*~*~*~*Official AMCAS Work/Activities Tips Thread 2018-2019*~*~*~*

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Disclaimer: Post was found in a bottle washed up on the mod team's private island.

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 three older threads that contain lots of valuable information about this section:

Great tips for entering your "Work/Activities" for AMCAS (2005-2010 thread)
*~*~*~*Tips for Entering your "Work and Activities" in AMCAS*~*~*~* (2011-2012 thread)
*~*~*~*Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2012-2013*~*~*~*
*~*~*~*Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2013-2014*~*~*~*
*~*~*~*Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2014-2015*~*~*~*
*~*~*~*Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2015-2016*~*~*~*
*~*~*~*Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2016-2017*~*~*~*
*~*~*~*Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2017-2018*~*~*~*



(Even though these threads are all 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. Any suggestions for the FAQ are appreciated.

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!!
 
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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 and has been built by many contributors over many years. Any suggestions are welcomed and appreciated, especially when editing is needed to reflect changes in the AMCAS application form.


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?
Artistic Endeavors
Community Service/Volunteer - Medical/Clinical
Community Service/Volunteer - Non Medical/Clinical
Conferences Attended
Extracurricular Activities
Hobbies
Honors/Award/Recognition
Intercollegiate Athletics
Leadership - Not Listed Elsewhere
Military Service
Other
Paid Employment - Medical/Clinical
Paid Employment - Non Medical/Clinical
Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation
Presentations/Posters
Publications
Research/Lab
Teaching/Tutoring/Teaching Assistant

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 separate it into two entries, one for Leadership and the other for 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:

Leadership - Not Listed Elsewhere
-Club officer
-Student activism/government/Greek activities
-Starting a non-profit/student organization/business

Honors/Awards/Recognitions
-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.

Teaching/Tutoring/TA
-Includes not just TA or tutor, but also mentoring and coaching.

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 Medical/Clinical.
[Input the other header information (time span, total hours, contact, etc) for the first activity listed. Similar info for the additional experiences would be put in the narrative space.]

Starbucks Barista
-Responsible for training new employees, customer service, and product ordering.
-Worked while attending school full time

Also:
Paid Intern - June 2016 - August 2016
Contact: Jane Doe, Secretary, 555-123-4567
-Worked at the Mayor's Office for the City of Memphis.
-Responsible for...
-Worked 40 hours per week while taking 1 summer class. Total Hours 400

Summer Grocery Store Worker - May 2015 - August 2015
Contact: Jill Doe, Manager, 555-234-5678
-Worked as a cashier for a major grocery store chain
-Worked 30 hours per week while attending school. Total Hours 600
-Responsible for....




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? 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, when your GPA speaks for itself. 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?
In the past, AdCom members rarely contacted these people. However, the application changed a few years ago to require either a phone number or email address for a contact for most activities listed. Especially if an LOR about the activity was not submitted, be sure your contact is up-to-date and even forewarned, particularly if the activity was substantial and adds great appeal to your candidacy. Some schools check these in detail (often after accepting you) and others not so much, but you won’t know which is which.

There are certainly some activities that are difficult to list a contact, like 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 and timeframe faithfully. These are contacts, not references, so the person who responds does not need to answer questions about your performance or abilities to succeed in medical school.

8. Most Meaningful Activities
a) 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."

b) 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. For example, you could 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.

c) 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?
Yes, but it is best to use the box as AMCAS suggests on the application, also. Some creativity will be tolerated. Don't feel obliged to fill the entire space.

9. If I talk about something in my personal statement, should I still mention it in my Work/Activities Section?
Yes, definitely. Don't assume that the same reader will have access to your entire application. 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. How should I list Physician Shadowing?
Some recommendations when listing physician shadowing: Group all of your shadowing together, giving a total hours for all included physicians. Additional relevant information such as specific dates, subtotaled hours, 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: Physician Shadowing
Title: Physician Observation
Total Hours: Total hours shadowed for all docs included in the space.
Contact info, organization name, and dates: Use the info for the first physician you want to list.
Description:

John Patel, D.O., Family Medicine resident
13 hours in May 2017

Also:
Jill Rosenbloom, M.D., Pediatrician
New York Pediatrics
800-000-0000
20 hours in June 2016

Jane Santos, M.D., General Surgeon
New York Surgical Associates
800-000-0000
13 hours in January and February 2016, during general and bariatric office hours

James Ruzic, M.D., Radiologist
New York Radiology Associates
[email protected]
7 hours in May 2015, during image reading

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, in fact, 9-10 are the average used. 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, especially those that are unusual! Adcomm members like to know what you do to relieve stress and unwind. Group them all together. In a sea of look-alike activities, hobbies may be what helps make you memorable: "That dumpling-maker applicant" or "The fly fisherman."

