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*~*~*~*Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2012-2013*~*~*~*

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by sector9, Mar 14, 2012.

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  1. sector9

    sector9 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    SDN Author
    hSDN Alumni
    Well, it is that time of year again!

    The AMCAS Application will be opening soon, and with it comes a ton of questions. The "Work and Activities" Section is probably the most talked about section. For reference, here are two older threads that contain lots of valuable information about this section:

    Great tips for entering your "Work/Activities" for AMCAS: The thread from 2005-2010 with over 3500 posts
    *~*~*~*Tips for Entering your "Work and Activities" in AMCAS*~*~*~*: Last year's thread with over 1800 posts
    (Even though both threads are quite long, you can still search those threads to find useful answers to your question)

    All new threads dealing with this topic in Pre-Allo will be merged into this thread.

    In the first few posts, the Moderation staff will be compiling a FAQ and some helpful posts from the old thread. Please be patient with us as this is a work in progress. Any suggestions for the FAQ is appreciated. AMCAS also has a FAQ page available here.

    REMINDER: Each thread has a search function. Please use it.

    This thread is brought to you by the Pre-Allopathic Volunteer Staff. Ask away, and good luck!!
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
    GaStu1994 likes this.
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  3. sector9

    sector9 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    SDN Author
    hSDN Alumni
    Please Note: This is a particularly difficult section of the application. On almost every point there are differing opinions, and ultimately you need to create the work and activities section that is best for you, but being consistent is important. Take all advice offered here as a piece of the solution, but often not the ultimate word on the subject.

    This FAQ is a work in progress. Any suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.

    Work and Activities FAQ

    1. What is the Work/Activities Section all about?
    This is where you get to talk about your extracurricular activities, or "ECs" as they are referred to around SDN. This includes things like research experience, tutoring, academic awards, volunteer experience, clinical experience, etc. Everything that you ever wanted an admissions committee member (AdCom) to know about you to show that you are in fact a good candidate for medical school.

    2. What kinds of categories can I put things in?
    - Paid employment (not military)
    - Paid employment (military)
    - Community service / volunteer (not medical / clinical)
    - Community service / volunteer (medical / clinical)
    - Research / lab
    - Teaching / tutoring
    - Honors / awards / recognitions
    - Conferences attended
    - Presentations / posters
    - Publications
    - Extracurricular / hobbies / avocations
    - Leadership (not listed elsewhere)
    - Intercollegiate athletics
    - Artistic endeavors
    - Other

    3. What kinds of things should I put in each category?
    Part of this will be a judgement call. Adcoms are aware that things may fall into more than one category. For instance, if you are a Lead TA, you may want to list this as both a Leadership Activity, and Teaching/Tutoring. If you feel like you are more deficient in one category than another, then you may want to list it in the category where you are lacking something to balance out your application.

    Some examples of things to list in each category:

    -Club officer
    -Student activism/government/Greek activities
    -Starting a non-profit/student organization

    -Academic awards such as honor societies, dean's list, etc.
    -Interesting certifications or recognitions you have such as a black belt in a martial art, placing in a competition, certified as pilot, etc.
    -Received competitive research position or project funding for which you applied.
    -Phi Beta Kappa

    Community Service - Medical/Clinical
    -As LizzyM likes to put this one, if you are close enough to SMELL patients, it is clinical. This is pretty much the prevailing wisdom on SDN.

    Community Service - Non-medical/Clinical
    -If it doesn't fall into the above, you didn't get paid for it, and it isn't a leadership or teaching opportunity, it probably falls here
    -Include things like volunteering for non-profits and charitable organizations, volunteer work you have done at your school, etc.

    Most of the other categories should be pretty self-explanatory.

    4. They are giving me a lot of space to describe each activity....how the heck should I enter them in? Is less more? Should I use up all available space?
    Unfortunately...you will never get a clear cut answer to this one. But we can give you some possible techniques and advice

    A - One school of thought is that this is not the time to pontificate. Describe the activity if it needs describing (if you think it is something an AdCom member will not know about) and otherwise, be pithy with your description. Many think that talking about what you learned from the activity is not appropriate in this section, and is better saved as material for secondary applications.

