting into medical school, but could afford me the opportunity to come home. I was extremely fortunate to earn an excellent MCAT score. That score was the key that opened the door to my future.
Dr. Lewis assisted me throughout the entire the application process and prepared me for every single interview. I never thought that I would be invited to 15 interviews and offered 9 acceptances. I had the desire and determination to enter medical school and Dr. Lewis provided me with a roadmap, unwavering encouragement, and support which helped me realize my dream! On June 11th, I got the call from my first choice medical school: UCLA-Drew. I love everything about the curriculum and the support that I have in this unique medical education program. The mission of the school is my professional mission: to help the underserved. I was also awarded a sizeable scholarship by UCLA.
Once again, I must thank Dr. Lewis because she encouraged me to write my Letter of Intent to Matriculate to the Admissions Committee. At the Charles Drew University White Coat Ceremony, Dr. Reid, my interviewer, told me “It’s a good thing that you called…What’s more important is that you were in touch with someone who knew to tell you to call.” I will never forget Dr. Lewis and the magnitude of everything she did for me. I would not be here without her help.
I tell my family, friends, and other aspiring doctors that Dr. Lewis is absolutely the best pre-professional health Advisor in the world! I highly recommend her to anyone who is serious about achieving their dream of becoming a doctor. I truly appreciate all of her constructive advice and her consistent commitment to providing personalized attention to every detail of my application process. She helped me develop the skills and attributes necessary to become successful in achieving my dream. Thank you, Dr. Lewis!!!
Email to Dr. Lewis if you wish to communicate about medical schools or other issues or to contact those profiled in Success Stories: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: "I started my application! I have a question though... They ask a question about if you have had any institutional action. I did last year. I was written up by student life for an alcohol violation...but it's not on my transcript because it was a one-time offense. I mean it sounds like I need to say I did have one. Will this hurt me? And, will they find out? How sneaky are these people?"
Response on a Listserv: "I am a faculty and admissions committee member at a mid-western School of Medicine. At our school, the admissions process enjoys significant autonomy and is expected to make insightful and impartial decisions concerning who is admitted. The dean receives reports from the admissions committee, but does not participate materially in the process beyond providing executive oversight. I would be surprised if the "Northeast Deans" or any other medical school deans spend much time attempting to micromanage the admissions process at their respective schools. A well-designed admissions process should provide a Dean with a means to prevent, deflect, or at least mitigate undue political, financial, or alumni interference in the integrity of the admissions decisions. Obviously, if asked, any medical school Dean is going to signal that he/she would view admission of applicants at risk for alcoholism unfavorably.
An 18-year-old freshman caught in the act of drinking a beer in the dorm, who is subsequently dealt with through a compassionate, progressive internal university process, and learns his/her lesson, does not bother me terribly, especially if he/she shows contrition, and is able to articulate what was learned through that process. A 21-year-old rising senior who is wrestling with the ethical question of whether to fully disclose an infraction, however minor, and who views admissions personnel as "sneaky" bothers me a great deal.
Throughout a physician's career, there are numerous requirements to fully disclose, including when seeking a state license to practice, DEA credentials, privileges on a hospital staff, or participation on an insurance panel. Anyone choosing to enter a licensed profession needs to become comfortable with full disclosure and telling the complete truth at every opportunity."
Another Response: "As one of those "Northeast" schools, we take very seriously ethics, professionalism, maturity and personal responsibility as desirable qualities in our applicants. We all probably did something stupid when we were growing up -- if that experience taught us something positive that helped us become more mature and responsible, then all is well."
We will feature an important question each month. Please submit one that interests you for Dr. Lewis to answer. Send your questions to email@example.com with 'Newsletter Question' in the subject line.
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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.
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