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*~*~*~* Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2019-2020 *~*~*~*

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If we list our thesis research as one of our main activities, do we count the time spent on our thesis during the academic year? I got course credit for being enrolled in the thesis, so not sure how to distinguish it.
1) Am I allowed to count hours for a thesis, when I was enrolled in a class for it? Obviously most of the work was done outside the class since the class is just like an enrollment fixture, but IDK. would appreciate help on this!
2) Also per semester, idk what is reasonable for hours/thesis since I did spend huge amounts of time on it, but like idk what's average/reasonable since its not a wet lab.
1) You can count all the hours spent on the research project, but not the in-class hours that might have involved prep work, lecture, consultation, etc.

2) Just make an honest estimation. If you sat at a counter doing homework while a trial was being run, don't include that time. Be conservative and be sure your Contact will agree with your estimation.
 
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1) Publications are not the yardstick by which I'd measure the significance of one's lab contributions. Having one's own research project is significant. So separate entries seem indicated.

2) Mention you wrote the proposals, and the monetary award amounts.

Thank you! I have a couple more questions, if you have the time.

1. For advisors who have moved on to other institutions, I should put their updated info, like Prof X at University 2 being the contact for my own experience (Chemistry Research in University 1--the one that I attended, and they worked in at the time).

2. I worked in research that was a public health physician training kind of situation like performing cultural competency type workshops with physicians and also increasing linkage to care (sorry, trying to keep this vague). Spent time with doctors in hospitals, working on disease. Would that be considered clinical?

3. Conducting research for an MD on access to a certain type of medication--is that clinical employment, or research?

4. Also for mentoring, would you say placing it under teaching/tutoring has more "weightage" than placing it under non clinical volunteering? Or is this a judgement call depending on how many hours short you are of clinical hours

Thank you so much
 
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1. For advisors who have moved on to other institutions, I should put their updated info, like Prof X at University 2 being the contact for my own experience (Chemistry Research in University 1--the one that I attended, and they worked in at the time).

2. I worked in research that was a public health physician training kind of situation like performing cultural competency type workshops with physicians and also increasing linkage to care (sorry, trying to keep this vague). Spent time with doctors in hospitals, working on disease. Would that be considered clinical?

3. Conducting research for an MD on access to a certain type of medication--is that clinical employment, or research?

4. Also for mentoring, would you say placing it under teaching/tutoring has more "weightage" than placing it under non clinical volunteering? Or is this a judgement call depending on how many hours short you are of clinical hours
1) Yes, give the current contact information as you know it. The title of the Contact should be the one that is relevant to the experience you had though you are free to update it in the narrative portion if you like).

2) If you didn't interact directly with current patients, it isn't "Clinical" in the way that med school adcomms care about, even though the research took place in a clinical environment.

3)From what you've written, it sounds like a survey (feel free to explain why it was more). If you didn't start with a hypothesis, it isn't original, potentially-publishable, scholarly research of the type meant to be entered in a Research space. If you interviewed current patients about their medications in-person, it would qualify as Clinical Employment. If on the phone, a lot of adcomms will disagree with that classification. What did the physician do with the results?

4) It's a judgment call depending on how many nonclinical volunteer hours you have. If they are sparse, you should use that tag, as it's a higher priority. If you have plenty, use Teaching.
 
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I worked part-time for a company for several years where I was required to do a lot of unpaid overtime. However, since the overtime is not paid, HR does not have those hours on file. I estimate the total amount of undocumented time to be around 800 hours. Can I put these on my primary?
Perhaps you might consider reporting the Total Hours of the documented paid employment, but then in the narrative add that "In addition to the above Total Hours, I worked 800 hours of unpaid, but required, overtime." You can get credit for it, but your hourly total in the header will still match what your Contact will attest to.
 
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what if the contact isn't HR, but your supervisor and your supervisor is willing to ask about it?
If your supervisor is willing to attest to all your hours, paid and required overtime, then all the hours can go in the Total Hours space of the header. Does that answer your concern? Your question wasn't clear to me.
 