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 plan for the future but haven't started yet? Can end dates be projected into the future?
The AMCAS application will not accept future months for your start date. If an activity is ongoing, the end date can be no later than the intended start of medical school (eg, August at the end of the current cycle). Note that some categories only require one date, like Awards, Presentations/Posters, and Publications.

14. How should I list publications? What if I have "submitted manuscripts," not actually accepted yet?
Publications are worthy of their own slot, even if you already have a "Research" space. For a contact, use the 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 acceptance 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. Include enough of the author's list so that your place in the authorship can be determined, or state that you are the third author.

Do not consider an poster or presentation abstract published in a Conference Proceedings Booklet to be a "Publication" for AMCAS purposes. If the abstract were to appear in a paper journal (or a supplement to one) and be PubMed searchable, then you can call it a Publication for AMCAS purposes (and you'd include the word "[Abstract]" in the citation).

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.

15. 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.

16. 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 reorder the activities by any parameter they choose.

17. What are the maximum "Total Hours" I can list for an activity?
The most that can be entered are 99999 Total Hours.

18. How should I go about naming an activity?
-If your position comes with a title, you can use that if it reflects what you do adequately, eg, Vice President of a Student Rockclimbing Association (especially if the name of the organization is Hawkeye Mountain Goats, which doesn't tell us enough). Or, Research Affiliate, vs Research Associate, vs Research Tech, vs Researcher on Infant Cognition Project.

-If you are a general member of an organization and will hold a higher office in the future, since it can't be listed under Leadership on its own before you start the position, you can sneak it into the application with the title you pick, eg: General Member and President-Elect of Campus Recycling Initiative.

-If the activity covers two categories, since you can only designate one, in some instances you might choose a name that conveys the other designation. For example, Research/Lab can be paid, volunteer, or via class credit. Unless you are washing glassware, you might decide to select Research/Lab so it won't be overlooked, but could title the activity Animal Handler for Smith Lab through Work/Study Program. Exception: If your research activity earns class credit, the transcript will speak to this so it isn't necessary to repeat the information.

-If you are grouping multiple similar activities together to save space, be sure the title you pick encompasses all of them, eg, Summer Camp Volunteerism, or College Seasonal Employment, or E-Publications of Graphic Novels, or Searchable Published Abstracts, or Leisuretime Activities, or Undergraduate Recognitions, or Fraternity Involvement.

-Try not to repeat the same organization name in the title you give the activity. Example:
For an experience titled: President of Pre-Medical Society, avoid using Organization: Pre-Med Society. Instead, consider an alternative for the organization name: perhaps incorporating AED spelled out, or Office of Collegiate Affairs (or whatever dept oversees all student organizations), or your school's name.

19. What would I use the "Repeated" button for?
Say you volunteered at the same hospital for three summers in a row. All the header information is the same for each summer experience but your participation wasn't continuous. So you can fill in a separate date range for each of the three summers and enter a different Total Hours. The same might apply to sport team involvement, thespian commitments, marathons run, seasonal job with the same company, etc. Note: The program will give you an error message if you don't enter them in chronological order. And it won't save the information you enter until the problem is corrected.

Another potential use would be to differentiate completed hours vs future projected hours for an activity in which you are already engaged, by using the current month as the End Date for the first date span and then again as the Start Date for the future hours.

Or the Repeated feature can be used to separate decades of involvement (showing lifelong dedication to a sport or music, eg), divided into college years & after, HS years, and even childhood years.

All the timeframes you choose to include will appear above the narrative box, each with their own estimated hours.

20. How do I describe my Research-related activities?
Some Research description guidelines (YMMV):

Each project can start with a one-sentence nontechnical description that a lay person can understand. After that feel free to use jargon, if you have space for more discussion. Insert techniques you used. Don't feel compelled to add them all if there are 10.

Feel free to sort them into more than one space if you have multiple experiences. If grouping them, sort by timeframe, project type or discipline, importance, by class credit/volunteer vs employment.