    B - Another school of thought is that this is exactly the place to address why you got involved and/or what you learned from an activity because you may not get another chance in a secondary application. Those from California especially feel this pressure since most of the secondaries at California Med Schools are screened (you do not automatically get a secondary; they review your primary application first and decide if you are worthy). Because of this it is tempting to spew as much as possible here.

    C - Approach C is a combination of the two approaches. Spew when necessary (an unusual activity that may need a little bit more explanation to understand its depth, and you learned a lot from but you are NOT addressing in your PS) and limited description of commonplace application items (ER scribe, general hospital volunteer, MCAT teacher/tutor).

    You can really go down two general paths when it comes to entering the activities in: paragraph form or bullet points. Go with what comes most naturally to you, and don't force yourself to conform to a style that you think is inappropriate for the information you are trying to convey and your writing style.

    Another trick for entering your activities is to use a catchall description that allows you to enter several different activities under one heading so that you are not wasting multiple spots. For example:

    Activity: "Undergraduate Work Experience". Category: Paid Employment - Non-Military
    Input the other header information (time span, hours per week, contact, etc) for the first activity listed

    By using this method, you are able to save 2 spaces in the Work/Activities section, but still are able to show that you have significant work experience and experience juggling a job and school.

    5. Is work experience really that important for me to list? Who is going to care if I worked at a grocery store for 2 years, 20 hours a week, while in college?
    Work experience is ABSOLUTELY important for you to list. There is a fantastic thread about this topic here: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=813497

    The short version: the work/activities section is there for you to show off all of your skills. Holding down a job while continuing to be a learner (student) is a huge skill that not every medical student can bring to the table. It also shows commitment and an ability to tolerate some suckage, something that every job has, no matter how much you may love it on some days.

    6. Should I really list that I was on the dean's list/in an honor society?
    Again....two schools of thought here. One is that many applicants have these things, so why list them. The other is that they won't know unless you tell them.

    Again, a good trick for entering activities is to have a catch-all category like "Academic Recognition" where you then list the X number of awards/recognition that you have received. That way you are not taking up multiple spaces for things you don't want to emphasize.

    7. Do AdCom members really contact people in the "Contact Information" field of this section?
    What should I do if I don't have a good contact for an activity?
    General thoughts about this say that no, AdCom members do not contact these people. However, the application changed last year to require either a phone number or email address for a contact for each activity listed. If anyone finds out any information about this, please feel free to post it in this thread.

    There are certainly some activities that are difficult to list a contact, like for your hobbies or an activity long ago. Here are a few hints: It is best to include the most impartial person possible (so list your mom as your absolute last resort) but you might find the need to list your roommate or your friend as a contact. Remember, if the contact is called or emailed, he or she only needs to provide reassurance to the adcomm that you described the activity faithfully. These are contacts not references so the person who responds does not need to answer questions about your abilities to succeed in medical school.

    8. Most Meaningful Activities

    Is there any benefit to marking three activities as "Most Meaningful" vs. just one?
    Again, there are several schools of thought on this issue:
    i. You are only obliged to list one activity as "Most Meaningful." If you can express yourself in the first 700 characters, adding 1325 characters about two other activities might bore admissions committee members.
    ii. Admissions committees will pay special attention to the activities marked as "Most Meaningful" so mark three activities that are the strongest part of your application. Be sure not to add fluff in the extra space, perhaps including a concise story to help illustrate the "transformative nature of the experience."

    8b. What happens if I wrote about my most meaningful activities in my personal statement?
    It is best not to repeat information on your application. There are two options:
    1. Pick different activities as your "Most Meaningful".
    2. Rework your personal statement. You can use your Personal Statement to address a specific story, patient, or moment, then use the "Most Meaningful" box to provide a more general, big picture message from the activity.

    8c. Can I use the "Most Meaningful" box to continue the description of my activity? For example, can I use it to list the citations for all my posters and presentations?
    It is best to use the box as AMCAS suggests on the application. Some creativity will be tolerated. Just don't ramble to fill space.

    9. If I talk about something in my personal statement, should I still mention it in my Work/Activities Section?

    Yes, definitely. Be sure to review Depakote's Personal Statement Guide/Tips since it is a bad idea to have your PS simply serve as a regurgitation of your Extracurricular activities.

    10. What category should I list Physician Shadowing under?

    Physician shadowing is best included under the "Other" designation.