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If for a job, I also conducted 50 hours of volunteer work prior to becoming hired, and another 50 hours after my job had ended. If I label it as employment, do I include the volunteer hours as well or no because that's not employment? How do you handle situations like this?
If these volunteer hours were not expected as part of a paid position, you would not include them in the Total Hours blank of an Employment space, but you could either:
a) Mention them in the narrative, "I also volunteered here in the same role for XX hours, not included above."
b) Or, if the non-paid work hours happen to qualify as a community service, you could carve them out and put them in another space with the appropriate tag, either on their own or grouped with something else in the same category.
 

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Hi Catalystik, I hope you are doing well! :) I had a quick question about grouping activities.

What would be the best way to group two summer research internships into one slot? The first internship was for 300 hours and the second internship was for 400 hours. Both were at two different "top 5" medical institutions.

Alternatively if you think that both merit their own entries, would these be worth nixing a hobbies slot? If I do not combine these activities then I am already at 15 activities

For context I am currently doing a 2 year research fellowship at the NIH but I am not applying MD-PHD so I am hesitant to have 3 entries for research. I would like to get a dual degree of sorts hence the various research experiences.


Thanks for your time!
 
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Hi Catalystik, I hope you are doing well! :) I had a quick question about grouping activities.

What would be the best way to group two summer research internships into one slot? The first internship was for 300 hours and the second internship was for 400 hours. Both were at two different "top 5" medical institutions.

Alternatively if you think that both merit their own entries, would these be worth nixing a hobbies slot? If I do not combine these activities then I am already at 15 activities

For context I am currently doing a 2 year research fellowship at the NIH but I am not applying MD-PHD so I am hesitant to have 3 entries for research. I would like to get a dual degree of sorts hence the various research experiences.
Were the research internships related in any way by discipline?

What hobbies would you list?

Are you listing an Artistic Endeavor?

Stats-wise are you a good candidate for the more-selective, research-focused med schools?
 
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For shadowing in my AMCAS, I had listed 170 hours (across several different specialties) but in my committee letter, (I had given them a more recent version of my resume which has more hours: 200 hrs) and so they mentioned how I had *200* hours. Should I ask them to edit it so that it matches exactly on my AMCAS?
 

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Were the research internships related in any way by discipline?

What hobbies would you list?

Are you listing an Artistic Endeavor?

Stats-wise are you a good candidate for the more-selective, research-focused med schools?

I don't have any particularly interesting or unique hobbies. I am a huge comic/superhero fan, I love watching movies, playing scrabble, and lifting weights recreationally.

I don't have any artistic endeavors.

Unfortunately due to life circumstances my MCAT was not ideal but my GPA is a fine. After talking to multiple advisers both here and in real life the consensus is that every other part of my application is strong. Since I am URM and a huge theme of my app is working with underserved communities I am applying broadly and hoping for the best.
 
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For shadowing in my AMCAS, I had listed 170 hours (across several different specialties) but in my committee letter, (I had given them a more recent version of my resume which has more hours: 200 hrs) and so they mentioned how I had *200* hours. Should I ask them to edit it so that it matches exactly on my AMCAS?
No. Your shadowing hours are well above average, so it makes no difference. The two numbers are within a reasonable percentage of each other, and your listed hours are the more conservative.
 
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I don't have any particularly interesting or unique hobbies. I am a huge comic/superhero fan, I love watching movies, playing scrabble, and lifting weights recreationally.

I don't have any artistic endeavors.

Unfortunately due to life circumstances my MCAT was not ideal but my GPA is a fine. After talking to multiple advisers both here and in real life the consensus is that every other part of my application is strong. Since I am URM and a huge theme of my app is working with underserved communities I am applying broadly and hoping for the best.
I recall we had a conversation a few years back about hobbies and I gave you some ideas to make them seem less mundane than what you describe.

