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*~*~*~*Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2013-2014*~*~*~*

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lalalapartay012

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I don't believe this has been answered, but when grouping awards, what do you all put for the date?? Since the awards were given over a range of time, do you put the date the first award was issued?
 

OCDOCDOCD

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I think it shows commitment to learning... if you did a bunch of them I would group them together

Doesn't really add much imo. You've already taken 3+ years of rigorous college courses by the time you apply to med school, who cares about courses with very dubious rigor? It's already assumed you're committed to learning by the fact that you (hopefully) have a high GPA, have or will soon have a BA/BS, and are signing up for another 4 years of school.

I've taken some EdX and Coursera classes as well, but I don't plan to mention them unless it comes up in interviews somehow.
 

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Thank you. Yes, I am going to bunch all of my courses together.
 

Sports Junky

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Hello, I have been recently hired to become a medical scribe. I do not start working until July 1st, but I did go through a two week training phase.

The training itself was quite informative. We not only learned about the clinical side (documenting proper notes, work etiqute etc), we also learned about the financial side. We were taught how to "bill" insurance companies using ICD 9 coding and some basic chart auditing.

Should I include the training in my work activities and then talk about the actual scribe job in my secondary apps? Or should I just leave off the training since it was only two weeks?

Edit: I did receive a certification for completing the training as well.
 
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png

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Doesn't really add much imo. You've already taken 3+ years of rigorous college courses by the time you apply to med school, who cares about courses with very dubious rigor? It's already assumed you're committed to learning by the fact that you (hopefully) have a high GPA, have or will soon have a BA/BS, and are signing up for another 4 years of school.

I've taken some EdX and Coursera classes as well, but I don't plan to mention them unless it comes up in interviews somehow.
I graduated a year ago and have been working, so I was wondering if that will show anything. But what you've said is true i.e. that the courses may not rigorous. I guess I'll go with how I feel when I'm about to submit my app.

Thank you
 

Ismet

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Woohoo massive answering post! :)

Help important question!

So apparently I noticed there is an error on my transcript.
My teacher forgot to register a credit of research for me.
I did 3 semesters of research (summer, fall, spring) but I only got 2 credits.

My teacher also knows of this error now. The probelm is that i think it is gonna take too long to fix the error, and i dont want to get late for my applications.

I cant submit my apps until after the 18th becuase I get my mcat scores that day, so there is a little room.

So i got 2 questions:
1. I already submitted my transcript with the error and it will probably be recieved by monday or tuesday. If i do get my error corrected and thuis do get a new transcript ... can i still be able to send a corrected transcript? Also how long would it take?

2. My other question is that say it would take too long to get the error corected, i was wondering if there is any or a big diffrence with 2 vs 3 research credits. I mean i still wrote and gave the hours, etc on my app of all 3 semesters.
Do you think it matters 2 or 3.... is it a big deal....or should i still submit my app regardless of the error?

THANKS !!!

1. You can submit your AMCAS before getting your MCAT score so that you can get in line for verification. If you want to wait to see your MCAT score before deciding on your list of schools, that's fine. You can submit AMCAS with just one school (maybe pick a school you were planning to apply to regardless of your MCAT score) and then once your score comes in, you can add on the rest of your schools.

2. According to reports from people on SDN, it's taking 10+ days for transcripts to be marked received after AMCAS actually receives them. So for you to wait for the transcript to be corrected and submit the new one, it will probably be July by the time it gets marked received. I don't think it's worth going through all that trouble for one more credit, but that's just my opinion.

One of the schools I applied to required that secondaries be returned within two weeks. This was a DO school, however. Not sure if any MD schools have the same policy.

WVU requires secondaries to be returned in 2 weeks, if that applies to anyone.

For repeated activities, should the 'main' date range be the most recent one? Or should that go in last?

As a nontrad with years of work experience at multiple jobs, this 999 hour limit is driving me crazy. As though calculating hours and figuring out contact people for jobs I last worked 6+ years ago wasn't bad enough....