    Some other recommendations when listing physician shadowing: It is not necessary to include hours/week. Group all of your shadowing together, giving a total hours for each physician and a grand total at the end. Additional relevant information such as their title ("MD" or "DO"), level of training if not an attending (resident, fellow, etc.), or other notes about the shadowing (i.e. shadowed only during office hours for a surgeon, only during image reading for a radiologist, etc.) can be included. There's no need to describe what shadowing is.

    Here's an example of how shadowing can be listed:
    Experience Type: Other
    Title: Physician Shadowing
    Hours/week: Leave blank
    Contact info, organization name, and dates: Use the info for the first physician you want to list
    11. How many spaces are there for activities? How many of them should I use? Should I be trying to fill them all?
    You have 15 spaces to list your activities. However, most applicants DO NOT use all of them. You should not try to "spread out" your activities for the sake of filling more slots. Be sure that every activity is worthy of being included and that they all improve the admission committee's understanding of you as the applicant.

    12. Should I really be talking about my hobbies or artistic endeavors?
    If you have some, then list them! Not all adcomm members will read them, but some like to know what you do to relieve stress and unwind. Group them all together.

    Some are confused between listing an activity as a hobby or an artistic endeavor. The prevailing SDN opinion about artistic endeavors is that they involve reaching a wider audience (ie publishing or performing instead of just writing and practicing). A hobby is more personal with a limited audience.

    13. Should I list something that I am doing in the future but haven't started yet?
    No. It is a big no-no to list a future activity. The AMCAS application will not accept future dates. You might find an appropriate place to include the activity on a secondary, an update letter, or an interview conversation.

    14. How do I answer the "average hours per week" for this activity question when I did a different number of hours each week?
    You can always use your total hours and divide by the number of weeks you were involved. If you don't know your total hours, then give your best guess and explain the variability of the activity in the description.

    15. How should I list publications? What if some of them are "submitted" but not actually accepted yet?
    Publications are worthy of their own slot, even if you already have a "Research" slot. For contact, use your PI that you worked with. For organization, you can use the name of the organization that publishes the journal. For date, use the publication date, or if accepted for publication but not yet published, use the accepted date. In the description, it is a good idea to include enough of a citation for an adcomm member to find the paper if he/she is curious enough to look it up. Some adcomm members find it helpful to include enough of the author's list so that your place in the authorship can be determined.

    If a publication is only submitted or needs major revisions, then it is still a future activity which you cannot include. If it is published, accepted for publication, or accepted pending minor revisions then you can include it.

    16. What if I have work experience that is also clinical experience (working as a phlebotomist in a hospital, etc)? How should I list it?
    There is not an "Employment- Clinical/Medical" designation. You would list the activity as "Employment- Not military" or "Employment- Military" as appropriate and make it clear enough by the title and description that you had a paid clinical experience.

    17. How far back should I go listing activities?
    Any activity you engaged in after High School graduation may be considered potentially relevant. Strictly speaking, there is no rule that you can't include a High School-only activity, but if you do so, it should add substantially to your application, so you aren't wasting space for something that adcomms are unlikely to regard. This would include Experiences that began during HS (or even before) and either continued into the college years or resumed sometime later. Examples of life-long activities that might help your application would be music or dance involvement.

    If you are a nontraditional applicant, then your more recent accomplishments are the most important to highlight. In that case, consider grouping your most important college-aged activities together under the "Other" designation.

    18. What order should I input my activities in?
    It doesn't matter! The AMCAS application automatically organizes the activities in a chronological order. Adcomms can change how the activities appear for their report but you can't alter the order.

    Other Questions To Be Answered:
    How should I go about naming an activity?
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  4. saveourpens

    saveourpens 7+ Year Member

    May 12, 2008
    Hey guys, if you list a publication as a separate activity, would you still be able to talk about the research experience that led up to it and include it as "most meaningful"?

    Also, if you list 2 activities within one space, should you list the hours and contact info for 1 activity where space is given for it and then contact/dates/hours for the other in the description?

