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

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Tsarina9

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Hey guys,

Quick question about lumping activities.

I have had 3 major positions in my Alpha Omicron Pi group. These include Property Manager, Standards Committee Member, and Philanthropy Chair. Since each of these positions are quite different and have their own levels of commitment (and have each lasted close to a year), can I use each as a different activity, or should I put them all together under one activity? The reason I am concerned about this is because I don't think I will have 15 activities if I do lump them together.

Thank you so much!
 

dcamkl1

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Hey guys,

Quick question about lumping activities.

I have had 3 major positions in my Alpha Omicron Pi group. These include Property Manager, Standards Committee Member, and Philanthropy Chair. Since each of these positions are quite different and have their own levels of commitment (and have each lasted close to a year), can I use each as a different activity, or should I put them all together under one activity? The reason I am concerned about this is because I don't think I will have 15 activities if I do lump them together.

Thank you so much!

You do not have to have 15 activities. Quality > quantity. You do not want to spread out your activities or be redundant just for the sake of filling out all the spaces. In your particular case, I would lump them into a category (leadership, probably) and describe your roles as the chair and manager. Then, you can add a short sentence about being a committee member, since it seems that being the manager and chair are more important (just my assumption).
 

dcamkl1

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So my question somewhat relates to question 13.

I submitted my primary application without knowing what I will be doing during my gap year. I was contemplating doing a masters program or working in americorps. BEcause my MCATS score was my target score, I decided to do americorps and work with Red Cross (so excited to take a break from school!!)

Now my question is this, how to I tell schools I am doing Red Cross? Will the only way be through secondaries?

Since you have already submitted your primary, it is too late.

Some secondaries (not all) will ask you to describe/list your planned activities for the application year. If not, you may be asked about it in an interview, or you can bring it up in the interview.

Another scenario is in an update letter or letter of interest. Research the etiquette and timing of these letters.
 

freshbagels

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I have a question about someone else's application. My brother is starting a backroom medical assistant job (rather than the more administrative front-office type) at a DPM's office. He will have ample contact with patients and assisting the podiatrists - would this count as clinical experience for an MD/DO application? Would it be looked down on?
 

Eric C10

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What would type of experience would coaching Little League Baseball be under in your opinions?
 

Dahlia7

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I am a Canadian and it's very hard to get shadowing experience up here, particularly where I'm from. The only shadowing experience I have is with a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Should I put this on my application or is DO shadowing looked down on by MD schools? I do have other clinical volunteer experience so I can still show that I've had patient contact without adding my shadowing experience.

Thanks!
 
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I am a Canadian and it's very hard to get shadowing experience up here, particularly where I'm from. The only shadowing experience I have is with a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Should I put this on my application or is DO shadowing looked down on by MD schools? I do have other clinical volunteer experience so I can still show that I've had patient contact without adding my shadowing experience.

Thanks!
US allopathic school adcomms won't differentiate between MD and DO shadowing. They are considered equivalent. Definitely put it on your application.
 

kimicurtis

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If I talked at great length about something in my PS, I should at least mention it in my work/activities, right? I am just concerned about repetition.
 
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If I talked at great length about something in my PS, I should at least mention it in my work/activities, right? I am just concerned about repetition.
Yes, so as to give locations, exact dates, and contact information, at the least. Try to emphasize different aspects of the experience in each area, if you can. Some repetition is OK.
 

kimicurtis

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Yes, so as to give locations, exact dates, and contact information, at the least. Try to emphasize different aspects of the experience in each area, if you can. Some repetition is OK.

Ok, thanks!
 

kimicurtis

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Yes, so as to give locations, exact dates, and contact information, at the least. Try to emphasize different aspects of the experience in each area, if you can. Some repetition is OK.

Also, if I had a clinical research experience. I scheduled participant appointments, got their weight, height and BMI. Demonstrated exercises too them and prepped them for EKG's. Can I classify this as clinical/volunteer? Or do I have to check research/lab?
 
