amcas activities: less in more in terms of description?

dinostar

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dear fellow applicants:

just wondering what your strategy is regarding describing your activities. are you using up the max allowed characters for every entry? or are you keeping it simple if you can?

i am wondering what to do about my physician shadowing entry. just say what it is in a few words or get specific about what i observed?

tia.
 

DrPhysician

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i used complete sentences and basically summarized each experience up in a paragraph or two.
 

braluk

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Whatever it takes to get the point across. I initially used up neatly 1200 characters in 12 listings i made. Cut it down to around 700 each and still managed to convey my message quicker, and more efficiently. Cut it down a page of extra stuff that adcoms would probably weed through quickly anyway. Im going to assume pretty much adcoms will go through these like somone going through a published research paper- looking at the main points in the abstract which conveys all the details concisely.
 

LizzyM

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braluk said:
Whatever it takes to get the point across. I initially used up neatly 1200 characters in 12 listings i made. Cut it down to around 700 each and still managed to convey my message quicker, and more efficiently. Cut it down a page of extra stuff that adcoms would probably weed through quickly anyway. Im going to assume pretty much adcoms will go through these like somone going through a published research paper- looking at the main points in the abstract which conveys all the details concisely.
BINGO ! Read this and learn.

:clap:
 

braluk

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only if you feel it is necessary and important enough to put it in there. If you feel that shadowing a doctor truly gave you insight into medicine, be it seeing and experiencing medicine in a way that television or word of moouth cannot depict, then by all means list it. If you only followed a doc around, got his coffee, looked through some papers on patients, and followed a mundane routine, I'd be hesitatnt on including it. After all, why would I even want to stick around if I wasn't getting the shadowing experience that expected and desired.

Questions you might want to ask yourself, if you incluide the two times you shadowed is: what did i really learn? What was different when i first walked into shadowing compared to when I walked out? was this just an "experience" done to put into my resume or to pad my experiences? Or was this truly a learning experience? How would adcoms look at this? Can they see this a mile away as an empty way to boost my application, or was my experience significant enough to put in this application because it was more then just something I did twice?
 

Erina

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littlephiLLy said:
if i shadowed a doc twice should i list it at all?
i would definitely include any shadowing experience, even if it was just for a day. i shadowed an anesthesiologist for half a day but it still shows that i was making the effort to see what medicine is all about.

med schools want to see shadowing because they want to know that you know what you're getting yourself into. therefore, any shadowing experience is valuable.
 

LizzyM

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littlephiLLy said:
if i shadowed a doc twice should i list it at all?
If it is the only exposure you've had to patients, you had better list it. (And it is, IMHO, too little).

If you've other clinical experiences (work or volunteer where you've actually touched patients, or as I like to say, "smelled patients"), a couple days of shadowing isn't going to add much to your resume or AMCAS.
 

TauPathology

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Couldn't you just list it under a main "shadowing" activity? I guess that assumes you shadowed more than just that one doc.
 

Sartre79

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I was told by the Doc that I shadow that brevity is best. She went to U of Chicago and also served on the adcom there and for residency at Northwestern. There is no need to embellish hospital volunteering or shadowing. They know what it is, it just makes their briefcase heavier. At least that is what she said.
 

notdeadyet

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Sartre79 said:
I was told by the Doc that I shadow that brevity is best.
Seconded. I was told to try to keep a majority of them to less than 700, have a few that were just a few sentences, and have one or two key experiences at 1200.

There's no exact number to it, but terse is best. Nothing worse that reading something that someone is obviously struggling to fill space with.
 

njmd55

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Did most of you use paragraph format? Did anyone just list things under an experience?
Also, How would you describe an honor society experience if you were only a member of it and didn't really do anything else?
 

the12thmd

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njmd55 said:
Did most of you use paragraph format? Did anyone just list things under an experience?
Also, How would you describe an honor society experience if you were only a member of it and didn't really do anything else?
"I was invited to join Phi Beta Kappa ( ;) ) in the Spring of 2006."

This really isn't so difficult...just be confident. They won't reject you because of the length of your description.
 

Haemulon

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I actually wrote very detailed descriptions. But I felt that mine were all significant enough to warrant the extra verbage. Like it was posted earlier, write as much as you feel is nessecary to convey the value of the experience. Not more nor less.
 

dittozip

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Haemulon said:
I actually wrote very detailed descriptions. But I felt that mine were all significant enough to warrant the extra verbage. Like it was posted earlier, write as much as you feel is nessecary to convey the value of the experience. Not more nor less.
i think the number of hours each week you were apart of somethign should be directly proportional to how much you write. my longest one was the full length but that was for three solid years of research.
 

durfen

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Haemulon said:
I actually wrote very detailed descriptions. But I felt that mine were all significant enough to warrant the extra verbage. Like it was posted earlier, write as much as you feel is nessecary to convey the value of the experience. Not more nor less.
I'm acutally in the same position. Should I describe my research in detail in the activities or in the research experience essay? It seems the essay only wants a listing of problems and my contribution, whereas I have more freedom with the activities. Right now I have two different versions each of activities and the research experience essay, don't know which set to use