An entry with 700 hours is certainly going to look meatier than two with 300 and 400 for Research. But, if your advisors think you have a shot at research-oriented schools (and that's where you want to be), you can use two spaces for the two internships, so you have more space for description. If the theme of your application is primary care or working directly with under-served communities, then group them and include a Hobbies entry. Disclaimer: I like applications that show stress-relieving activities, especially as they often provide a starting point for an interview conversation.
 
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Chromium Surfer

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I recall we had a conversation a few years back about hobbies and I gave you some ideas to make them seem less mundane than what you describe.

An entry with 700 hours is certainly going to look meatier than two with 300 and 400 for Research. But, if your advisors think you have a shot at research-oriented schools (and that's where you want to be), you can use two spaces for the two internships, so you have more space for description. If the theme of your application is primary care or working directly with under-served communities, then group them and include a Hobbies entry. Disclaimer: I like applications that show stress-relieving activities, especially as they often provide a starting point for an interview conversation.

I am humbled that you remembered that conversation and I will certainly be incorporating your advice in that regard! :)

One of my most MM is already going to be my NIH research experience so I think I will go ahead and combine the two. Also I am open first and foremost to any med school that accepts me as we all should be haha :p I am not necessarily aiming for a high powered research career but rather hope to combine research along with clinical work and some teaching if I am fortunate.

Since I have such limited space when describing two summer projects, what information should I prioritize when describing the two? Both were clinical research although the second experience had me working with 2 PI's concurrently.
 
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One of my most MM is already going to be my NIH research experience so I think I will go ahead and combine the two. Also I am open first and foremost to any med school that accepts me as we all should be haha :p I am not necessarily aiming for a high powered research career but rather hope to combine research along with clinical work and some teaching if I am fortunate.

Since I have such limited space when describing two summer projects, what information should I prioritize when describing the two? Both were clinical research although the second experience had me working with 2 PI's concurrently.
For each internship, start with a lay person's explanation of the project purpose (so the adcomm with a PhD in Bioethics can understand it). Add your role, what you learned, or branch off into professional jargon, or alternatively add an impact/insights statement. You might include something about teamwork in there and motivation for involvement. Give a subtotal for hours.

For the second experience listed, include contact information, location, etc,
Applicants often go into far too much detail about research, way over the level needed for evaluators to understand it. More importantly, the content, the data, the actual work you did is almost meaningless to the decision both whether you should be admitted to medical school or be a physician. What Adcoms need to see from any activity is what does it say about you as a person and characteristics that would be applied as a physician. Are you intellectually curious? Do you have motivation and commitment to a project? Can you both work in a team and be a leader? Can you understand, integrate, synthesize, and ultimately apply information?
 

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For each internship, start with a lay person's explanation of the project purpose (so the adcomm with a PhD in Bioethics can understand it). Add your role, what you learned, or branch off into professional jargon, or alternatively add an impact/insights statement. You might include something about teamwork in there and motivation for involvement. Give a subtotal for hours.

For the second experience listed, include contact information, location, etc,

Thanks for the feedback! I assume in this case then that using bullet point to maximize my words would be helpful. Am I correct in assuming that when using bullet points complete sentences are not necessary?
 
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Hi Catalystik,
can the following abstract published in Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl): Abstract nr xxx be listed as the publication or poster presentation?
xxx.... 2018. title [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR;
Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl): Abstract nr xxx
Does it have a PubMed ID#?
 
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mwsapphire

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Hi everyone,
For shadowing, i did some three years ago and some recently. The doc is the same, but her practice was at a different location sunmer of 2016 than it is now. Should I just list it as a repeat with the current location? Or do I need to list the old one?
Also, is 33 hours of shadowing okay? I couldnt get more than that, but I learned a lot. I feel like its almost a standard work week, so its enough?
On mobile, please excuse typos/formatting.
 
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For shadowing, i did some three years ago and some recently. The doc is the same, but her practice was at a different location sunmer of 2016 than it is now.
1) Should I just list it as a repeat with the current location? Or do I need to list the old one?
2) Also, is 33 hours of shadowing okay? I couldnt get more than that, but I learned a lot. I feel like its almost a standard work week, so its enough?
1) Yes, just list the doc's current location. Using the Repeated feature is a good idea.