    Thank you in advance!
  5. dbeast

    dbeast Neurorectal surgeon 7+ Year Member

    I've been asked to update my (not) useful post with some excellent tips from SailCrazy about entering your work/activities on your upcoming AMCAS. Read this NOW before you become swamped with harassing professors for LORs, obsessing over your personal statement, and maintaining your 4.0 GPA even though you're a lazy senior. Your work/activities are extremely important in shaping you as a unique little snowflake and they often get overlooked by applicants... but I promise they *will* get looked at by ADCOM members. Don't mess this part up:

    Good luck, 2017, hope to see a few of you at interviews in a few months!

    [Still, c/o 2015 > all]
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  6. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    1) Most would describe the associated research in its own Research space, describing what led to the Publication (cited in a second space). You may make either a "most meaningful" activity. If you want to condense, then cite the accepted publication toward the end of the Research space (and not within the "most meaningful" essay space where it might get lost in the verbiage).

    2) You might keep the hours/week out of the header unless it applies to both activities and was continuous throughout the stated timespan, putting it in each description instead. You will be obliged to include one contact. I'd pick the most important, the most recent, the most time-consuming, or one you're sure is still available for whom you have an email or phone # for the header, and put the other in the narrative. Be sure to give the space a name that encompasses both activities and if appropriate that makes clear the activity wasn't continuous, like "Summer Employment" or "Short-Term Volunteering."
  7. saveourpens

    saveourpens 7+ Year Member

    May 12, 2008
    That makes sense. Thank you very much!
  8. Clumpofstuff

    Clumpofstuff c/o 2017 5+ Year Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    I have a question about the entering of the descriptions
    Is it better to list them as bullet point with the power verbs or should it be a narrative
  9. DCSB6

    DCSB6 2+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2011
    Question regarding whether this is considered medical or non-medical service: Training a dog for therapy work/certification to be an aide for children. We aren't at the stage yet of taking hospital visits, but the work has clinical intentions.
  10. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    It could be either, depending on which style lends itself best to the information you want to convey. So feel free to mix the styles, or pick just one, as you feel appropriate.
  11. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Right now, it sounds like nonmedical community service, as there is no patient interaction yet.
  12. Norzy

    Norzy 5+ Year Member

    May 11, 2011
    I have a question of the "presentations/posters" category. I realize that the most obvious items that fall into that category are research-related materials, but I have done several presentations during pharmacy school (in the style of continuing ed. presentations meant to education and update the audience) - would they qualify to fall here?

  13. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    I'd suggest listing them under Teaching, instead.
  14. Norzy

    Norzy 5+ Year Member

    May 11, 2011

    Do you think they are even worth listing? The presentations (4 that I can think of) were a part of my curriculum and/or rotation requirement, but I did spend a lot of time (weeks to months) preparing them and getting ready for the presentation. In most cases, I gave the presentation in front of real clinicians like physicians and pharmacists (as opposed to just being an academic exercise). What do you think?

  15. sector9

    sector9 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    SDN Author
    hSDN Alumni
    Quick question from a non-Cat reader:

    Were these presentations new material for the physicians/pharmacists or were they presentations rehashing information that the audience already knew? In my mind, that distinction is important if you are going to use the "teaching" title for something.

    If all else fails, I would honestly fall back to the "Other" category and describe them well.
  16. Norzy

    Norzy 5+ Year Member

    May 11, 2011
    Sector 9,

    A lot of the presentations revisited familiar topics but incorporated updated information from new studies. For example, I did one on the use of marijuana and cannabinoids in medicine, rehashed the MOA and how it's used for chronic pain and glaucoma, but incorporated new information like how it may be helpful in MS and Alzheimer's Disease. Like I said in an earlier post, they are in the style of continuing education that practitioners get to say sharp in their field: some old fundamentals, with some novel information built on top of that. Hopefully I answered your question?? <: )
  17. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Even though they were curricular requirements, due to the significant time commitment, the value of the activity, and because the experience was obviously meaningful to you, I think they are worth mentioning.

    When our pharmacists give similar presentations, I never fail to learn something new.
  18. DAPI

    DAPI 5+ Year Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Two questions that are similar.

    1) Is it appropriate to give a brief description of a research project and then at the end put some like "This research has been published in the Journal of X." and then list the publication like it would be on a CV? So like:

    Dr. X Y's lab studies such and such. This was my role in the project. This research has been published in the Journal of X.

    Grad Student, DAPI, Y, X. (Year) Article Title. Journal.