You will have to decide how to present these experiences to best represent you. Perhaps projects from long ago need less emphasis. Those most recent will likely serve you better if more detail is given.

Any poster, pub, or presentation that took place at a campus venue should be mentioned with the affiliated Research entry. Any that occurred at a regional/national location or journal deserves its own spot, if you have space. If any of those data sharings came out of the same project, they could be mentioned together in one spot tagged under the highest prestige format: National Pub > Regional Pub > Abstract in a national journal > National Poster/Presentation > Regional Poster/Presentation > abstract in a conference brochure > campus pub > campus poster/presentation.

Any format for citation is fine, including abbreviated versions when you are short on space. Long author lists can be shortened by stating your place on the list, the PIs name, and et al., titles can be shortened to general topic, PMID# can substitute for much of a citation if necessary. If the paper is accepted but not yet published, add [in press] in place of unknown information.

If the data set from the campus presentation was later presented in poster format at a regional conference and then finally published in a national journal, you would cite is under Publication and then mention after the citation in the same space, "Data also presented orally at DDDD College Research Symposium x/x/xx, and again as a poster that won second place at the YYY Conference in Tucson z/zz/zz date."

If you were not the presenter for your poster, but your name is on the author list, you can include it, but give credit to the presenter, as research is a team sport, and it's important to give credit where it is due. If you presented, it's fine to say so.

There is little value in using a Conferences Attended slot, if you have already mentioned the name of the conference in a Posters/Presentation or Publications entry.

A manuscript in preparation or submitted doesn't belong on the application, but if you feel compelled to mention it regardless, add it at the end of a Research description on the affiliated project. An exception might be if your productivity is proven, in which case a submitted manuscript can be added to the same space as your cited publications, if room is available, and if your PI will include mention of it in their letter for verification.

If you wrote the grant that got funding or navigated an IRB process, mention it.

Use the MM space for impact, insights, how you were inspired, future directions. If some of the research description spills over into this space, you won't be the only one who's used it that way. Just be sure that at the 700 character mark you end a paragraph so it will flow smoothly into the MM space (which is distinguished by a blank line, like a paragraph break).

Succinctness is always good.
 
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FAQ (continued). This is a work in progress.

21. a) Does anyone have any recommendations on how to list a fraternity experience? I listed it as just a one year thing (president year) even though I was in it for four years. I held other positions throughout the four years that I could include.
If you want to list it as Leadership, you could include all the years where you held office (using the Repeated feature if this was just for the academic year and not year-round) and call it maybe, Leadership Roles with XXX Fraternity, giving just the dates of leadership in the header and those dedicated hours. You could refer to the membership in the narrative, if you like, but would not add those hours.

If you want to speak more widely about general frat membership and include leadership among those comments, you'd instead use the tag Extracurricular, or Other (and could include community service if that was a part of the experience, or alternatively, split it out with its own hours into a Community Service-tagged space).

b) I have the same question for sorority experience! I was a member for 3.5 years and our philanthropy was very important to me (a local women's shelter) so I would like to be able to list this as a volunteer experience.
If you want to list it as Community Service, you could include all the years where you gave time to your cause (using the Repeated feature if this was just for the academic year and not year-round) and call it maybe, Philanthropic Involvement with XXX Sorority, giving just the dates of volunteerism in the header and those dedicated hours. You could refer to the membership in the narrative, if you like, but would not add those hours.

If you want to speak more widely about general sorority membership and include philanthropy among those comments, you'd instead use the tag Extracurricular, or Other (and could include leadership roles with that, or alternatively, split them out with their own hours into a Leadership-tagged space).

22. Can I assume that adcomms will see my application as I see it in PDF (accessed through the Main Menu>Print Application)?
The good news is yes. The application is transmitted in plain text and rendered in PDF by each school's specific application system. Why it is done this was partially simplicity of program used by the initial AMCAS system and partly for baseline security. You can't implant malicious code in plain text, so only the text of your application is transmitted, gets repopulated at each school's AMCAS-compliant system, and recreates the application. Who knew that nearly 20 years later, the simple text system is still the hardest to break into.





Proceed to questions and responses below.
 