2) The average physician shadowing listed is 50 hours. Some have more; some have less. There are a few schools that specify more required hours than you have, but I expect you'll avoid applying to those if you're careful to read the websites.
 
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@Catalystik I am lumping 6 different shadowing experiences into one. Can I list my-self as the contact? In the narrative I plan to put the individual contacts for all of them. Also, do I have to put where a doctor works? Can I get by just putting the name, specialty, and contact info?
 

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1) Yes, just list the doc's current location. Using the Repeated feature is a good idea.

2) The average physician shadowing listed is 50 hours. Some have more; some have less. There are a few schools that specify more required hours than you have, but I expect you'll avoid applying to those if you're careful to read the websites.
I've heard of schools that require like a 100 hours, but have never encountered them.Does anybody know what schools those are? I am curious and afraid that one of my schools has listed that requirements and I missed it somehow.
I know that have a set number require 20+.
 
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@Catalystik I am lumping 6 different shadowing experiences into one. Can I list my-self as the contact? In the narrative I plan to put the individual contacts for all of them. Also, do I have to put where a doctor works? Can I get by just putting the name, specialty, and contact info?
I suggest that for the first doc you decide to list (perhaps the one with the most hours, or the most recent) that you enter the Contact for that doc in the header, so as to save characters in the narrative box. The Total Hours should still be the grand total in the header.

You don't have to include the work location for the other five docs. But do give a subtotal of hours for each, and ideally a timeframe.

If you run out of characters, for the last two or three docs (the lowest hourly totals) you could just summarize their specialties and hours and omit Contact info. if necessary.
 
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I've heard of schools that require like a 100 hours, but have never encountered them.Does anybody know what schools those are? I am curious and afraid that one of my schools has listed that requirements and I missed it somehow.
I know that have a set number require 20+.
I never made a list, but I recall U Central Florida had required 40. Why not post an inquiry thread in the main forum so that the question will come to the attention of a broad range of current applicants who are "in the know."
 
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mwsapphire

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Who should I put as a contact for a scholarship? Can I just put a parent? For Dean's list , can I put myself? I'll list hours as "0" bc Idk what else makes sense.
 
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Hi, I was wondering if you thought it would be controversial to talk about Campus sexual assault support person as being too controversial for the most meaningful? I wanted to talk about links to patient centric care, something that i learned from survivor support, and want to put in a line about making sure that this does not mean taking away from due process or partiality, given the political climate? Like I don't want to be tossed as a "feminazi", but I also think this would be an interesting thing to talk about as it taught me a lot about legality, consent, responsible reporting and other things that have explicit links to medicine. Idk if im being paranoid, but can any adcoms speak to this
 
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Hi, I was wondering if you thought it would be controversial to talk about Campus sexual assault support person as being too controversial for the most meaningful? I wanted to talk about links to patient centric care, something that i learned from survivor support, and want to put in a line about making sure that this does not mean taking away from due process or partiality, given the political climate? Like I don't want to be tossed as a "feminazi", but I also think this would be an interesting thing to talk about as it taught me a lot about legality, consent, responsible reporting and other things that have explicit links to medicine. Idk if im being paranoid, but can any adcoms speak to this
I wouldn't view this as controversial. If you want a broader pool of adcomms to give an opinion, consider posting a thread in the PreMed MD Forum.
 
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Hello,

So I am combining two activities into one bigger category and make it one entry because I am only allowed to have 15 activities. Obviously, there is one supervisor responsible for each activity. Out of the two different supervisors, who should I choose for contact information? Does it matter really?
 
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Hello,

So I am combining two activities into one bigger category and make it one entry because I am only allowed to have 15 activities. Obviously, there is one supervisor responsible for each activity. Out of the two different supervisors, who should I choose for contact information? Does it matter really?
Put the supervisor for the first-described activity in the header and the second in the narrative box with its description. Which order you list them in is up to you: more important, more recent, easier to reach the contact, etc.
 