    2) Is it appropriate to give a brief description of a summer research program and then at the end put some like "An end of program presentation was given to other undergraduate participants and their mentors." and then list the presentation or publication? Is citing this a waist of space and should I just leave it at a presentation was give? So like:

    Dr. X Y's lab studies such and such. This was my role in the project. At the end of the program, I gave a presentation to other undergraduate participants and their mentors.

    DAPI, Y, X. (Year) Title of Presentation. Summer Program Presentation Session, City, State.

    Both of these would be in lieu of having a separate activity dedicated to posters, presentations, abstracts, publications, etc. and just listing the appropriate thing under each individual activity.
  19. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    1) You could do that if you were desperate to save space, or if the publication was not in a regional or national journal, but otherwise, it is REALLY best to list a publication you authored in a Publications space (more especially if you plan to apply to research-oriented schools).

    2) In this case, since it was a campus symposium, it would be most appropriate to mention your presentation at a campus research symposium in the same space as the Research description.
  20. seracus

    seracus Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  21. galaxyx

    galaxyx 2+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2011
    If I've been out of college for >8 years, would it be ok to create an activity, that was titled "College activities" and list my college EC's in one box? Things would be playing club sports, rec league sports, president of a general interest club, student jobs that weren't research, etc. I know that these would fall under different subcategories. I think my recent activities are more relevant, but I also don't want it to seem like I did nothing in college.
  22. Got Em

    Got Em EM Resident 10+ Year Member

    May 4, 2005
    1) I have done 2 grand rounds presentations which I analyzed multiple clinical trials (statistical analysis, strenghths/weaknessnes, clinical significance, etc) and have even included some of my own observational data from the chart reviews at the VA. Can I put this in the "Research" section, or does it have to go in "Presentations"?

    2) Should we use medical abbreviations? For example, during case studies, we were presented with patients with their chief complaint, history of present illness, etc. Can I just put CC, HPI, FH, etc...or do I have to list it all out? Don't know if most of the admissions board are doctors.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  23. ReptarBar

    ReptarBar 5+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    i would put #1 under research or presentations. seems fine to me. i would not use abbreviations, though, unless you spell it out first then use abbreviations later in the paragraph. not all adcom members are doctors (like LizzyM of this board).
  24. Got Em

    Got Em EM Resident 10+ Year Member

    May 4, 2005
    Thanks great advice. I revised my #1 to ask if I can put it under "Research", since I performed research-like activities, but didn't actually participate in the clinical trials.
  25. sciencebooks

    sciencebooks 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    Well, I've slowly went through last year's entire thread over the course of about a week (phew!) and it was definitely immensely helpful. I have quite a list of questions now so I'll just list them in little chunks. I appreciate anybody's responses! :)

    1) Literally each of my activities from my university years has been cut off at January 2012 because I moved to the UK for a semester abroad. As I will be submitting from here, should I indicate that I do plan on returning to my activities at home (hospital volunteering, research, etc.), maybe in the dialogue?

    2) I know some people consider it taboo to state that you have a certain specialty in mind. I definitely am open and that's not my point. However, would it be appropriate to say that shadowing was beneficial in that in shattered previous expectations I had and gave me some focus as to what I enjoy? For example, that I enjoyed my time with the physicians where there was more of a long-term relationship formed more than the opposite.

    3) Somebody posted this question before: "Is there a presumption that the "most meaningful" things need to have been meaningful in the sense that they directly influenced the decision to enter medicine?" Before, the response was that nobody could say what with it being new. Any judgement on this now that a cycle has passed? :)

    4) Should I mention a scholarship through my university that was merit-based? The scholarship funded my entire undergraduate education and required an application, essays, interviewing, etc. It's worth something like $40k over the four years. I'm not sure if these are the types of scholarships people talk about. If I mentioned it, I'd also want to just lump in all other scholarships in the same awards slot, correct?

    5) One of my hobbies, like many others, is created writing, usually via blogging. I wasn't going to include this simply because I find it all too common. However, a piece I submitted to a book which be an anthology of different creative writing pieces on the topic has been chosen for submission. The book will be in print in early 2013 from Free Press. Is this worth mentioning? Would it fit under hobbies or artistic endeavors?
  26. ReptarBar

    ReptarBar 5+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    1) yes i would mention something. can't hurt.