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Apr 10, 2018
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Hi Catalystik,

I am prewriting my application for the upcoming cycle and am looking at efficient and meaningful ways to group my ECs. I wanted to hear from an adcom's point of view. I summarized my activities in my WAMC thread:
MD & DO - School List/518 MCAT, 3.92 GPA

1. I was a very dedicated member of the nonprofit for a year before becoming part of the E-board. If I were to list the org under "leadership" does that mean I can only include the two years that I was on board? I did a great amount of my volunteering with my nonprofit but should I write about those experiences separately from the leadership experience?

2. I was thinking of grouping the crisis line volunteering with the after school program since I worked with similar populations, but my responsibilities were quite different. Would this be a good idea?

Thank you!
 
Mar 19, 2018
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I realize a completely new personal statement and secondaries are important for a reapplicant but I was wondering about work/activities descriptions, especially ones that are "closed" (done experiences, not continued from last cycle). Are you expected to rework those as well (give a different reflection/spin of those activities or at least write a new description) or is copy and paste from last year's description adequate?
 
Hi Catalystik,

I am prewriting my application for the upcoming cycle and am looking at efficient and meaningful ways to group my ECs. I wanted to hear from an adcom's point of view. I summarized my activities in my WAMC thread:
MD & DO - School List/518 MCAT, 3.92 GPA

1. I was a very dedicated member of the nonprofit for a year before becoming part of the E-board. If I were to list the org under "leadership" does that mean I can only include the two years that I was on board? I did a great amount of my volunteering with my nonprofit but should I write about those experiences separately from the leadership experience?

2. I was thinking of grouping the crisis line volunteering with the after school program since I worked with similar populations, but my responsibilities were quite different. Would this be a good idea?

Thank you!
1) Yes and yes.

2) Yes. A lot if the description can be shortened since your roles will be understood, so they should fit in one space.
 
I realize a completely new personal statement and secondaries are important for a reapplicant but I was wondering about work/activities descriptions, especially ones that are "closed" (done experiences, not continued from last cycle). Are you expected to rework those as well (give a different reflection/spin of those activities or at least write a new description) or is copy and paste from last year's description adequate?
At a minimum, switch up the vocabulary so it looks fresh.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I have a non-clinical volunteer activity I’m in training for right now. It’s important to me, and I want to include it, but I won’t be done training until June. Should I list it and then put in the description the hours for the training and then the projected hours after that? I am guaranteed to be doing this at least until med school starts—probably longer.
 
Feb 22, 2018
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Quick question regarding categorization of a volunteer experience... I worked as a volunteer for a national patient registry collecting data on patients who have been diagnosed with/ been treated for lupus. As a volunteer, I made lots of phone calls to patients, distributed surveys, input patient responses and medical records into database, sometimes noted any novel findings in patient med records, and did a lot of administrative type work for researchers and physicians who use this database. No direct face-to-face contact with patients or lab/benchwork done though so I'm not sure what this experience should be categorized as? I feel like it isn't non clinical though because it was working directly with patient data? Any advice appreciated!
 
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1.Should paid clinical research experience be listed as research or paid employment?
2. Is mentoring considered leadership or teaching? And would being a trainer at a job be listed under paid employment then list my job position as a team trainer?
3. I was enrolled full time at a state college my Junior/Senior year of high school and was considered a transfer student when applying to my 4 year institution after high school. Can I list activities from those 2 years because I was juggling them with academics that effected my cGPA/sGPA?
4. If I was a co-author on an abstract for a national meeting but I am not the one presenting the poster/presentation, should I not make a separate entry for it?
 
I have a non-clinical volunteer activity I’m in training for right now. It’s important to me, and I want to include it, but I won’t be done training until June. Should I list it and then put in the description the hours for the training and then the projected hours after that? I am guaranteed to be doing this at least until med school starts—probably longer.
From what you've mentioned, I would not list it in its own space, but, as one option, tack it to the end of another similar-category activity. I'd ask for more detail to give other options, but I won't have internet access again for three more days.
 
Quick question regarding categorization of a volunteer experience... I worked as a volunteer for a national patient registry collecting data on patients who have been diagnosed with/ been treated for lupus. As a volunteer, I made lots of phone calls to patients, distributed surveys, input patient responses and medical records into database, sometimes noted any novel findings in patient med records, and did a lot of administrative type work for researchers and physicians who use this database. No direct face-to-face contact with patients or lab/benchwork done though so I'm not sure what this experience should be categorized as? I feel like it isn't non clinical though because it was working directly with patient data? Any advice appreciated!
What makes it "clinical" was that you spoke to patients on the phone about a current diagnosis. I would hope you also have some face to face patient interaction.
 