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Also, if I had a clinical research experience. I scheduled participant appointments, got their weight, height and BMI. Demonstrated exercises too them and prepped them for EKG's. Can I classify this as clinical/volunteer? Or do I have to check research/lab?
It would most appropriately be listed under Research/Lab, but you can title the experience so as to indicate its clinical nature, and include the duties you mentioned in the description to bear it out.
 

kimicurtis

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It would most appropriately be listed under Research/Lab, but you can title the experience so as to indicate its clinical nature, and include the duties you mentioned in the description to bear it out.

Ok, thanks again.
 
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MelloTangelo

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Hiya!

I'm doing some last minute revisions of my AMCAS application before I submit it (late, yes, but the school I'm applying to doesn't have rolling admissions). I worked at McDonalds for a semester, and while I was hesitant in adding it, I figured I might as well since I have about ~180 hours racked up. The only problem is that I can't remember my managers name! I don't want to call up my old boss and ask, so for now, I just put in a sort of 'stand in' name (I remembered the first name of another manager and made up the last, hah) . Do you think this is worth calling up the place and asking? Is it even worth putting in my application?

Thanks!
 
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Hiya!

I'm doing some last minute revisions of my AMCAS application before I submit it (late, yes, but the school I'm applying to doesn't have rolling admissions). I worked at McDonalds for a semester, and while I was hesitant in adding it, I figured I might as well since I have about ~180 hours racked up. The only problem is that I can't remember my managers name! I don't want to call up my old boss and ask, so for now, I just put in a sort of 'stand in' name (I remembered the first name of another manager and made up the last, hah) . Do you think this is worth calling up the place and asking? Is it even worth putting in my application?

Thanks!
Customer service jobs are worth entering on the application.

Why not use the name of the old boss, or alternatively enter Management Staff as the name of the person, and an appropriate phone number for his/her contact #. Recall that you just need someone to vouch for the dates and hours of employment, not to give a recommendation, so whomever is reached need not know you personally, they just need access to employment records.
 

Staffsy77

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I'm going to make an attempt to sneak a question in before this thread closes and the new one for this coming cycle opens.. :)

After reading all of the comments about whether or not to include high school activities (as well as a lot of diverging opinions on medical missions/"medical tourism"), I have an interesting situation that I'm wondering how the rest of you might respond to.. :

For three years in high school, I did outreach trips to Mexico to build homes for families in impoverished parts of the country. These trips sparked my interest in this type of service and I had a desire to carry it through into college. Having to work through college to support myself was a barrier (in terms of time and finances) to continuing on with these sort of activities, but as a trade off, I interned for the volunteerism/social action office within the student government that set up these type of outreach trips (both internationally for winter break, and within the US for spring break) and helped to plan, organize, recruit, etc.. for a few years. Now, I'm a working professional and the financial aspect isn't a barrier as much, so I'm headed to Vietnam this coming March for a medical outreach. My specific questions are these... :

1. @Catalystik : Is my history with these sort of international outreach programs strong enough to include it all, and should it be done in one space (starting in HS, to sort of narrate how it was a growing interest that I nurtured over time)?

2. To @LizzyM specifically, should she choose to respond, how do you feel about the short term medical mission when framed in this context? Does it make a difference in how you view it given that it is a string of related activities over the course of nine or so years? My hope is that it will demonstrate that I developed an interest early, followed through with it over time, and eventually sought out an opportunity to reengage with it in a medical setting...

Thoughts?
 

BurberryDoc

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In regards to number 17 on the list created at the beginning of this thread, I was wondering if anyone could help me out with deciding how to list my hours for a particular experience. Long story short, my father had a stroke and is incapacitated. So I am his medical guardian, power of attorney and full-time caregiver. I wanted to talk about these experiences and how it's helped me develop as a person. This has been going on for 9-10 months now and I'm wondering if every hour elapsed since that time counts or if I should try to give an average of how much time I spend doing these activites/ day.

Take in mind that I live with him and that I am his only caregiver for EVERY need!