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Put the supervisor for the first-described activity in the header and the second in the narrative box with its description. Which order you list them in is up to you: more important, more recent, easier to reach the contact, etc.

So I should include the contact information such as phone number and email address for the second supervisor in the narrative box? Is that what you are suggesting? Or is including only name ok?
 
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So I should include the contact information such as phone number and email address for the second supervisor in the narrative box? Is that what you are suggesting? Or is including only name ok?
You need name with phone# OR email for the 2nd supervisor in the narrative box.
 
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VeraB

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Hi everyone!
I have a really quick question. For hobbies that we list, what would the recommended "start and end date" be? Most of the hobbies I'm going to list are things I have done for awhile and plan on continuing.
 
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I have a really quick question. For hobbies that we list, what would the recommended "start and end date" be? Most of the hobbies I'm going to list are things I have done for awhile and plan on continuing.
Adcomms are most interested in what you did during college, but you can still reflect the longevity of your involvement and future plans by using the Repeated feature. The first date span could be precollege involvement, the second your college years, and the third your future plan for continuing with the hobby (the latest permissible date is Aug2020). For the future dates, be sure your start date is a month that has already started. If you are not sure of what hours to list, either make a good-faith estimate, or enter a 999 or 9999 as an indication that the number is unknown.
 

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Adcomms are most interested in what you did during college, but you can still reflect the longevity of your involvement and future plans by using the Repeated feature. The first date span could be precollege involvement, the second your college years, and the third your future plan for continuing with the hobby (the latest permissible date is Aug2020). For the future dates, be sure your start date is a month that has already started. If you are not sure of what hours to list, either make a good-faith estimate, or enter a 999 or 9999 as an indication that the number is unknown.
Thank you so much!
 
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deleted981412

Adcomms are most interested in what you did during college, but you can still reflect the longevity of your involvement and future plans by using the Repeated feature. The first date span could be precollege involvement, the second your college years, and the third your future plan for continuing with the hobby (the latest permissible date is Aug2020). For the future dates, be sure your start date is a month that has already started. If you are not sure of what hours to list, either make a good-faith estimate, or enter a 999 or 9999 as an indication that the number is unknown.

Sorry I should also ask this here: As a non trad do you think it looks bad to have your most meaningful experiences be from college (so 4-6 years ago) if yuo've talked about your most recent stuff in your personal statement?
 
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So far I have lots of hours in shadowing, non-clinical volunteering (food bank, senior home, red cross/blood drives), and clinical experience (hospital volunteer), and one summer of volunteering in a lab. Is volunteering at a hospital enough for clinical experience if I've done shadowing? All I did as a hospital volunteer was restock shelves, push patients around on wheel chairs, and deliver food. Would mid-tier or upper-mid tier medical schools expect more intensive clinical experience?
Transporting patients and delivering their food trays is as "clinical" as you need to get. Hopefully, you also interacted with these folks through conversation.
 
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deleted981412

No, it won't "look bad" to use an older experience as MM.

Thank you! Also, I just have too much stuff again, and have clubbed all my volunteering experiences into one. I elaborated on one, and used that person as the contact. If I write something like "Workshop Facilitator, Mexican American Resource Center" (50 hours) and House Painter, Rebuild XX city (paraphrased names) do you think that would be okay? Kind of like the shadowing for doctors write-up, but here it's for non clinical volunteering. The first one is couple hundred hours, while the other two are about like 50 and 30. Any advice?
 
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I just have too much stuff again, and have clubbed all my volunteering experiences into one. I elaborated on one, and used that person as the contact. If I write something like "Workshop Facilitator, Mexican American Resource Center" (50 hours) and House Painter, Rebuild XX city (paraphrased names) do you think that would be okay? Kind of like the shadowing for doctors write-up, but here it's for non clinical volunteering. The first one is couple hundred hours, while the other two are about like 50 and 30. Any advice?
It's fine to group nonmedical community service, as you describe, with a grand total for all of them in Total Hours, but please do subtotal the hours with each description and give a contact for those activities where you didn't list it in the header. A lot of description isn't necessary where the name of the activity gives one a good idea of what was entailed.
 