1.Should paid clinical research experience be listed as research or paid employment?
2. Is mentoring considered leadership or teaching? And would being a trainer at a job be listed under paid employment then list my job position as a team trainer?
3. I was enrolled full time at a state college my Junior/Senior year of high school and was considered a transfer student when applying to my 4 year institution after high school. Can I list activities from those 2 years because I was juggling them with academics that effected my cGPA/sGPA?
4. If I was a co-author on an abstract for a national meeting but I am not the one presenting the poster/presentation, should I not make a separate entry for it?
1) Unless you have other research to list, use the Research category.

2) Mentoring should be listed under a Teaching tag. You have the choice of listing Trainer under either Leadership or under Employment, as you suggested.

3) Yes.

4) You may still list it in a Posters/Presentations space, but make clear who was present next to the poster at the meeting. Research is a team sport and it never hurts to give credit where it's due.
 
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Feb 22, 2018
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What makes it "clinical" was that you spoke to patients on the phone about a current diagnosis. I would hope you also have some face to face patient interaction.
I have several hundred hours of face to face volunteer interaction with patients at hospitals, rehab facilities, and at my local Ronald McDonald house. I was hoping to count this experience as non-clinical or research experience to diversify my activities section, but since my work was more statistical work with already collected data, I'm not sure if I could count it as either of those. Thank you so much for input !
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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From what you've mentioned, I would not list it in its own space, but, as one option, tack it to the end of another similar-category activity. I'd ask for more detail to give other options, but I won't have internet access again for three more days.
I can wait. It’s basically a volunteer program through my Church. It isn’t really like any of the other activities, but I am listing another church volunteer activity, so I can tack it on there. Thanks!
 
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mariposas905

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I would like to use the repeated feature for a Habitat for Humanity volunteer activity I began in 2014 and continuing on and off until now. I have a few concerns about this:

1. During the 2014-2015 school year, I participated in this activity in school through a leadership position. I accumulated approx. 120 hours. However, the contact for this activity has graduated and the Habitat organization has since been de-recognized at my school. What should I do? Should I explain this in my application in case adcoms check for hours and wonder why the organization is not listed as a current university club? I don't want to seem like I am falsifying info!

2. During the '2016-current' time period, I joined the greater Habitat community in my area and served in actual builds and fundraising events about once a month or once every two months. As the builds depend on need, they are not held at predictable time periods and are kind of infrequent. Does this mean I need to use another repeated feature for each time I did a build? This all likely accumulated in another 70 hours for about the 7 builds I participated in. Will this be seen as too short of a volunteer commitment over the past two years?

3. My contacts for the above two time periods are different: For 2014-2015, it was a school contact and for 2016-present, it is another person. Do I need to include both contact names or can I just include my current volunteer supervisor's (for 2016 and beyond) information in AMCAS?
 

ladymiresa

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I have a year worth of research credit for a lab I was a part of my sophomore year of college. However, I was not productive at all in the lab, it was not a meaningful experience to me, and it didn't particularly contribute to my pursuit of medicine. For these reasons, I think it's pretty obvious it has no business being in my activities section... but I want to be sure it won't look strange to omit it, considering it's on my transcript. Right? I have 2 other more meaningful research experiences.
 
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I've seen conflicting information regarding shadowing. Is the general consensus that multiple physicians can be put as a single EC without explanation? Just seems rather bare to me.
 
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I've seen conflicting information regarding shadowing. Is the general consensus that multiple physicians can be put as a single EC without explanation? Just seems rather bare to me.
Depending on the amount of characters left, you could put a brief description. But group them all together with the physician name, name of group, phone number, and number of hours. Shouldnt take up too much space so you should have some room to expand upon them. If not, maybe pick the most meaningful one or the one you shadowed the longest.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I've seen conflicting information regarding shadowing. Is the general consensus that multiple physicians can be put as a single EC without explanation? Just seems rather bare to me.
@Catalystik has outlined before how to do it. You can group them all together using the contact info for one, and then in the description include the info for the others. It is better to have fewer than 15 experiences than to have 15 where 5 of them could have been consolidated. It looks like fluff.
 
