*~*~*~* Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2020-2021 *~*~*~*

About the Ads
Oct 25, 2019
32
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
See my comments on page 29, post #1416 to see how to give a Hobbies entry more appeal.
Okay what do I put for hours? I say I love to cook pasta, bake pastries which I have been doing for years. I also love to creatively write on my free time. I have journals and notes filled with stories. I love mystery books and detective stories as I have read multiple books.

I only have about 6 or 7 entries is that too small?
 
Last edited:

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Okay what do I put for hours? I say I love to cook pasta, bake pastries which I have been doing for years. I also love to creatively write on my free time. I have journals and notes filled with stories. I love mystery books and detective stories as I have read multiple books.
Hours don't matter. Enter a zero, 1, or 999 (code for unknowable).

(I love medieval mysteries, so I'd want to know more detail of your preferences.)
 
Oct 25, 2019
32
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hours don't matter. Enter a zero, 1, or 999 (code for unknowable).

(I love medieval mysteries, so I'd want to know more detail of your preferences.)
I love crime mystery and cozy mystery those are my favorite! How do I write that down so I don't sound weird, also what do I put for the dates??
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
1) I love crime mystery and cozy mystery those are my favorite! How do I write that down so I don't sound weird, also
2) what do I put for the dates??
1) You'll have to decide that for yourself.

2) The college years and after are what adcomms will care about, but if you started writing, etc in HS, you could go back to the time you recall getting fascinated with cookery, baking, mysteries, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Oct 25, 2019
32
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
1) You'll have to decide that for yourself.

2) The college years and after are what adcomms will care about, but if you started writing, etc in HS, you could go back to the time you recall getting fascinated with cookery, baking, mysteries, etc.
okay so I just put it till August 2021?

i wont sound like a criminal wannabe if I put this right?

i wish I could show you what I have written, I don't sound very professional

is 7 entries too small?
 
Last edited:

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
1) okay so I just put it till August 2021?

2) i wont sound like a criminal wannabe if I put this right?

3) i wish I could show you what I have written, I don't sound very professional

4) is 7 entries too small?
1) Yes.

2) If you are concerned, just mention the "cozy mysteries."

3) I have seen threads in the main forum asking for a PS or Activities section to be reviewed. You could also ask a boss, old English teacher, or your school's Writing Center or Career Center for a review.

4) 9-10 entries are average. Five or less are too few.
 
Oct 25, 2019
32
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
1) Yes.

2) If you are concerned, just mention the "cozy mysteries."

3) I have seen threads in the main forum asking for a PS or Activities section to be reviewed. You could also ask a boss, old English teacher, or your school's Writing Center or Career Center for a review.

4) 9-10 entries are average. Five or less are too few.
okay I'm about to submit my application today. I have read over everything and have put it through numerous grammar checks. I am so terrified especially about this and my mcat
 
Aug 21, 2019
152
187
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
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.

Conferences Attended
-Use this if you were a keynote speaker, received major recognition, were an organizer, or held some other leadership role. If the conference gave you an opportunity to do a poster or podium presentation, that should be listed elsewhere tagged with a label where application screeners can easily find it (Presentations/Posters), and with the name of the conference included.

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, reliability, 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 this sort of experience is to have a catch-all category like "Collegiate Recognitions" 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 need 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 for which it is 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 friend or yourself 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 a portion of 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. 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 general scut work.
Also:
2. 20 hours 5/2018 Jill Rosenbloom, MD, Pediatrician. [email protected]
Was able to observe a newborn resuscitation.
3. 12 hours 1/2018-2/2018 Jane Santos, MD, General Surgeon. 555-123-0000 Rory Li, Office manager
Attended general and bariatric office hours. Observed two surgeries.
4. 7 hours 5/17, James Ruzic, MD, Radiologist. [email protected]
Observed image reading.

Also shadowed X other physicians in [list of specialties] for 5-8 hours each during clinic hours in summer 2016.

[General comments on overall experience/impact if space permits]


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 about 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 (and doesn't require listing a Contact).

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 a 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 manuscript is only submitted or needs major revisions, then it is still a future activity which you cannot include as a Publication. If it is published or accepted for publication, then you can include it.

Keep in mind: "Having publications is mostly icing on the cake though less than 20%-25% of all applicants have ANY kind of publication, poster or presentation at ANY level, campus-wide symposium and up" (per Gonnif).

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 Fine Arts or Sport involvement.