    2) never mention any preference for any specialty IMO. you are too inexperienced to decide anything yet.

    3) you can put things that were meaningful to you that don't relate to medicine, but one or two out of the three should relate to medicine IMO. you are applying to medical school...always tailor your application to make yourself seem like an ideal candidate as you would for any other kind of grad school or job.

    4) i would if it is a large sum of money. even though you earned it through high school achievements, it's still important in that it distinguishes you from other peers in your class. i have a similar merit scholarship that i plan to include. i would definitely lump it with your other ones.

    5) definitely mention it. items like these seal the deal sometimes for admission. your interviewer would probably love talking about it. either category would work, but i would put artistic endeavors.
  27. aspiring20

    aspiring20 2+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2011
    I am a very serious art student, and when I apply to med schools, I will most likely have had two full-length (150+ pages) graphic novels self-published.

    This means I am professionally publishing the books by myself (without going to any publisher), and that anyone can order my books online and get a hard copy.

    These novels are going to be a significant aspect of my application (3000-4000 hours drawing, writing, formatting, publishing, etc.), and I am wondering how should I list them on the AMCAS? artistic endeavors? others? publications?

  28. tenndoc

    tenndoc bringer of sarcasm 2+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2011
    artistic would be my guess. publication to me is reserved for scientific papers/journal publishings. not to minimize your work at all.
  29. lalalaaaaaa

    lalalaaaaaa 5+ Year Member

    Sep 29, 2011

    You could probably list it under hobbies/avocations.
  30. sector9

    sector9 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    SDN Author
    hSDN Alumni
    1. It is recommended that you don't indicate any future plans on AMCAS because you are stuck in an awkward position if you decide not to do it (or can't, or whatever). It happens every year when someone who was dead set on doing something writes about a future activity on AMCAS but ends up not doing it. Don't be that person
    2. That sounds fine. Just don't commit to a specialty in your app, and if you do mention an interest in something, be sure to state that you are open to exploring other options
    3. I would stick with the wording of the AMCAS prompt. There have been rumblings on SDN that you should have at least 1 of your 3 "most meaningful" activities as a clinical experience but that is not set in stone or required.
    4. Yes to both. I would also mention the amount (calculated to the best of your ability) and something about the criteria and competitiveness for being awarded the scholarship.
    5. I'll defer to Cat on this one
  31. aspiring20

    aspiring20 2+ Year Member

    Apr 17, 2011
    thanks for the responses guys
  32. sector9

    sector9 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    SDN Author
    hSDN Alumni
    Merging related threads
  33. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Sorry, but that type of help is not within the scope of this thread. I've seen a few members post such questions in the PreMedAllo Forum though, to get general input.
  34. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    I think that would be fine. I'd designate the category as "Other."
  35. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    3) No. They can be personally meaningful to you for some other reason.

    5) Yes, and it should be under Artistic Endeavors, as Reptarbar suggested.
  36. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136 5+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2011
    So I'm going to put my research down as one of my activities. I was awarded a 1000$ fellowship during my research here to do my own project. Should I put this in the same activity as my research (flesh it out in the description), or make a different activity selection for it?
  37. Cinclus

    Cinclus Es un pájaro. Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2011
    Behind the waterfall
    Depends on whether you have empty spaces left to fill in the activities section. Personally, I grouped all research and research descriptions into one section, and I put all my awards into another with brief descriptions of each.
  38. sector9

    sector9 Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    SDN Author
    hSDN Alumni
  39. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136 5+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2011
    I might do that. Anyone else have some input? Catalysik?
  40. EnergyDrink

    EnergyDrink 5+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    How should one craft the expanded essay for meaningful experiences? Similar to a PS (and how the experience makes you want to go into medicine), or just expand on what the experience entailed?

    Any tips on talking about a M.S. degree (thesis) as a significant experience?

    Something I posted on last year and got some response, I'm interested in bringing it up again.