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itsalwayssunny96

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I was a research assistant over last summer at a medical school (one of the ones that I am applying to) and my PI moved her lab to another medical school and wants me to use her new school email address for future contact since her previous one is no longer active. Do I have to explain anywhere in that particular activity description that she moved her lab from School X to School Y? It seems awkward to put that in my description, but it currently says: Organization: School X and then Email: @SchoolY.edu

Edit: Also wanted to ask about having using an activity slot for a bunch of random nonclinical volunteer activities (I know this has been done before)... I have 29 hours but I feel like it's definitely a filler activity compared to my other 14 strong activities. Should I just get rid of it entirely? I am only hesitant because I will only have about 60-70 hours of nonclinical volunteering otherwise. But I am going to continue to get around 300 total by next June.
 
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I have several hundred hours of face to face volunteer interaction with patients at hospitals, rehab facilities, and at my local Ronald McDonald house. I was hoping to count this experience as non-clinical or research experience to diversify my activities section, but since my work was more statistical work with already collected data, I'm not sure if I could count it as either of those. Thank you so much for input !
Unless you were working with a PI on a project that began with a hypothesis and used the scientific method, Research wouldn't be an appropriate tag, but you could easily spin this as NonClinical by de-emphasizing the patient contact by phone.
 
I would like to use the repeated feature for a Habitat for Humanity volunteer activity I began in 2014 and continuing on and off until now. I have a few concerns about this:

1. During the 2014-2015 school year, I participated in this activity in school through a leadership position. I accumulated approx. 120 hours. However, the contact for this activity has graduated and the Habitat organization has since been de-recognized at my school. What should I do? Should I explain this in my application in case adcoms check for hours and wonder why the organization is not listed as a current university club? I don't want to seem like I am falsifying info!

2. During the '2016-current' time period, I joined the greater Habitat community in my area and served in actual builds and fundraising events about once a month or once every two months. As the builds depend on need, they are not held at predictable time periods and are kind of infrequent. Does this mean I need to use another repeated feature for each time I did a build? This all likely accumulated in another 70 hours for about the 7 builds I participated in. Will this be seen as too short of a volunteer commitment over the past two years?

3. My contacts for the above two time periods are different: For 2014-2015, it was a school contact and for 2016-present, it is another person. Do I need to include both contact names or can I just include my current volunteer supervisor's (for 2016 and beyond) information in AMCAS?
1) You might check to see if the wider, off-campus HforH organization has any records of the campus group, otherwise, just explain the situation in the narrative. Could consider a co-volunteer as contact.

2) Use one timeframe, but describe it as sporadic involvement in your narrative. 70 more hours is worth including.

3) Listing one Contact which is the most recent is acceptable, especially considering the time that's passed. You might consider aquainting that person with your pre-history.
 
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I have a year worth of research credit for a lab I was a part of my sophomore year of college. However, I was not productive at all in the lab, it was not a meaningful experience to me, and it didn't particularly contribute to my pursuit of medicine. For these reasons, I think it's pretty obvious it has no business being in my activities section... but I want to be sure it won't look strange to omit it, considering it's on my transcript. Right? I have 2 other more meaningful research experiences.
It won't be missed. You aren't expected to list everything, only the activities that add to your candidacy in some way.
 
I've seen conflicting information regarding shadowing. Is the general consensus that multiple physicians can be put as a single EC without explanation? Just seems rather bare to me.
Besides the replies you've gotten already, I'll add that some will include a second Shadowing space to highlight a particularly impactful observational activity that they want to comment on at length.
 
1) I was a research assistant over last summer at a medical school (one of the ones that I am applying to) and my PI moved her lab to another medical school and wants me to use her new school email address for future contact since her previous one is no longer active. Do I have to explain anywhere in that particular activity description that she moved her lab from School X to School Y? It seems awkward to put that in my description, but it currently says: Organization: School X and then Email: @SchoolY.edu

2) Edit: Also wanted to ask about having using an activity slot for a bunch of random nonclinical volunteer activities (I know this has been done before)... I have 29 hours but I feel like it's definitely a filler activity compared to my other 14 strong activities. Should I just get rid of it entirely? I am only hesitant because I will only have about 60-70 hours of nonclinical volunteering otherwise. But I am going to continue to get around 300 total by next June.
1) No need to explain. It's possible to be faculty at more than one institution anyway.

