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

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Is it worth mentioning that I am an avid climber, led student groups hiking, and climbed 2 of the seven summits and Mt Fuji? I don't know if these really count as leadership as compared to some of my other things.
Yes, it's worth mentioning under Hobbies or Extracurricular.
 
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I have been involved in a social fraternity throughout my 4 years of undergrad. I was in charge of running a scholarship program for incoming freshmen which involved me distributing applications as well as interviewing close to 100 men over the summer. This job also had me serve as one of the 2 recruitment chairs for the year. I plan on including this in my application as it was a good leadership experience for me.

HOWEVER, I am also have been involved in various community service work/philanthropies during my four years and I wonder if I should put those hours (~100) under community service. If not should they go into a different category, or should I just leave them out of my application all together?
If you include the philanthrophy and fraternity-related miscellaneous community volunteering in the same space as fraternity leadership activities, they may be overlooked. Be sure to separate them out on the application and list them under Community Service/Volunteer.
 
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say I was volunteering in the ED and had been there since January 2019. Could I list the dates on the AMCAS as Jan 2019 - May 2021 (when I intend to quit)?
If you are applying 6/1/2020, you could list the full ED date range as you've mentioned, but that leaves us guessing as to how much of the Total Hours are completed and how many are future. We don't like to guess. Entering two date ranges is a better idea, but the AMCAS program won't allow you to enter a future date, so you need to take care about how you do it. Use the Repeated feature like this, so the end of the first span is the same as the beginning of the second:

Jan 2019-Jun 2020 150 hours (which are all your completed hours)
June 2020-May 2021 100 hours (all your future hours)

Both date spans appear in the header of the activity above the narrative area.
 
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I'm a first-gen immigrant who floated around in 3 countries until I finally got a GC at the US about 3-4 months ago. It was such a disgustingly demoralizing and grueling process, and I want to spend some time volunteering with other immigrants currently undergoing the process.

Would working with immigrant populations and providing things like free SAT/school tutoring and offering citizenship/GC mock interviews be seen as nonclinical/working with less fortunate population?
Yes. This is an excellent nonmedical community service.
 
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I plan on applying to Medical School next year. I have been a Pianist at my University for over 3 years now, doing accompaniment and other performances quarterly. However, I have been getting quite “fed up” with my piano instructor, I believe she is quite toxic to my self esteem, and is no way someone whom I would request to write a letter of recommendation. I don’t want to do this anymore the stress is unreal, but I feel that this activity is very important to list in my AMCAS as I spent so much time on it, and it’s a big part of my Identity. I don’t want to be seen as a quitter.
You are not required to supply a reference letter for an Artistic Endeavor.

You can still list your musical interest up to the date of application if you continue to play for your own pleasure.
 

TedDrewes

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How many activities at minimum should you include? Is it a bad if you only have 5: 2 research positions (3 years, 1 year), 1 clinical volunteering (1.5 years), shadowing (100+ hrs), club sport (3.5 years which includes leadership)
 
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How many activities at minimum should you include? Is it a bad if you only have 5: 2 research positions (3 years, 1 year), 1 clinical volunteering (1.5 years), shadowing (100+ hrs), club sport (3.5 years which includes leadership)
Five meaty activities are enough. Consider breaking out your leadership component into its own space. And don't forget Hobbies and/or Artistic Endeavors. They deserve their own space(s), too.

Did you have any posters or presentations related to your research activities? Any nonmedical community service?
 

TedDrewes

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Five meaty activities are enough. Consider breaking out your leadership component into its own space. And don't forget Hobbies and/or Artistic Endeavors. They deserve their own space(s), too.

Did you have any posters or presentations related to your research activities? Any nonmedical community service?

Thanks! No nonmedical community service but yes, I do have posters.
 

TedDrewes

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One other question, is it okay to use both paragraph and bullet point styles in your work and activities section?
 