1. The time can all be clarified in the description. You can put the first time you did the activity in the main date range, and then briefly describe when you repeated it in the description.

2. I guess this is the first year with the "total hours" field, but in past years we were told to write the total hours in the description. If your total hours is 999+, then just write 999 in the field and write a brief sentence in the description with your actual total hours

I am concerned that AMCAS says it could take up to 6 weeks to process the applications... I haven't submitted mine yet... my goal is early this week... I decided to try to rewrite my personal statement and some of my essays... :-/

They say that because it takes 6 weeks at the peak verification time, which is submitting at the end of July/August. If you submit now, it shouldn't take 6 weeks, although they do seem to be moving rather slowly.

I don't believe this has been answered, but when grouping awards, what do you all put for the date?? Since the awards were given over a range of time, do you put the date the first award was issued?

Just pick one and list it since it's a required field. I'm assuming you'll be listing the awards in bullet-point format in the description, so just put the dates they were awarded there.

1) Merit Scholarship - August 2009
2) X Memorial Scholarship - September 2011
etc.

Hello, I have been recently hired to become a medical scribe. I do not start working until July 1st, but I did go through a two week training phase.

The training itself was quite informative. We not only learned about the clinical side (documenting proper notes, work etiqute etc), we also learned about the financial side. We were taught how to "bill" insurance companies using ICD 9 coding and some basic chart auditing.

Should I include the training in my work activities and then talk about the actual scribe job in my secondary apps? Or should I just leave off the training since it was only two weeks?

Edit: I did receive a certification for completing the training as well.

You can include the training if you like, and mention that you will be starting the job on July 1.
 

SN12357

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1. The time can all be clarified in the description. You can put the first time you did the activity in the main date range, and then briefly describe when you repeated it in the description.

I can clarify in the description, but in the FAQ it says that adcoms can order the activities any way they want, including by date range--I'd like to make sure that when they do that, it makes sense and my most significant activity (my research experience) shows up near the top. If I go with the 'wrong' orientation of the dates ranges the order could make less sense.

Not a dealbreaker, exactly, but if there is a clear answer I'd like to know it.
 

OCDOCDOCD

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If I have a poster presentation at a convention, should I put the experience name as the name of the convention?

Of course. How else are you going to cite the poster? Not to mention adcoms want to know if the poster was presented at an undergrad symposium, professional conference, or international conference.
 

dellian101

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Is anyone noticing how the large amount of hours looks odd?

ie: i worked in a research lab for 3 years
thats 20 hrs a week, 52 weeks a year, 3 years, 3120 hours or 3 times of 999

That looks insane! Should I be cutting down hours?

20 hours a week (as most undergrads do) sounds a lot better than 3120 hours.

and for my other activities, if i put "estimated hours" until I graduate, i'm literally putting in hundreds or thousands of hours per activity

is anyone running into similar situation
 

Ismet

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Is anyone noticing how the large amount of hours looks odd?

ie: i worked in a research lab for 3 years
thats 20 hrs a week, 52 weeks a year, 3 years, 3120 hours or 3 times of 999

That looks insane! Should I be cutting down hours?

20 hours a week (as most undergrads do) sounds a lot better than 3120 hours.

and for my other activities, if i put "estimated hours" until I graduate, i'm literally putting in hundreds or thousands of hours per activity

is anyone running into similar situation

i'm not sure if you're being serious or not...

just fill it out like it is. the "total hours" field is new this year, and really it doesn't matter if you write 20 hours/week for 3 years or 3120 hours. It's the same thing.
 

Lexipi

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Of course. How else are you going to cite the poster? Not to mention adcoms want to know if the poster was presented at an undergrad symposium, professional conference, or international conference.

I've been putting the name of the conference under organization...
Am I doing this wrong?
 
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Ismet

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I've been putting the name of the conference under organization...
Am I doing this wrong?