2) Go ahead and include the 29 hours of sporadic, short-term community volunteering. Be sure to separate out the hours for the future plans.
 
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Apr 19, 2018
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Should AmeriCorps be listed as volunteer or employment? I would imagine volunteer, but at the same time, you are getting a stipend.
 
Should AmeriCorps be listed as volunteer or employment? I would imagine volunteer, but at the same time, you are getting a stipend.
You may call it Community Service, as I believe it is stipended without SS, income tax, or Medicare deducted ( tho eventually you have to claim the income). Even if you label it Teaching or Employment or whatever, Americorps is widely understood by Adcomms to be a community service.
 
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Typatt50

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I cant find this answer anywhere but do spaces count in the character count?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Apr 19, 2018
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You may call it Community Service, as I believe it is stipended without SS, income tax, or Medicare deducted ( tho eventually you have to claim the income). Even if you label it Teaching or Employment or whatever, Americorps is widely understood by Adcomms to be a community service.
Thank you!

As a follow up, I would be committing to an AmeriCorps position prior to submitting my application but would not begin immediately depending on which position I take. Would it be inappropriate to list the date I accept the position (or, alternatively, the date I submit the AMCAS application) as the start date, then state the actual start date in the description? I know AMCAS does not accept future dates, however this seems like an important experience to include on my application!
 
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I would be committing to an AmeriCorps position prior to submitting my application but would not begin immediately depending on which position I take. Would it be inappropriate to list the date I accept the position (or, alternatively, the date I submit the AMCAS application) as the start date, then state the actual start date in the description? I know AMCAS does not accept future dates, however this seems like an important experience to include on my application!
Will you have a signed contract by June 1? When will the position start? How many months will it continue? Will you know the site? What AMCAS category will the position fall under?
 
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Will you have a signed contract by June 1? When will the position start? How many months will it continue? Will you know the site? What AMCAS category will the position fall under?
Yes. Either ~2 weeks after I submit or ~3 months. Will continue for 1 year. I will know the site. It would be listed under community service.
 
Yes. Either ~2 weeks after I submit or ~3 months. Will continue for 1 year. I will know the site. It would be listed under community service.
Clinical or nonclinical community service? Is this activity essential to the success of your application, in your opinion?

There is no bar to the strategy that you suggested, however, realize how very, very bad it will look if you don't carry through with the plan. SDNers have been forced to drop out of the program for various reason, like dangerous site, hateful supervisor, or health issues. Additionally, you will need to list a Contact who can attest to your involvement.

You might alternatively consider waiting two weeks to submit if you can get an earlier start time. And take care not to apply to schools that matriculate before your contract is complete.

Another strategy would be to save mention of the activity for Secondaries. Or to tack mention of it onto the end of a similar activity. I do understand why you want to do it the way you suggested so as to highlight it and I am not without sympathy.
 
Apr 19, 2018
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Clinical or nonclinical community service? Is this activity essential to the success of your application, in your opinion?

There is no bar to the strategy that you suggested, however, realize how very, very bad it will look if you don't carry through with the plan. SDNers have been forced to drop out of the program for various reason, like dangerous site, hateful supervisor, or health issues. Additionally, you will need to list a Contact who can attest to your involvement.

You might alternatively consider waiting two weeks to submit if you can get an earlier start time. And take care not to apply to schools that matriculate before your contract is complete.

Another strategy would be to save mention of the activity for Secondaries. Or to tack mention of it onto the end of a similar activity. I do understand why you want to do it the way you suggested so as to highlight it and I am not without sympathy.
I think your words of caution pretty much answered my question. Thank you for all the advice, and I really appreciate you taking the time to break this down for me. I definitely think the best option would be to take the opportunity that starts in June and simply delay submission until my official start date. I should still be verified by the transmission date (or very close to) if I approach it from that angle!
 
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Aug 30, 2017
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Should I list my gap year job as research or paid clinical employment? I dont have any other research besides that and will be putting in paid non clinical employment. Would one be better off than the other? Ill have about 1600 hours over the ~40 weeks I've been there and am putting my abstract in a separate activity box.
 

ShadowGryffin

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Should I list my gap year job as research or paid clinical employment? I dont have any other research besides that and will be putting in paid non clinical employment. Would one be better off than the other? Ill have about 1600 hours over the ~40 weeks I've been there and am putting my abstract in a separate activity box.
What is your job? If you're getting an abstract published it's probably under the research category, and if your app is already lacking in research you may benefit from categorizing it as such.
 