If you are a nontraditional applicant, then your more recent accomplishments are the most important to highlight. In that case, consider grouping your high-yield, college-related 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?
You can use 60 spaces for the title of each entry:
-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 your official title isn't sufficiently descriptive, feel free to improvise.

-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, 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. Borrowing from Gonnif: If you have XXX hours of research
1) and just describe your tasks in the lab, its unimpressive
2) if you discuss the connection to understanding research it's better
3) if you state/imply what personal characteristics this work says about you that's good
4) if you integrate this all along with social/professional interactions in lab, that's great
5) if you develop themes in this EC that interconnects with similar themes in other W&A along with PS and secondaries, thus showing a consistent pattern as a candidate, that would be the best

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 appears in a 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.

FAQ are continued in the next space.
I was fortunate enough to get a couple national awards and SUNY wide awards during undergrad. In your opinion, do you think it is more beneficial too just include those three awards but describe them more in depth? Or do you think its important to include the things like honors society membership, presidents list, minor football award(s), etc. as well, just with less descriptions? Thank you!
 
About the Ads

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I was fortunate enough to get a couple national awards and SUNY wide awards during undergrad. In your opinion, do you think it is more beneficial to
1) just include those three awards but describe them more in depth?
2) Or do you think its important to include the things like honors society membership, presidents list, minor football award(s), etc. as well, just with less descriptions?
I'd prefer #1 of the above, with description, criteria, and indication of selectivity, if possible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
alright cool! So I don't even know if putting Deans List is even worth it, I have 7 entries which idk if that's too small. I was on the Deans List since Freshmen year
Your GPA speaks for itself, but list it if you like, along with merit scholarships, poster award, etc, in the same space.

If you ever shared your writing publicly, you could take it out of Hobbies and enter it as an Artistic Endeavor.
 
Oct 25, 2019
32
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Your GPA speaks for itself, but list it if you like, along with merit scholarships, poster award, etc, in the same space.

If you ever shared your writing publicly, you could take it out of Hobbies and enter it as an Artistic Endeavor.
okay and no I have never shared my writing anywhere, so I guess I'm stuck with 7, kinda scared they'll overlook my application with only 7
 
About the Ads
Oct 25, 2019
32
6
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
If that is your concern, why not take another year to beef up your activities?
No I would rather not take a gap year, I honestly don't know what the future holds in light of everything happening. I think ill be alright. I just need to focus on this MCAT coming up that's what's most stressing me out.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
1. Are OT and PT reasonable acronyms to use in a description? Like, occupational and physical therapy. Trying to conserve space.

2. Is it ok to include a faith-based club? I have almost 200 hours; going to focus on my role in community service but still, don't want it to be a red flag.

3. This may have been touched on already, but, are presentation listed alone THAT meaningful? I have a bit of a predicament. I was scheduled to present my research at our university conference. with COVID, it moved online and was public, so I withheld my unpublished work and presented on a synthesis strategy I used. I just feel weird about listing it, considering its public, and it was highly altered. Any guidance about this is helpful.

4. Is it ok to have 15? I know avg is 9 or 10, but besides awards and this presentation, all my activities are near or over 100 hours at least.
1) I think they are reasonable to use provided the context of the sentence helps supports their meaning.

2) Yes, it's fine to include, though if a part of your role was proselytizing, I suggest leaving that out.

3) Listing a campus-sponsored, presentation of your research would have been acceptable to list on AMCAS in the affiliated Research space, but presenting a technique you used, doesn't seem worth the characters you'd use, assuming I am understanding you correctly.

To use a Posters/Presentations space for this sort of campus presentation would be weird. See Post #2 of this thread, item 20.

4) That's fine, since you didn't spread out (fluff up) existing experiences just to fill the spaces.
 
May 7, 2020
223
22
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hey, one of my most meaningful descriptions was a research activity. I wrote about a new perspective I gained in the field rather than what I specifically did in the lab. Is this okay? I wrote about what I did in the general description box, but my most meaningful was about my new insights into the field
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Thanks for all this, @Catalystik.
Just a follow up on 3- I previously was planning to give it its own entry as a “Presentation/Poster.” I gave an oral presentation. I guess I’m just concerned about listing it and it being viewed, or the legitimacy of it in general. If I don’t give it it’s own entry, I was just going to mention in my research description that I did it (have to do something similar for publications that haven’t been published yet). Hoping this is more clear.
Listing your campus-sponsored talk on your lab technique in the related Research entry would be preferred over entering it on its own in a Presentations space.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Hey, one of my most meaningful descriptions was a research activity. I wrote about a new perspective I gained in the field rather than what I specifically did in the lab. Is this okay? I wrote about what I did in the general description box, but my most meaningful was about my new insights into the field
That is an acceptable use of a MM space.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I was recently listed as an author to a chapter of a book that is being published about [XXX] Syndrome. The data and manuscript have been submitted to the publisher, but have not been published yet. I know the name of the book and the name of the chapter I helped write, but I am not entirely sure if it is going to be a textbook or just a regular book. Is this something I should list under "publications" in the Work/Activities section, or should I skip it?
It's not yet a publication, or even an accepted manuscript. So skip it. Maybe you'll know something in time for Secondaries or future update letters.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
So this year I have a few non-author and non-article contributions to published journal issues. I was wondering what the best way of incorporating these.