There is no right or wrong. As long as all the information is there somewhere, whether in the description, in the organization name, whatever, it's fine.
 

Lexipi

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There is no right or wrong. As long as all the information is there somewhere, whether in the description, in the organization name, whatever, it's fine.

Cool, thanks!
 

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Quick question:

I have been training Brazilian jiu-jitsu for about two years, and I'm having a tough time trying to describe what it is in a way that anyone who reads it can understand. I feel like you have to at least see it to get a good idea of what it is.

What do you guys think about adding a link to a short video demonstration along with my description, think it's okay?
 

Girly X

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Quick question:

I have been training Brazilian jiu-jitsu for about two years, and I'm having a tough time trying to describe what it is in a way that anyone who reads it can understand. I feel like you have to at least see it to get a good idea of what it is.

What do you guys think about adding a link to a short video demonstration along with my description, think it's okay?

Sure. But still work hard on the description as most will probably not look at the video.
 

OCDOCDOCD

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How much detail are you guys going into about your hobbies? I only have one that I think is appropriate to list on an application (programming) and I just left the description at "I like to make small programs in Python and learn more about computer science topics". I feel like it's pretty self-explanatory and that if an adcom member cares they'll ask me about it, but am I being too pithy?


Everyone,

how many activities did you enter?

I've got 13 but that's because I've had a lot of very productive research (multiple posters, multiple publications, multiple labs). As long as you've got your bases covered (clinical experience, community service, and research) I wouldn't be too worried about not having a lot of activities.
 

tewpac

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Sure. But still work hard on the description as most will probably not look at the video.

Yeah, true. I doubt many would bother to look at it, I'll make sure the description is good. Whether they are curious enough to check out the video will be a bonus I guess.
 

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Hey everyone!

1. I've been heavily involved with dance during college, in a leadership capacity (going to use this as one of my most meaningful), and would like to distinguish it from the dance training/performances I've been involved in since I was little. Would it make sense to split this into 2 entries -- one focusing on the impact of the leadership, and specific college work, and the 2nd one classified as artistic endeavor that talks about the more artistic components? I wouldn't mind combining the two, but I would like the chance to talk about my artistic growth, which I think might get thrown to the wayside otherwise.

2. Is it okay to list an artistic endeavor that you were really involved in during high school and continued through your first year of college but not afterward, or would the fact that you haven't been continuing it stand out a lot?

3. Is it absolutely ridiculous to list National Merit Finalist under awards/honors (along with Dean's List) if you received the $2500 scholarship?

4. In the description for an activity, is it okay to mention a leadership position for the upcoming year?

Thanks so much!! :D
 

Hjbo

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I'm having trouble knowing when to categorize activities as recurring events or not. For example, summer jobs should probably be listed as recurring, but how about isolated shadowing experiences? I've shadowed a bunch of physicians sporadically over the past year; is it better to put that as one experience spanning the year, or list separate dates for each one?

How are people tracking hours when combining different specific activities into one category?
 

dellian101

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For continued activities, ie continuing activities until next year - we just estimate current amount hrs/per week and add that in?
 

thebluthfamily

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When writing my personal statement, I'm planning on bringing up 1-2 important experiences in my life that I also mention in my activities list. Would it be a bad idea if I chose these activities as my most meaningful ones and expand on them if I already discuss them in some length in my PS?

For continued activities, ie continuing activities until next year - we just estimate current amount hrs/per week and add that in?

Yep, that's what I did.
 
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SN12357

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I've held multiple non-clinical part-time side jobs (ie, receptionist, retail) for periods of 1.5-2 years. I have space to list each one separately (which takes me to 15 activities), but it is better off to combine some of them anyway to be more concise? They all overlap in time with other, far more significant activities that I've done...I want to show how busy I always was but I don't want them to distract from my more relevant accomplishments.
 

SN12357

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To be honest, i believe it is implied that i am working full time.. do you think i should explicitly put that?