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TedDrewes

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How do you input shadowing? If I've shadowed 8 physicians, if I put in all of their practices, names and hours, it ends up eating up all of the 700 characters, and there is no room for any narrative. Are their names, hours, etc. all outside of the narrative section? Is it in the title, position section? Can you attach an example of how a shadowing entry would look?
 
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How do you input shadowing? If I've shadowed 8 physicians, if I put in all of their practices, names and hours, it ends up eating up all of the 700 characters, and there is no room for any narrative. Are their names, hours, etc. all outside of the narrative section? Is it in the title, position section? Can you attach an example of how a shadowing entry would look?
When you have a lot of shadowees, you need not necessarily enter every single one's full information. Also, you really don't need much description, as application screeners have a pretty good idea of what shadowing experiences are like. Here's an example of how shadowing can be listed. There is no one right way, so feel free to make your own format:

Experience Type: Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation
Title: Multiple Physician Observation Experiences
Dates: [Can encompass all the experiences in the space]
Total Hours: [Total hours shadowed for all docs included in the space.]
Contact info, organization name: [Use the info for the first physician you want to list. I suggest listing them by highest total hours or by those most recent and likely to recall you]
Narrative Description Box:

1. 13 hours 5/2019 John Patel, DO, Family Medicine resident
Participated in hospital rounds, meetings, observed longitudinal clinic hours, and helped with general scut work.

Also:
2. 20 hours 5/2018 Jill Rosenbloom, MD, Pediatrician. New York Pediatrics, 800-000-0000
Was able to observe a newborn resuscitation.

3. 12 hours 1/2018-2/2018 Jane Santos, MD, General Surgeon. New York Surgical Associates, 800-000-0000 Rory Li, Office manager
Attended general and bariatric office hours. Observed two surgeries.

Also shadowed 5 other physicians in primary care specialties for 5-8 hours each during clinic hours in 2016.

[General comments on overall experience if space permits]



***If you have further questions, feel free to ask.
 
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ATGC17

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Hi Catalystik,

Thank you for doing this. I was wondering what your thoughts were on including collegiate sports as a most meaningful activity or saving the three spaces for activities more medically-related. I played college soccer, but also have been volunteering at a free clinic, conducting full-time research (1 pub) for over two years and completed hours of shadowing (2 LoRs), in the years following graduation (and soccer career), all which have been formative in my decision to pursue medicine.

I've received mixed advice from mentors and advisors. Some have said most meaningful should be reserved for 'most meaningful/formative in the decision to pursue medicine' and not to include soccer in the 3, while others have said it's 'most meaningful to you' and to include soccer, as it was a significant portion of my life, time, and developed traits that would translate well into medicine. They also mentioned many adcoms only read the most meaningful three when skimming.

Thanks for any advice you can provide!
 
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Hi Catalystik,

Thank you for doing this. I was wondering what your thoughts were on including collegiate sports as a most meaningful activity or saving the three spaces for activities more medically-related. I played college soccer, but also have been volunteering at a free clinic, conducting full-time research (1 pub) for over two years and completed hours of shadowing (2 LoRs), in the years following graduation (and soccer career), all which have been formative in my decision to pursue medicine.

I've received mixed advice from mentors and advisors. Some have said most meaningful should be reserved for 'most meaningful/formative in the decision to pursue medicine' and not to include soccer in the 3, while others have said it's 'most meaningful to you' and to include soccer, as it was a significant portion of my life, time, and developed traits that would translate well into medicine. They also mentioned many adcoms only read the most meaningful three when skimming.
I would fall into the second opinion category, but as a further guideline, I suggest you include the activities where you can make the strongest impact statements about teamwork, collaboration, leadership, dedication, and other traits that adcomms want to see in their future students. Shadowing does not come into play as a choice if you use these qualifiers (IMO).
 
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TedDrewes

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Yes. It's called Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation.
Shadowing question: I've also seen advice that you should put only one of the doctor's information in the top section: Title/Phone and Email. and put hours and dates for all shadowing in the top section. My question is when you list the other physicians that you shadowed, what is the minimum you should put down: Is their name and specialty and hours shadowed enough? It seems to me that it may not be critical to put practice name, email, phone or dates shadowed in the 700 character section. Better to use every character to either describe what you observed or reflect. Thoughts?
 
