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*~*~*~*Official AMCAS Work/Activities Tips Thread 2016-2017*~*~*~*

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Can you put research in the activities section if you got credit for it?
Yes. Whether your research activity is paid, volunteer, or for credit, it's appropriate to list it in the AMCAS Work/Activities section.
 

fireroy830

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If I participate in a summer research program while also applying, can I list it in my activities section? I plan on submitting in June but the program runs from June-August
 

gonnif

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If I participate in a summer research program while also applying, can I list it in my activities section? I plan on submitting in June but the program runs from June-August

Yes, you can list activities until August of matriculation year.
 
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If I participate in a summer research program while also applying, can I list it in my activities section? I plan on submitting in June but the program runs from June-August
So long as you have begun the activity by the time you apply, you can include it on the application. If you did not yet begin it, the application program won't accept a future date and save the information. Of course, if you begin the program one day before you submit, you won't have much to say about it that will positively affect your application, but at least programs will know your summer plans.
 

Chromium Surfer

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So long as you have begun the activity by the time you apply, you can include it on the application. If you did not yet begin it, the application program won't accept a future date and save the information. Of course, if you begin the program one day before you submit, you won't have much to say about it that will positively affect your application, but at least programs will know your summer plans.

Would you recommend waiting to submit an application till the the end of June or mid July so that you can expound more on a prestigious summer opportunity?
 
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Would you recommend waiting to submit an application till the the end of June or mid July so that you can expound more on a prestigious summer opportunity?
No. But it wouldn't hurt to wait a week so you can describe your responsibilities and the point of the research better. You also need time to ensure a reliable Contact.
 
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hall1ms1b

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I am a non trad who recently returned to UG. How far can I go back when I put down my ecs? From going through the forums, I noticed that some people put meaningful (solid) Ecs that are not recent. ( 5 years+)

What about non health care related eps? How far can I put my dates down for? 2012? I read the Amcas instruction manual and some old threads but couldn't find my answer. Thank you.
 
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I am a non trad who recently returned to UG. How far can I go back when I put down my ecs? From going through the forums, I noticed that some people put meaningful (solid) Ecs that are not recent. ( 5 years+)

What about non health care related eps? How far can I put my dates down for? 2012? I read the Amcas instruction manual and some old threads but couldn't find my answer. Thank you.
There is no rule against listing activities from long ago, but you have to to judge if those experiences add to your candidacy, whether health-related or not. Some nontrads will do a lot of grouping of college endeavors, but don't do this too much as it can be annoying to adcomms to plow through multiple, extremely dense entries. And it's a problem for you, if you choose to use this strategy, as you will have no space for commentary. If you have more specific questions about activity "space-worthiness" feel free to ask.
 

Shreman

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Is it common advice that personal statement anecdotes should not overlap with your AMCAS activities, especially your most significant activities? I was planning on addressing 3 activities in anecdotes in my personal statement. Here on SDN, it seems your personal statement topics should "add to the application" by incorporating topics discussed nowhere else.
 
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Is it common advice that personal statement anecdotes should not overlap with your AMCAS activities, especially your most significant activities? I was planning on addressing 3 activities in anecdotes in my personal statement. Here on SDN, it seems your personal statement topics should "add to the application" by incorporating topics discussed nowhere else.
No, it isn't common advice to avoid mentioning the same activity in more than one location, however, I suggest that, to the greatest extent possible, the material covered in each location complement the other. Th PS might cover anecdotes, insights, and where you went from there. The Activities section might cover description, role, and achievements (and is required to include Dates, Contact, Location, etc). An added Most Meaningful narrative could go into more descriptive depth, different anecdotes, impact, and revealed traits desirable in a future doc. (These are just examples of how to divide them up.)

Where overlap is necessary, try to use different vocabulary and phrasing.

Don't make an assumption that all adcomms will have access to the Personal Statement and the Activities Section, as it isn't always true.
 

Boogy'sChick15

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For a volunteering activity of mine, I participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk. It's a 60 mile walk that takes place over the course of 3 days. The time spent walking for this event is around 30 hours. My question is, in addition to the 30 hours for the actual walk, am I able to include the hours spent training for the walk?

We spend about 6 months training, where we meet up every Sunday in our awesome pink shirts representing our loved ones, and even during our training walks we bring awareness to Breast Cancer to everyone we pass, and sometimes we even collect donations while we are walking. Would this be appropriate to add to the total hours spent for this activity?
Without the training hours, its only 30 hours for the event, but with the training hours, it would be around 200 hours for the whole year. I have done this twice so far, so it would either be 60 hours in 2 years, or around 400 hours in 2 years.
 