    One of my main experiences has been with my fire department, I wear a lot of hats with this job though.
    It's non-clinical volunteer, as a firefighter/rescuer (500+ hours of national certs)
    It's clinical volunteer, as an EMT.
    It's paid (some duties earn an hourly wage)
    It's leadership (I'm an officer - Lieutenant)
    I have a bunch of awards, including recognition for "lives saved" and "valor"

    But then I have the administrative side of this:
    I'm on the Board of Directors (Elected Director)
    I'm chair of 2 committees, one with fire prevention which I consider "teaching"
    I'm a member of 2 other committees, including the medical committee

    Not quite sure how I should go about listing these in my activities, while leaving room for about 12 significant activities
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  41. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    If the fellowship was competitive and you either applied for it or it was awarded due to merit (and you can list the criteria, #applicants, # winners, etc) then I suggest putting it in Honors/Awards with other recognitions in the same space. I would not list it on its own, as Cinclus suggested, but you might list it first if it was the most prestigious.

    If getting the award was a routine practice at your school or most applicants for it were shoo-ins, then I'd add it to the Research description.
  42. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    1) I suggest you try to stick to the suggestions that AMCAS gives about how to use the space. It is not meant to give space to describe the activity further.

    2) Maybe someone else will chime in how they did it.

    3) Obviously you could carve out many hats from this experience and describe each on its own. But since you are pressed for space, you'll have to strategize. I would carve out experiences where you have nothing stronger for the same category or where you'll need more space to fully describe it. Then try to goup others together in a meaningful way that makes them seem connected, like all the Leadership together.

    I probably would not separate out the paid part, unless it's related to an experience that stands on its own and needs lots of space. Rather just mention it in the description.

    Awards and Honors could stand alone, but maybe they will have to be grouped with others, or could be included with the related Experience.

    I think the clinical aspect needs to stand alone.

    It seems (to me) most logical to have one Volunteer-Clinical, one Volunteer-nonClinical, and one Leadership. But I intuit that you wanted the Teaching component to stand alone. You might try to squeeze it into Volunteer-nonClinical and add the word Teaching to the title to help it stand out and not get lost. But you will have to make that decision.
  43. sliceofbread136

    sliceofbread136 5+ Year Member

    Nov 5, 2011
    Thanks for the input! Ill have to look at how competitive it actually was, I'm not sure.
  44. sunflower18

    sunflower18 Master of Naps 5+ Year Member

    Oct 22, 2011
    I have been involved with photography and graphic design for a local band's album artwork and promotional advertisements. Should this be listed as its own activity under artistic endeavours, or is it not really worth mentioning on its own and should instead be listed as a hobby? I just don't want to take up a slot with something that the adcom would find silly or dumb. Thanks! :)
  45. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    I think it's interesting. Employment is another category you could consider, but I'd probably pick Artistic Endeavor if you have the space. Hobbies is fine, too, either grouped with other photography- or graphic design-related info, or with all hobbies of any type. Whether it should be grouped or on it's own would depend on whether it was a significant time commitment, and whether you need plenty of space to say what needs to be said.
  46. sunflower18

    sunflower18 Master of Naps 5+ Year Member

    Oct 22, 2011
    Great, thanks!
  47. Member 8095721

    Member 8095721 5+ Year Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    hi catalystik,

    I illustrated a comic book that is sold in stores and online nationally (Barnes&Noble, etc.). I was wondering how to classify this. Would this be a publication? (note...I also have basic science research publications). I will also be listing other artistic endeavors for an instrument and for other art awards. how would i classify this? thank you for your help!
  48. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Artistic Endeavor seems most logical. if you want some category diversity, you could alternatively pick Employment (presuming it earned you some money) or Hobbies/Avocations (including any training/experiences that led to this accomplishment). I'd suggest you avoid Publications, but it is another choice.
  49. Member 8095721

    Member 8095721 5+ Year Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Great, thank you very much for the clarification!
  50. coyotelime

    coyotelime 5+ Year Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Two questions, both of which are related to studying abroad experiences.

    1) I spent my semester in London last term; adcoms will recognize that I didn't participate in activities here on campus for that term without me explicitly mentioning last semester I was gone under each of the activities right?
    2) I did have some volunteer experiences abroad, but would their sheer brevity keep them out of my ECs?
  51. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    To help skimming adcomms recognize this fact, you could consider listing the Study Abroad under "Other" and include all the brief volunteer activities in the same space along with what you gained from the international experience. If you have the room. If you can't do that, then next best would be to explicitly mention the cause of the hiatus within some of the narratives.

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