1. I found out last year that one of the images I helped to create for a publication was selected as the cover image for the journal it was published in. Does this merit a separate mention of some kind? It feels noteworthy or at least interesting, but I know that it doesn't exactly indicate scientific merit.

2. I was listed in the appendix of a fairly large multi-center research study published in a high-impact factor journal as a contributor. I spent a good deal of my time at my job working on this study, so I'd like to bring up that it bore some fruit, but it feels a bit odd to tell reviewers to go into the appendix if they want to find my name.

3. Similar to 2, I was listed in the "acknowledgements" section of a paper for my role in getting the study to publication. Would I treat this the same as #2?
1) An Artistic Endeavors entry, with perhaps an overview of any other endeavors in that realm, might be a good place to bring this up.

2 & 3) Your description of your role and contributions in the affiliated Research entries is sufficient. Don't waste characters to say you were named as "contributor" or got an "acknowledgement." They give that same accolade to the typist.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
For a Most Meaningful essay: Would this be appropriate to delve into? Starting the business (totally unrelated non-healthcare field) kind of forced me to improve my organization and time management skills. Some of my best semesters came from being forced to really navigate a busy schedule effectively. I don't like or necessarily care about the industry I started the business in, it has since failed, and I even have litigation against an insurance company for not paying a claim on a company vehicle which led to the downfall of the business. Not exactly sure how and if to include that part. I still deal with the litigation from time to time. Thoughts?
Yes, it would be an appropriate choice for a MM essay, including (if you wish) that it ultimately failed, and lessons learned. The details of the litigation need not be gone into.
 
Mar 12, 2019
3
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I've been mulling over this, I know it is probably insignificant and probably should not be on as a portion of my works and activities, but under recognitions do you think it is appropriate to put Valedictorian of my high school? The only reason I'm even contemplating this is because I completed two full years of college my junior and senior years of high school while involved in extracurriculars such as work, speech and debate, band and volunteering.

I'm personally leaning towards the side of not putting it.

Also was thinking of putting working at my family's business on my activities section, but I have been helping since I was in 5th grade... Should I only stick to college or the whole period?
 
Last edited:
Oct 23, 2019
19
19
Status (Visible)
  1. Pharmacist
Sorry if not allowed..

Is there any way someone can glimpse at my first 2 activities? I want to just get an outside gauge whether I'm going on about this in right manner. I don't want to continue onward if I'm slaughtering this section lol. I put them in a google doc to link over. Thank you all in advance!
 
About the Ads

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
1) I've been mulling over this, I know it is probably insignificant and probably should not be on as a portion of my works and activities, but under recognitions do you think it is appropriate to put Valedictorian of my high school? The only reason I'm even contemplating this is because I completed two full years of college my junior and senior years of high school while involved in extracurriculars such as work, speech and debate, band and volunteering.

I'm personally leaning towards the side of not putting it.

2) Also was thinking of putting working at my family's business on my activities section, but I have been helping since I was in 5th grade... Should I only stick to college or the whole period?
1) I agree with your instincts. You should not include HS Validictorian in your Activities section. However, if you got any college-based recognition during the high school years, like Deans List or completing an Associates Degree, you could enter that under Honors/Awards (with the criteria) and make the notation in the space that you did so while heavily involved in extracurriculars A, B, C, & D, while also working X hours per week.

2) So long as the work continued into the college years, you can include the earlier timeframe. I suggest using the Repeated feature to divide out the dates and total hours for pre-college, college years, and future (if you plan to continue working as long as Aug 2021). For the latter, use the same date for the end of datespan #2 and the beginning of datespan #3 so the AMCAS program will accept it.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Sorry if not allowed..