Never assume that another person will make a connection. Spell it out.

Personally, I'm putting the time frame and a weekly estimate in the description (ie, '20 hrs/week throughout college) for everything. I think it's more understandable/readable than the total hours, especially for things with thousands of total hours.
 

SN12357

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I'm writing paragraph descriptions for everything. Do you think this is necessary to write into each paragraph or should I write it as a separate line?

I think either way works. Right now I have mine written into the paragraphs.
 

rudziutki

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OK this is dumb, but is this sentence missing a comma? I am bad at this -_-:

Each enrolled student is paired with a tutor who works with that student on an individual and longitudinal basis.

TY
 
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Amirr

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I was a research assistant at my school studying colon cancer for 14 months. In that time I mainly was helping other researchers with their work, but I did work with one post-doc to get a paper done. I got listed at the 4th author.

How would you list that as an experience? Just research, or research and publication (equaling 2 separate experiences)?

Thanks.
 

Girly X

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Hey everyone!

1. I've been heavily involved with dance during college, in a leadership capacity (going to use this as one of my most meaningful), and would like to distinguish it from the dance training/performances I've been involved in since I was little. Would it make sense to split this into 2 entries -- one focusing on the impact of the leadership, and specific college work, and the 2nd one classified as artistic endeavor that talks about the more artistic components? I wouldn't mind combining the two, but I would like the chance to talk about my artistic growth, which I think might get thrown to the wayside otherwise.

2. Is it okay to list an artistic endeavor that you were really involved in during high school and continued through your first year of college but not afterward, or would the fact that you haven't been continuing it stand out a lot?

3. Is it absolutely ridiculous to list National Merit Finalist under awards/honors (along with Dean's List) if you received the $2500 scholarship?

4. In the description for an activity, is it okay to mention a leadership position for the upcoming year?

Thanks so much!! :D

1. I would keep this as one entry. Focus on the leadership aspects and add in the artistic elements that you want to talk about.
2. If you continued it into just freshman year, its fine to list it.
3. Nope, not ridic. List it.
4. Sure, if you are certain of it.

I'm having trouble knowing when to categorize activities as recurring events or not. For example, summer jobs should probably be listed as recurring, but how about isolated shadowing experiences? I've shadowed a bunch of physicians sporadically over the past year; is it better to put that as one experience spanning the year, or list separate dates for each one?

How are people tracking hours when combining different specific activities into one category?

1. If it was sporadic (not continuous) then list it as recurring.
2. Eh, just add up all the hours for the different activities and use that number?

For continued activities, ie continuing activities until next year - we just estimate current amount hrs/per week and add that in?

Sure.

I've held multiple non-clinical part-time side jobs (ie, receptionist, retail) for periods of 1.5-2 years. I have space to list each one separately (which takes me to 15 activities), but it is better off to combine some of them anyway to be more concise? They all overlap in time with other, far more significant activities that I've done...I want to show how busy I always was but I don't want them to distract from my more relevant accomplishments.

Yep, combine as much as possible so that you can produce higher quality, more robust descriptions. Quality > Quantity.

makes it much more confusing. i called and asked them about this since im working at a full time job for the next year and it will be >999. They said just to leave it 999 and indicate it as a full time job. To be honest, i believe it is implied that i am working full time.. do you think i should explicitly put that?[/QUOTE

Indicate once within the description that this was a full time position.

I'm writing paragraph descriptions for everything. Do you think this is necessary to write into each paragraph or should I write it as a separate line?

Either.

OK this is dumb, but is this sentence missing a comma? I am bad at this -_-:

Each enrolled student is paired with a tutor who works with that student on an individual and longitudinal basis.

TY

Looks fine as is to me.

I was a research assistant at my school studying colon cancer for 14 months. In that time I mainly was helping other researchers with their work, but I did work with one post-doc to get a paper done. I got listed at the 4th author.

How would you list that as an experience? Just research, or research and publication (equaling 2 separate experiences)?