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Shadowing question: I've also seen advice that you should put only one of the doctor's information in the top section: Title/Phone and Email. and put hours and dates for all shadowing in the top section.

1) My question is when you list the other physicians that you shadowed, what is the minimum you should put down: Is their name and specialty and hours shadowed enough?
2) It seems to me that it may not be critical to put practice name, email, phone or dates shadowed in the 700 character section. Better to use every character to either describe what you observed or reflect. Thoughts?
1) In order of preference, IMO: An absolute minimum would be hours and specialty. Including a name is a good practice. Dates for that doc would be nice if you can fit it in. Next would be contact info (phone or email).

2) Practice name is not necessary. Neither is a description of what you observed.
 

TedDrewes

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1) In order of preference, IMO: An absolute minimum would be hours and specialty. Including a name is a good practice. Dates for that doc would be nice if you can fit it in. Next would be contact info (phone or email).

2) Practice name is not necessary. Neither is a description of what you observed.

So you are saying that a listing of the physicians Is the most important part of the 700 character description? I just read something from my university that said it’s most important to maximize the space you have to describe what you learned. That’s why I was asking you the minimum information I needed to include for the physicians. So many conflicting opinions. Thoughts?
 
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So you are saying that a listing of the physicians Is the most important part of the 700 character description? I just read something from my university that said it’s most important to maximize the space you have to describe what you learned. That’s why I was asking you the minimum information I needed to include for the physicians. So many conflicting opinions. Thoughts?
I'm sure that every adcomm has different priorities for what they want to read. You will have to decide for yourself what you feel is most important to include. As I said in a previous comment to you, there is no ONE RIGHT WAY to format a Shadowing space.
 

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Hello,

I'm currently preparing the materials needed for my primary application in case I need to reapply next cycle, and I noticed a miscalculation in hours for one activity and the wrong year listed for another activity on my old application. They were careless oversights on my part, and I'm extremely upset I didn't catch the mistakes sooner.

Should I fix the hours and dates on my new primary? I want to correct myself but don't want to raise any red flags to the schools I'm reapplying to because I see how this can be viewed as inconsistency. How do adcomm members generally view these changes? Will adjusting these details negatively impact my application, or will they understand that the first was a mistake? I'm trying to determine what the best thing I can do at this point is. Thank you.
 

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Hello,

I'm currently preparing the materials needed for my primary application in case I need to reapply next cycle, and I noticed a miscalculation in hours for one activity and the wrong year listed for another activity on my old application. They were careless oversights on my part, and I'm extremely upset I didn't catch the mistakes sooner.

Should I fix the hours and dates on my new primary? I want to correct myself but don't want to raise any red flags to the schools I'm reapplying to because I see how this can be viewed as inconsistency. How do adcomm members generally view these changes? Will adjusting these details negatively impact my application, or will they understand that the first was a mistake? I'm trying to determine what the best thing I can do at this point is. Thank you.

Unless the discrepancy is at the level of 500-1000s of hours etc, I cant imagine adcoms sitting there matching every single experience to those listed on your prior application. I mean... it just doesnt seem like the most efficient way of going thru app review of 1000s of candidates. There are only so many hours in the day!

If what you report on your new application is now accurate and can be verified, I think you should be fine.
 
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I'm currently preparing the materials needed for my primary application in case I need to reapply next cycle, and I noticed a miscalculation in hours for one activity and the wrong year listed for another activity on my old application. They were careless oversights on my part, and I'm extremely upset I didn't catch the mistakes sooner.