Is there any way someone can glimpse at my first 2 activities? I want to just get an outside gauge whether I'm going on about this in right manner. I don't want to continue onward if I'm slaughtering this section lol. I put them in a google doc to link over. Thank you all in advance!
Activities review lies outside the scope of this thread. I've seen posts in the main forum where others have requested Activities' review. You might seek those out and perhaps trade off.

OTOH, if it would be helpful to see examples of another applicant's entries, see page 4 of this thread, post #190 for a link to member Nick Naylor's past application.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Oct 23, 2019
19
19
Status (Visible)
  1. Pharmacist
Sorry, but Activities review lies outside the scope of this thread. I've seen posts in the main forum where others have requested Activities' review. You might seek those out and perhaps trade off.

OTOH, if it would be helpful to see examples of another applicant's entries, see page 4, post #192 for a link to member Nick Naylor's past application.

Not a problem. Thank you for the explanation and reference! :)
 
Aug 6, 2019
55
48
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I apologize if this has already been asked/answered. I decided to lump 2 similar activities (grade school teaching assistant and virtual tutor) together because I did not feel I had enough hours in either to list them individually (grade school position was cancelled and I did not start virtual tutoring until around April). I made this entry one of my most meaningful experiences, but I wasn't sure if that would be okay as they are technically 2 different activities albeit very similar. Would appreciate any input as to whether this would be acceptable or not before I submit. Thanks for any help!
 
Last edited:

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
I decided to lump 2 similar activities (grade school teaching assistant and virtual tutor) together because I did not feel I had enough hours in either to list them individually. However, I was thinking about designating this as a most meaningful experience, but I wasn't sure if that would be okay as they are technically 2 different activities albeit very similar. Would appreciate any input as to whether this would be acceptable or not, thanks!
Presumably, most of your commentary in the MM section would be generalizable to both teaching activities, in which case, I think it's no problem to group them together. If you link them together as if one inspired the other, that would work, too. It would be OK to segue from one activity to the other in your discussion, saying something like, "Though virtual tutoring was satisfying because of [reason], I decided a more personal element with an in-person activity would be {whatever], so I [discuss TA position]." If virtual tutor came second, I can think of ways to discuss the transition positively, there, also.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Aug 6, 2019
55
48
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Presumably, most of your commentary in the MM section would be generalizable to both teaching activities, in which case, I think it's no problem to group them together. If you link them together as if one inspired the other, that would work, too. It would be OK to segue from one activity to the other in your discussion, saying something like, "Though virtual tutoring was satisfying because of [reason], I decided a more personal element with an in-person activity would be {whatever], so I [discuss TA position]." If virtual tutor came second, I can think of ways to discuss the transition positively, there, also.

Thanks for the input, this is a very rough overview of how I constructed the reflection: I talk about the aspects general to both activities in the beginning with specifics for each and overall what they meant to me. Then I get into how I had to stop working at the grade school due to COVID but discovered my school's virtual tutoring service and was able to continue tutoring/helping students through it. At the end I get into how virtual tutoring has also been a great way to stay involved/busy during the pandemic and continue pursuing the things I love about tutoring, then wrap it up by discussing what I got out of both again. Thanks again for your help!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Thanks for the input, this is a very rough overview of how I constructed the reflection: I talk about the aspects general to both activities in the beginning with specifics for each and overall what they meant to me. Then I get into how I had to stop working at the grade school due to COVID but discovered my school's virtual tutoring service and was able to continue tutoring/helping students through it. At the end I get into how virtual tutoring has also been a great way to stay involved/busy during the pandemic and continue pursuing the things I love about tutoring, then wrap it up by discussing what I got out of both again. Thanks again for your help!
Perfect!
 
Jul 16, 2020
57
58
Narnia
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Confused on how to classify 2 of my activities!

1. I've been doing martial arts for 16 years and I've amassed maybe ~6000+ hrs. I've competed and won in many local/international competitions. Would this still be classified as an artistic endeavor? And would you consider this an impressive ec?

2. My campus club is focused on helping with social/education/etc. issues in 3rd world countries. We strictly do not do any clinical work so this isn't a medical mission, but rather attempting to make certain areas there self-sustainable. I also hold a leadership position, would this be leadership or non-clinical volunteering? Or is it only non-clinical volunteering when we're physically in the 3rd world country. We also hold local on campus events for the community.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Confused on how to classify 2 of my activities!

1. I've been doing martial arts for 16 years and I've amassed maybe ~6000+ hrs. I've competed and won in many local/international competitions. Would this still be classified as an artistic endeavor? And would you consider this an impressive ec?