Thanks.

Research and publication (2 separate experiences). But if you already have a publication category, then just add this one to it.
 

Amirr

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Research and publication (2 separate experiences). But if you already have a publication category, then just add this one to it.

Thank you very much.

Another question:

Would you list this as Paid Employment (Medical) or Paid Employment (Non-Medical)?

Working as a skills trainer for adolescents at an in-patient psychiatric facility. The most common diagnoses were depression, bipolar, PTSD, and psychosis. We used three main types of psychotherapy: CPS (collaborative problem solving), DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).

Although it wasn't in a clinic, isn't psychiatry a part of medicine? Thoughts?
 
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Girly X

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Thank you very much.

Another question:

Would you list this as Paid Employment (Medical) or Paid Employment (Non-Medical)?

Working as a skills trainer for adolescents at an in-patient psychiatric facility. The most common diagnoses were depression, bipolar, PTSD, and psychosis. We used three main types of psychotherapy: CPS (collaborative problem solving), DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).

Although it wasn't in a clinic, isn't psychiatry a part of medicine? Thoughts?

Definitely Medical.
 

Ismet

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Thank you very much.

Another question:

Would you list this as Paid Employment (Medical) or Paid Employment (Non-Medical)?

Working as a skills trainer for adolescents at an in-patient psychiatric facility. The most common diagnoses were depression, bipolar, PTSD, and psychosis. We used three main types of psychotherapy: CPS (collaborative problem solving), DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy), and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).

Although it wasn't in a clinic, isn't psychiatry a part of medicine? Thoughts?


Yes...psychiatry is a part of medicine. Psychiatrists are MD's and every med student has to do a psychiatry rotation.

Paid Employment (Medical), but I think it more depends on what you did.
 

johnnydoesdat

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I tried searching the answer for this question, but I couldn't find one. When I was in junior college, I was involved in four clubs that each had different advisors, but when I left all four advisors were laid off. I still have a relationship with them and I'm sure each would be more than happy to be my contact, but they don't have the college e-mail address anymore, so I'm worried that will look weird. The Dean of Instruction and Student Services, who knows I participated in those organizations is still at the school. Is it weird if I use the her as the contact for all four organizations? Should I try to find different people at the school to vouch for me?
Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
 

Girly X

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I tried searching the answer for this question, but I couldn't find one. When I was in junior college, I was involved in four clubs that each had different advisors, but when I left all four advisors were laid off. I still have a relationship with them and I'm sure each would be more than happy to be my contact, but they don't have the college e-mail address anymore, so I'm worried that will look weird. The Dean of Instruction and Student Services, who knows I participated in those organizations is still at the school. Is it weird if I use the her as the contact for all four organizations? Should I try to find different people at the school to vouch for me?
Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

I would go with the Dean if he/she knows of your involvement. However, I don't think it will be a problem if your contacts have non-school email addresses, so either is fine.
 

amerr4

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Hey Guys I'm kinda freaking out right now

I was going through work/activities section of the pdf version of my application and I just noticed I spelled the name of a doctor I shadowed incorrectly. The is made worse by the fact that this doctor is writing me a recommendation.

I didn't spell it horribly wrong, his name has 1 e and I put 2 es on accident.

Question: I already submitted it 6/11 should I change and resubmit?
 

Ismet

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Hey Guys I'm kinda freaking out right now

I was going through work/activities section of the pdf version of my application and I just noticed I spelled the name of a doctor I shadowed incorrectly. The is made worse by the fact that this doctor is writing me a recommendation.

I didn't spell it horribly wrong, his name has 1 e and I put 2 es on accident.

Question: I already submitted it 6/11 should I change and resubmit?

No. It is fine.
 

Amirr

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Is there a way to say that you're still involved in an activity? It looks like I have to put an End Date on each activity.
 

Girly X

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Is there a way to say that you're still involved in an activity? It looks like I have to put an End Date on each activity.