I think the maximum # of hours you can put in the box is "999". This is obviously irreflective, but I put 999 for a full time job I held for two years. I'd say just put 999 and the medical schools will get the idea "full-time jobish hours invested on this activity"
 

LizzyM

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I'm going to make an attempt to sneak a question in before this thread closes and the new one for this coming cycle opens.. :)

After reading all of the comments about whether or not to include high school activities (as well as a lot of diverging opinions on medical missions/"medical tourism"), I have an interesting situation that I'm wondering how the rest of you might respond to.. :

For three years in high school, I did outreach trips to Mexico to build homes for families in impoverished parts of the country. These trips sparked my interest in this type of service and I had a desire to carry it through into college. Having to work through college to support myself was a barrier (in terms of time and finances) to continuing on with these sort of activities, but as a trade off, I interned for the volunteerism/social action office within the student government that set up these type of outreach trips (both internationally for winter break, and within the US for spring break) and helped to plan, organize, recruit, etc.. for a few years. Now, I'm a working professional and the financial aspect isn't a barrier as much, so I'm headed to Vietnam this coming March for a medical outreach. My specific questions are these... :

1. @Catalystik : Is my history with these sort of international outreach programs strong enough to include it all, and should it be done in one space (starting in HS, to sort of narrate how it was a growing interest that I nurtured over time)?

2. To @LizzyM specifically, should she choose to respond, how do you feel about the short term medical mission when framed in this context? Does it make a difference in how you view it given that it is a string of related activities over the course of nine or so years? My hope is that it will demonstrate that I developed an interest early, followed through with it over time, and eventually sought out an opportunity to reengage with it in a medical setting...

Thoughts?
There are feelings in the academic medical community that have grown stronger over time that these service trips are a disservice to the local communities that they attempt to serve. Read some of the scholarly papers on the topic and be able to discuss this at interview if the topic arises, just as you would any other medical ethics issue. I would suggest working the trips into your personal statement if they played into your motivation for medicine and not listing them in your experience section. The internship could go in the experience section but the focus should be on what you did/learned in terms of skills and not the aims or objectives of the organization.

I have seen at least one case this season of an applicant who had been on a short-term mission trip who got a poor interview report due to an inability to discuss the problems for local communities that are associated with mission trips.
 
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Staffsy77

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There are feelings in the academic medical community that have grown stronger over time that these service trips are a disservice to the local communities that they attempt to serve. Read some of the scholarly papers on the topic and be able to discuss this at interview if the topic arises, just as you would any other medical ethics issue. I would suggest working the trips into your personal statement if they played into your motivation for medicine and not listing them in your experience section. The internship could go in the experience section but the focus should be on what you did/learned in terms of skills and not the aims or objectives of the organization.

I have seen at least one case this season of an applicant who had been on a short-term mission trip who got a poor interview report due to an inability to discuss the problems for local communities that are associated with mission trips.

Top notch insight, as always. Though others have said it already, thanks for all that you do. Even in my short time on SDN, your advice has really helped to shape my strategy for the upcoming cycle, and I think if I have any chance of being successful, it will be as a result of that. Happy new year and stay warm :)
 
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1. Catalystik : Is my history with these sort of international outreach programs strong enough to include it all, and should it be done in one space (starting in HS, to sort of narrate how it was a growing interest that I nurtured over time)?
@Staffsy77

I agree with @LizzyM about a single listing under the multi-year college Internship, perhaps highlighting the leadership component if you feel it was strongly demonstrated. I'd be OK with brief mention of the three HS home-building trips as background/motivation if you feel you can fit all these events under one Experience umbrella, but really, it's so long ago, you probably have better use for the limited space.

As you are a nontrad, I expect your planned spring medical outreach trip will not be through the same organization? You have the choice of squeezing it in anyway, using another space, or mentioning it in your PS. Until you've had the experience with insights gained, and not knowing how many spaces are already spoken for/what experience areas you need to shore up, it's hard to say right now what strategy would add the most to your appeal to med schools.

As an adcomm, I'd be looking for evidence of local outreach efforts back home aimed at folks who could use some help. Would I find it, and if not, why not?
 
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