Shreman

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Should I classify my role as Peer Advisor as Leadership, or Teaching/Tutoring? Here is the description of responsibilities for our program:
  • Providing leadership and fostering a network of peer support
  • Serving as role models who can provide information about curricular and co-curricular opportunities at "school"
  • Informing new students about policies and procedures
  • Teaching new students how to schedule classes and how to register
  • Helping new students prepare for meetings with their faculty advisors
  • Providing individual peer support as needed throughout the year
  • Supporting the Office of Academic Advising staff and faculty advisors
 
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Should I classify my role as Peer Advisor as Leadership, or Teaching/Tutoring? Here is the description of responsibilities for our program:
  • Providing leadership and fostering a network of peer support
  • Serving as role models who can provide information about curricular and co-curricular opportunities at "school"
  • Informing new students about policies and procedures
  • Teaching new students how to schedule classes and how to register
  • Helping new students prepare for meetings with their faculty advisors
  • Providing individual peer support as needed throughout the year
  • Supporting the Office of Academic Advising staff and faculty advisors
I'd suggest you pick "Teaching/Tutoring" unless you also have the responsibility of recruiting, training, monitoring, etc, other peer advisors.
 
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More good advice.
In reviewing an AMCAS application I actually spend the most time on the experiences (employment/activities) section. My rationale is that your metrics are easy to interpret and your butler may have written your personal statement, but the experiences you list shows me two important things: (1) what you have chosen to do with your available time, and (2) what you consider worth sharing.

Here's a little exercise. Lay out your proposed experience list in order of descending hours, the look at the list and try to see what it says about you. For example, if your list looks something like this (which is only a slight exaggeration):

1. Hobbies - Skiing/snowboarding, 9000 hours
2. Hobbies - Windsurfing, 7000 hours
3. Hobbies - Cycling (road and mountain), 5000 hours
4. Hobbies - Rock climbing, 2000 hours
5. Research, 100 hours
6. Shadowing, 20 hours
7. Habitat for Humanity, 8 hours

...it tells me that you are a very active, outdoorsy kind of person. Great. Good for you. It also tells me that you are more concerned with enjoying yourself than getting into medical school. Not so great. Bad for you.

A couple more easy rules to follow:

(1) If you have five or fewer entries don't apply. If you have 12 or more check for excessive filler.

(2) Don't list anything from high school or earlier. I don't care if you played for the state championship football team. I don't care if you had great accomplishments as a boy scout. I don't care if you were valedictorian of your high school. Pretend your life started on the first day of college.

(3) Don't include anything that is considered a normal part of existence for decent human beings. I have seen people list the deaths of relatives/friends in this section. If that event impacted your journey to medicine do yourself a favor and put it in the personal statement. I have seen people list being a husband/wife/father/mother/sister/brother/son/daughter/best friend in their experiences section. I can feel the earnestness oozing through the computer screen when I read these, but it doesn't make you look appealing. At best, it makes you look like a newborn fawn that just hobbled into traffic.

(4) In writing the entries I know there is an endless debate over being explanatory versus being brief, so you need to walk the line and be concise. That means you explain wherever necessary, and don't explain where it is unnecessary. Use enough words to get the point across and then stop. Tell what you learned only if you have something worthwhile to tell.

A good example is a poster presentation. Most everyone in medicine is familiar with posters. We know the drill. It is perfectly fine to simply list that you presented Poster X at Conference Y on date Z. You don't need to wax poetic about how crafting this poster taught you the value of teamwork and the true meaning of Christmas.

Now, if you have done something that is likely unfamiliar to the audience, like worked as a counselor at a camp that serves a specialized population, that deserves some verbiage.
 

Shreman

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For my master's thesis, should I list that as a Publication, or lump it under my Research Experience activity? The thesis is being published by my university, but I'm not sure if that counts, as it is not a traditional peer-reviewed journal publication.
 
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For my master's thesis, should I list that as a Publication, or lump it under my Research Experience activity? The thesis is being published by my university, but I'm not sure if that counts, as it is not a traditional peer-reviewed journal publication.
I suggest not using a Publications space for your thesis process. If you have the space, and it warrants more explanation, the "Other" designation is more appropriate, or you can mention it in your Research space if you used Most Meaningful designation to get more characters for description.
 
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I am a volunteer firefighter/EMT with my local firehall. Obviously we do a lot of stuff that is not "clinical", but it would be hard to break it up into the individual non-clinical hours and then the clinical EMS hours. Should I just list the aggregate time as all clinical hours?
 
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I am a volunteer firefighter/EMT with my local firehall. Obviously we do a lot of stuff that is not "clinical", but it would be hard to break it up into the individual non-clinical hours and then the clinical EMS hours. Should I just list the aggregate time as all clinical hours?
That would make the entry look "fluffed up," which isn't desirable. Perhaps your narrative could specify a likely percent of the time that the position involves patient contact vs other?
 
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