Eh, how about the date you anticipate ending the activity? Eg. June 2014 etc. That should make it pretty clear that you're still involved in it. Also note that many secondaries will ask about your gap/app year activities, so there will be another chance to let them know.
 
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thebluthfamily

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When writing my personal statement, I'm planning on bringing up 1-2 important experiences in my life that I also mention in my activities list. Would it be a bad idea if I chose these activities as my most meaningful ones and expand on them if I already discuss them in some length in my PS?
 

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I have 4 quesitions

1) I have been awarded scholarships by different organizations and want to lump them under one of the tabs to save space. I can explain in the description about the them but what do I indicate in organization and contact info. I was thinking of writing the contact information of my school's financial office. Also should I indicate the amount? It was substantial but not too high.

2) I want to list honors and deans list on one of the slots but have been debating its importance since they are all indicated on my transcript.

3) I have publications and abstracts. Are citations necessary/recommended? I want to use my characters to describe the nature of the project and what importance the work was to me. I don't want to waste characters.

4) Also random question. I don't have anything fishy on my Facebook (at least I do not think) but is it recommended to deactivate these social media websites during application times? I do have good privacy settings.

Thank you for your help! #FirstSDNpost
 

Ismet

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I have 4 quesitions

1) I have been awarded scholarships by different organizations and want to lump them under one of the tabs to save space. I can explain in the description about the them but what do I indicate in organization and contact info. I was thinking of writing the contact information of my school's financial office. Also should I indicate the amount? It was substantial but not too high.

2) I want to list honors and deans list on one of the slots but have been debating its importance since they are all indicated on my transcript.

3) I have publications and abstracts. Are citations necessary/recommended? I want to use my characters to describe the nature of the project and what importance the work was to me. I don't want to waste characters.

4) Also random question. I don't have anything fishy on my Facebook (at least I do not think) but is it recommended to deactivate these social media websites during application times? I do have good privacy settings.

Thank you for your help! #FirstSDNpost

1. That's fine for the contact info. I've heard different opinions on including the amount, but FWIW I included the amounts of my scholarships

2. If you have room in an Honors/Awards entry and want to throw those in, then go for it. It's not going to make or break anything.

3. If you don't have enough room in your research entry to talk about publications, you can make a separate "Publications" entry and list the citations for the pubs. I think it's a good idea to list the citations, it gives the pubs more importance than just saying "my research resulted in x publications and x abstracts."

4. No need to deactivate FB if you don't have anything incriminating on it.
 

gopromd

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What does the "series" column next to the test date signify? Just wondering!
 

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If I studied abroad for 5 weeks and therefore wasn't available to do my other extracurricular activities (work and volunteering) for those 5 weeks, do I have to do repeated hours for those activities? Like put the 2nd start date as when I came back and calculate the hours since? Also, what would be the "experience type" for studying abroad? Other? Thanks
 

Girly X

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When writing my personal statement, I'm planning on bringing up 1-2 important experiences in my life that I also mention in my activities list. Would it be a bad idea if I chose these activities as my most meaningful ones and expand on them if I already discuss them in some length in my PS?

This is perfectly fine.
 

Girly X

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If I studied abroad for 5 weeks and therefore wasn't available to do my other extracurricular activities (work and volunteering) for those 5 weeks, do I have to do repeated hours for those activities? Like put the 2nd start date as when I came back and calculate the hours since? Also, what would be the "experience type" for studying abroad? Other? Thanks

Yes use the repeated hours with the 2nd start date as when you returned and started again. You cannot double dip...that 5 week timeframe will show up elsewhere on your app as your study abroad time.

If it is reflected in the coursework section of your app then I would not put it down as an EC. Were you involved in any ECs/non-curricular experiences while abroad? Focus on that aspect of your trip for this section.
 

yinyang23

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Would it be appropriate to include articles published in student journals as publications? I've written for two undergraduate journals but am hesitant because they are not research-oriented
 
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