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When you group your shadowing experience together, would it be wise to use the "repeated button" to specify the dates and hours you did (while also stating in the description which hours go with which doctor)?
 
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When you group your shadowing experience together, would it be wise to use the "repeated button" to specify the dates and hours you did (while also stating in the description which hours go with which doctor)?
I did this. It really depends on space you have available. I did repeat function with specific hours per each one and then had the hours next to each one in the comment box (so that they know what the time frame was by matching up hours)
 

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I did this. It really depends on space you have available. I did repeat function with specific hours per each one and then had the hours next to each one in the comment box (so that they know what the time frame was by matching up hours)
Thank you!
 
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1.For about 8 months in 2017, I studied at a private think tank abroad, where they select ~20 students for each class and pay for our education in liberal arts provided by invited instructors (with Ph.D's from prestigious US schools with current professorships in Korea). We were provided housing and food on top of the education, but no direct scholarship/compensation were given to us. Would this be considered under "Honors/Awards/Recognitions" or just "Extracurriculars"?

2. In conjunction with the studies, we also took internships in Washington D.C. as a part of the scholarship program from the think tank. For me, I ended up working on the Hill for a Congressman for 6 months (while in D.C., our housing was covered by the institute and we were given allowances). Should I list the Hill experience separately from the program on AMCAS? Or would it be ok to simply mention in the description that the two experiences were in conjunction and related?

Or if there are better ways to list the experiences I'd love some advice. Thanks in advance!

More information:
the selection was based on our grades, extracurriculars, total of 4 essays and 2 interviews (sort of similar to the med school admission process now that I think of it). I'm not sure of the exact numbers but I was told by the admin that the competition was about 4:1 to get in. What I got out of it was tremendous - something I would love to address in a secondary or as a meaningful activity as it has really changed who I am as a person (long story short, someone who studied math and chemistry for undergrad was exposed for the first time to debates, philosophy, poli sci, history, literature etc. and really transformed how I think and view the world) - but not necessarily a "aha" moment on wanting to become a physician. Although we were graded, they weren't for credits as it was run by a private think tank rather than an academic institution. (The think tank is internationally renowned and recognized though, especially in political science).

During the Washington, DC portion, I was mostly handling, fielding, and responding to constituent inquiries along with a little bit of legislative research. The studies themselves didn't necessarily correlate directly, but the new perspectives I mentioned briefly above helped me in taking in the experience of being on the Hill fully and learning from it.
You could list it under "Awards/Honors" as a competitive internship/scholarship/practicum with all components in one space (perhaps using the Most Meaningful designation to get more characters) or under "Other" as an Internship (the tag most internships use). For either option, you'd want to explain the competitive process for selection. "Extracurricular" doesn't fit well due to the fact that you experienced a classroom component. Alternatively, you could split it into two parts (Honors/Awards and Other), but then you lose the context that made part two more meaningful due to your new perspectives.
 
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deleted981412

Hi, final questions:

1. As i was scrambling to get jobs, I did one long RA position long distance, so my hours in city A are overlapping with my hours in city B. I have the references, and they can vouch for it but do you think it would seem sketch that I did aug-sept 2017 in new york and also aug 17-sept 18 in california? I also did some volunteering in another North eastern city for a few hours as I worked remotely towards the end of my gig. not sure if that makes it look weird.

2. In picking between highlighting recent volunteer experiences (non medical), and taking up 2 boxes
VS
clubbing recent non med volunteering together and using up another box to talk about an older (2013) healthcare experience that meant more to me

do you have suggestions on which one to pick? obv this is a personal choice, but not sure which takes precdence, timing or impact of work

3, in listing contact names, do you add a "dr" in front of the "first name" of the person if they are an md or phd.
 
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