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What is your job? If you're getting an abstract published it's probably under the research category, and if your app is already lacking in research you may benefit from categorizing it as such.
Im a clinical research assistant. I didnt know if research or paid clinical/medical would be of higher importance when evaluating apps.
 
Should I list my gap year job as research or paid clinical employment? I dont have any other research besides that and will be putting in paid non clinical employment. Would one be better off than the other? Ill have about 1600 hours over the ~40 weeks I've been there
Assuming you have some kind of active clinical experience to list elsewhere, use the Research tag, but mention the "paid" and "clinical" aspects in the name of the activity or in the description.
 
Jun 1, 2017
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Hi everyone,

So in the FAQ it brings to surface the point about a submitted manuscript without publication but never answered the question. Should a submitted manuscript be its own entry or added to the research activity? It is not an MM entry so very limited characters...
 
So in the FAQ it brings to surface the point about a submitted manuscript without publication but never answered the question. Should a submitted manuscript be its own entry or added to the research activity? It is not an MM entry so very limited characters...
A submitted manuscript should NOT be its own entry. Mention it in the Research space or omit it. You could also consider asking your PI to mention it in an LOR.
 

mariposas905

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Thank you @Catalystik! I also had a few questions about inputting shadowing experiences:

1. I know its suggested that we write about all our shadowing in one entry. But do we need to use the repeated feature for each shadowing event?

2. I have over 200 hours of shadowing experience but it was all 3-4 years ago. Do you think this will look fishy? Should I find a new shadowing opportunity this summer and indicate on AMCAS that I will do more in the future?

3. I participated in a surgical lab (not for credit) through my school. We got to observe surgical techniques and practice them too. It was only about 3 days worth, but I got ~20 hours out of it. Can I include this in my shadowing section?
 
Thank you @Catalystik! I also had a few questions about inputting shadowing experiences:

1. I know its suggested that we write about all our shadowing in one entry. But do we need to use the repeated feature for each shadowing event?

2. I have over 200 hours of shadowing experience but it was all 3-4 years ago. Do you think this will look fishy? Should I find a new shadowing opportunity this summer and indicate on AMCAS that I will do more in the future?

3. I participated in a surgical lab (not for credit) through my school. We got to observe surgical techniques and practice them too. It was only about 3 days worth, but I got ~20 hours out of it. Can I include this in my shadowing section?
1) No. See the example in post #2, item 10.

2) I'd like to see something more recent, unless you have clinical experience working with docs in the last year. If you can squeeze it in before you submit, that would be great. There's no need to mention future shadowing as you are well above the average already.

3) No, I wouldn't list it on its own, as it's not shadowing a physician who is interacting with patients. But if a physician demonstrated techniques, you could mention that smaller portion of it, ideally as an addendum to a surgical shadowing entry perhaps.
 

chemist13579

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I wrote extremely in depth about a leadership activity that was very meaningful to me in my PS. Would it be ok for me to skip it in my 3 most meaningful activities and instead write about 3 others? Or should I talk more about a different aspect of this leadership activity and include it as one of my most meaningful? This activity was very important to me and I want to make sure that all schools will understand/use it as a potential talking point.
 
I wrote extremely in depth about a leadership activity that was very meaningful to me in my PS.
a) Would it be ok for me to skip it in my 3 most meaningful activities and instead write about 3 others?
b) Or should I talk more about a different aspect of this leadership activity and include it as one of my most meaningful? This activity was very important to me and I want to make sure that all schools will understand/use it as a potential talking point.
b) of the above. You can't assume a reader will have access to all portions of your application, so include the leadership in the Activities section also, whether you designate it as MM, or not.
 
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chemist13579

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b) of the above. You can't assume a reader will have access to all portions of your application, so include the leadership in the Activities section also, whether you designate it as MM, or not.
Thank you! So if I have 3 other things I really want to talk about, I can leave the leadership out of MM and still have it be "important"?
 
So if I have 3 other things I really want to talk about, I can leave the leadership out of MM and still have it be "important"?
There is no special designation for an "important" activity, beyond MM designation. If you include an experience in the Activities section, theoretically it's because you feel it is of sufficient value to add to your candidacy.
 
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