2. My campus club is focused on helping with social/education/etc. issues in 3rd world countries. We strictly do not do any clinical work so this isn't a medical mission, but rather attempting to make certain areas there self-sustainable. I also hold a leadership position, would this be leadership or non-clinical volunteering? Or is it only non-clinical volunteering when we're physically in the 3rd world country. We also hold local on campus events for the community.
1) Consider labeling it either Hobbies or Other. Excelling in a sport during the college years reveals characteristics desirable in a med school candidate. Don't emphasize recognitions that took place in earlier years. Consider breaking down the timeframes of involvement using the Repeated feature.

2) If you call it Leadership, you would list only the dates and total hours of the leadership role in that space. If you call it Volunteer/Community Service-Not Medical/Clinical, it can include the leadership and the volunteer components (local and international, including fundraising, with a space title that includes the leadership role), but not the general membership and meetings. If you call it Extracurricular, it can include everything in the same space.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Jul 16, 2020
57
58
Narnia
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
1) Consider labeling it either Hobbies or Other. Excelling in a sport during the college years reveals characteristics desirable in a med school candidate. Don't emphasize recognitions that took place in earlier years. Consider breaking down the timeframes of involvement using the Repeated feature.

2) If you call it Leadership, you would list only the dates and total hours of the leadership role in that space. If you call it Volunteer/Community Service-Not Medical/Clinical, it can include the leadership and the volunteer components (local and international, including fundraising, with a space title that includes the leadership role), but not the general membership and meetings. If you call it Extracurricular, it can include everything in the same space.

Thank you for your advice!

Ohh, I didn't know martial arts would be classified as a hobby not an artistic endeavor. I will use the repeat feature and split it between pre-undergrad, and undergrad hours.
For 2, I do not have another leadership or non-clinical community service. Would you suggest I put the club as leadership? (I would have ~600 hrs as a leader, or 300 hours as non-clinical).
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Thank you for your advice!

1) Ohh, I didn't know martial arts would be classified as a hobby not an artistic endeavor. I will use the repeat feature and split it between pre-undergrad, and undergrad hours.

2) For 2, I do not have another leadership or non-clinical community service. Would you suggest I put the club as leadership? (I would have ~600 hrs as a leader, or 300 hours as non-clinical).
1) Well, really, it's a sport, but the only sport-related, selectable category is Intercollegiate Sport. Was it (at least, during the college years)? If not, whatever category you pick, be sure to name the sport in the title of the slot. Another category you might pick is Extracurricular, BTW.

2) Nonmedical community service has priority, if you are going to put it all in one space, but with the leadership role referred to in the title you give the slot. Alternatively, you can separate out the leadership component and the nonclinical volunteering into two spaces, each with its own timeframe and total hours. If you do that, though, don't double count any hours, and exclude any general membership involvement, like regular meetings, etc. Be sure your Contact agrees with your timeframe and hours for each entry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jul 16, 2020
57
58
Narnia
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
1. It wasn't an intercollegiate sport unfortunately. I'm not familiar with the Extracurricular tag, but I'm sure it's somewhere on this thread and I'll reference that.

2. I will likely separate the 2 out then since I have so many hours!

Thank you SO MUCH for this!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Hey, @Catalystik and others. Quick question.

I am trying to make a final decision about my 3 MME's.
" Loving" an experience isn't the criteria for selection. Pick the one where you can demonstrate the most personal growth, qualities desirable in a med school candidate, or impact. It doesn't need to be mentioned in the PS (which is about your path to deciding medicine is right for you) in order for you to use it as MM.

Keep in mind that every school doesn't give adcomms access to all parts of the application, so each segment needs to stand on its own and not rely on other portions.
 
Aug 21, 2019
152
187
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
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.
All 15 activities are full, do you think it would be more beneficial to have a section with "jobs throughout undergrad" including maintenance jobs and personal training? Or should I include one with honors societies and clubs and such? (no leadership role was held, just membership)
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
34,415
13,972
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
All 15 activities are full, do you think it would be more beneficial to have a section with "jobs throughout undergrad" including maintenance jobs and personal training? Or should I include one with honors societies and clubs and such? (no leadership role was held, just membership)
General club membership does little to enhance your application, unless it's asignal of a particular unusual interest that might be a conversation starter. Better to have a space devoted to Collegiate Employment.

What do you mean by personal training? Something you were trained in, or that you were a Personal Trainer?
 

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.
About the Ads