Should I fix the hours and dates on my new primary? I want to correct myself but don't want to raise any red flags to the schools I'm reapplying to because I see how this can be viewed as inconsistency. How do adcomm members generally view these changes? Will adjusting these details negatively impact my application, or will they understand that the first was a mistake? I'm trying to determine what the best thing I can do at this point is.
I encourage you to set the record straight and correct the mistakes if you need to reapply. As opposed to the likelihood of comparing the Personal Statements (which I would hope you will revamp), the Activities portion is unlikely to be subjected to a microscopic head-to-head comparison. If by some remote chance the differences were noted, your correction of two errors/typos is not going to result in a negative outcome, when you are willing to take the responsibility of having made the careless mistakes. And peace of mind is priceless.
 
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annperkins

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Unless the discrepancy is at the level of 500-1000s of hours etc, I cant imagine adcoms sitting there matching every single experience to those listed on your prior application. I mean... it just doesnt seem like the most efficient way of going thru app review of 1000s of candidates. There are only so many hours in the day!

If what you report on your new application is now accurate and can be verified, I think you should be fine.

I encourage you to set the record straight and correct the mistakes if you need to reapply. As opposed to the likelihood of comparing the Personal Statements (which I would hope you will revamp), the Activities portion is unlikely to be subjected to a microscopic head-to-head comparison. If by some remote chance the differences were noted, your correction of two errors/typos is not going to result in a negative outcome, when you are willing to take the responsibility of having made the careless mistakes. And peace of mind is priceless.
Thanks for your response!

As for correcting my mistakes-
Do you suggest I email all the schools I plan to reapply to and address my mistake now? Or would it be a better idea to email those schools and explain the change in hours/dates after I actually do submit my new primary?
 
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Thanks for your response!

As for correcting my mistakes-
Do you suggest I email all the schools I plan to reapply to and address my mistake now? Or would it be a better idea to email those schools and explain the change in hours/dates after I actually do submit my new primary?
How egregious are the mistakes?
 
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annperkins

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How egregious are the mistakes?
For the hours of the activity that I participated in for 1.5 years, I forgot to subtract the time from fall, winter and spring break from the total hours (a difference of at least 200 since this activity was mostly full-time). For the activity where I listed the wrong dates, I accidentally entered 2017 instead of 2016. I still can't believe I made such careless and dumb mistakes.
 
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1) For the hours of the activity that I participated in for 1.5 years, I forgot to subtract the time from fall, winter and spring break from the total hours (a difference of at least 200 since this activity was mostly full-time).
2) For the activity where I listed the wrong dates, I accidentally entered 2017 instead of 2016.
1) For the activity where you overestimated by 200 hours, what were the true total hours? In what category was the activity?
2) Were the total hours accurate even though the end date of 2017 was incorrect?
 

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1) For the activity where you overestimated by 200 hours, what were the true total hours? In what category was the activity?
2) Were the total hours accurate even though the end date of 2017 was incorrect?
1) Reported ~1600 as opposed to ~1400 hours as laboratory assistant
2) Yes, everything else on my application is accurate besides these two mistakes
 
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1) Reported ~1600 as opposed to ~1400 hours as laboratory assistant
2) Yes, everything else on my application is accurate besides these two mistakes
Do you suggest I email all the schools I plan to reapply to and address my mistake now? Or would it be a better idea to email those schools and explain the change in hours/dates after I actually do submit my new primary?
In this situation, considering the high number of completed hours, there is no reason to bring your error to anyone's attention. Having 200 fewer hours (with a true 1400 total) would have no impact on decision making in the current cycle. Or the next.
 

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In this situation, considering the high number of completed hours, there is no reason to bring your error to anyone's attention. Having 200 fewer hours (with a true 1400 total) would have no impact on decision making in the current cycle. Or the next.
Thank you so much for your advice! I really appreciate it. As for the date change, do you think that’s something I can fix on my new application without notifying all the schools I’m reapplying to? I’m just really paranoid of my application being flagged due to the inconsistencies.
 
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As for the date change, do you think that’s something I can fix on my new application without notifying all the schools I’m reapplying to? I’m just really paranoid of my application being flagged due to the inconsistencies.
I don't think that notifiction is necessary for a corrected date such as you mentioned.
 
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