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

labtech312

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Jul 13, 2018
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Entering it as non clinical volunteering is the best choice, assuming you were not paid extra after taking on Head Coach duties, if you do not already have a lot of hours in that category. It could also be entered as Teaching (of which coaching is a form, in general, or Extracurricular). Leadership would apply only for the time you were in charge of other coaches. If that was the case, and you were not paid, you can add that designation to the title of the Volunteer space, to make clear the experience covers more than one category.
Great! Thank you for the prompt and clear reply.
 
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labtech312

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Hello Mr./Mrs. Catalystik, I have another question for you. I am a nontraditional reapplicant, reapplying post SMP and MCAT improvement. My PS is being used more to talk about my motivation/drive for becoming a physician. However, I feel that the reasoning for my long unconventional journey (after a very mediocre undergraduate performance) needs to be addressed somewhere in my application. I went to grad school and worked for several years before applying. Which experiences section do you believe would be the best for addressing such a journey? I received an award in graduate school and was thinking on elaborating on how the journey culminated in that award. Also would it be unreasonable to elaborate on this journey in a most meaningful section.

Thank you,
Labtech312
 

Catalystik

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Hello Mr./Mrs. Catalystik, I have another question for you. I am a nontraditional reapplicant, reapplying post SMP and MCAT improvement. My PS is being used more to talk about my motivation/drive for becoming a physician. However, I feel that the reasoning for my long unconventional journey (after a very mediocre undergraduate performance) needs to be addressed somewhere in my application. I went to grad school and worked for several years before applying. Which experiences section do you believe would be the best for addressing such a journey? I received an award in graduate school and was thinking on elaborating on how the journey culminated in that award. Also would it be unreasonable to elaborate on this journey in a most meaningful section.

Thank you,
Labtech312
Do you have a thread elsewhere, perhaps in WAMC, that gives more detail, and to which you could direct me? If not, please elaborate here: what was the award for and how does it reflect your journey? How would you expand on these comments in a Most Meaningful Experience section?
 
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labtech312

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Do you have a thread elsewhere, perhaps in WAMC, that gives more detail, and to which you could direct me? If not, please elaborate here: what was the award for and how does it reflect your journey? How would you expand on these comments in a Most Meaningful Experience section?
I have a WAMC thread in confidential consult, if you are able to access that. If not I can elaborate more here.
 

Catalystik

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I have a WAMC thread in confidential consult, if you are able to access that. If not I can elaborate more here.
In your most recent CC thread where you mentioned a relevant Award, it would be suitable to list it under Awards/Honors in the Activity section and to give the back story that led to it, as well as it's impact on your following academic success. This could be done with either 700 characters or with the additional 1325 that are provided for a Most Meaningful entry, depending on the space you require for discussion.
 
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Apr 23, 2020
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Hi! It's my first time posting on here so I apologize if this is in the wrong place. I was wondering if nonpartisan voter registration would count as non-medical community service? I've done a significant amount of hours registering new voters in underserved areas in my community. It counted as service hours for high school/college so I hope it would in this situation but I wanted to double check.
 

Catalystik

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Hi! It's my first time posting on here so I apologize if this is in the wrong place. I was wondering if nonpartisan voter registration would count as non-medical community service? I've done a significant amount of hours registering new voters in underserved areas in my community. It counted as service hours for high school/college so I hope it would in this situation but I wanted to double check.
I would view the nonpartisan activity, as you describe it, as a community service.
 
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Catalystik

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I'm trying to pre-plan how I would list some dates for my activity, but I'm having some trouble.
For example, my volunteering position had these ranges:
Jan 2017 - April 2017 : 30 hours
Sep 2017 - Dec 2017: 30 hours
March 2018: 9 hours
Sep 2018 - Dec 2018: 30 hours
Jan - Feb 2019: 20 hours
April 2019: 8 hours

Could I group this as:
Jan 2017 - April 2017: 30
Sep 2017 - Dec 2017: 30
March 2018: 9
Sep 2018 - April 2019: 58

The only thing I'm concerned about is that since I missed volunteering in March 2019, but volunteered Jan, Feb, and April, would I still need to split it apart?
@Catalystik
You can break the volunteering into any 2-4 different timeframes using the Repeated feature, or alternatively just enter Jan 2017-April 2019 for 127 hours and include the word "Intermittent" in the title you give the space. As long as the total hours match whatever your Contact will validate, you'll be fine.
 

Catalystik

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My freshman year of college I joined a broad volunteering organization and I ended up with a leadership position. Didn't really do much in that position as I was kind of thrown in there because one of the board members left and they needed a quick replacement. I left that organization long ago. I didn't feel passionate about it and felt like I was forcing myself to participate. I have around a 100 hours from that organization but don't really feel like I gained anything from it.

Should I remove that organization when I apply?
AMCAS gives you 15 spaces to list those activities that best support your candidacy for med schools. If the description of an experience doesn’t add benefit to your application, it’s your choice to retain or remove it from the application.

If your leadership role resulted primarily in attending meetings and you never took on responsibilities, managed other people, delegated tasks, or came up with new initiatives then saw them carried them through to completion, I’d agree that it may not be worth including under a Leadership tag.

But if you personally participated in the volunteer endeavors sponsored by the organization, those hours might be worth including in a Community Service/Volunteer space. If the hours were low, you could group them with other miscellaneous, short term volunteering to give them more impact.
 

Catalystik

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I’m looking for jobs and opportunities that’ll help me get more patient contact. There’s a case management position that’s hiring in an outpatient mental health clinic and I would be able to get more patient contact. However, I’d be helping them apply for social security, insurance, helping them understand their treatment plans, assist in getting their biopsychsocial history, and help them get resources from outside areas. I would be working with drug addicts and people with severe psychiatric disorders. I am not sure if this would be considered clinical experience since I will not be working directly with doctors/nurses, but I would be interacting more with the patients.
I would absolutely consider this to be an active clinical experience (Employment-Medical/Clinical). And an excellent one.
 

labtech312

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What are ADCOMS opinions on Medical Mission trips

I went on a MEDLIFE (medicine education and development for low income families everywhere) to Peru for 10 days almost 9 years ago. We set up popup clinics around Lima Peru and did a development project in one of the neighborhoods. I got to see how poor, and medically disadvantaged some areas of the world are. I got to put smiles on some kids' faces and take vitals of people entering the clinic. However, I don’t really know how big of an impact I really had, or if the money I spent on the trip could have been spent better elsewhere.

It was not till later that I realized that experiences like these can be seen as medical voluntourism and maybe have a negative connotation. I was 19 at the time I did this, and I thought it would be important. I put this experience in my first medical school application, and now I am debating on not putting it in my upcoming application all together (due to the possible negative connotation). The experiences I have had volunteering at children’s hospitals, working in hospitals, and shadowing physicians has given me way more insight into medicine than this 10 day trip when I was 19. I was hoping you could shed some light whether putting this experience in my upcoming application is even worthwhile or possibly seen as a privileged red flag.

Thanks
 

Catalystik

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What are ADCOMS opinions on Medical Mission trips

I went on a MEDLIFE (medicine education and development for low income families everywhere) to Peru for 10 days almost 9 years ago. We set up popup clinics around Lima Peru and did a development project in one of the neighborhoods. I got to see how poor, and medically disadvantaged some areas of the world are. I got to put smiles on some kids' faces and take vitals of people entering the clinic. However, I don’t really know how big of an impact I really had, or if the money I spent on the trip could have been spent better elsewhere.

It was not till later that I realized that experiences like these can be seen as medical voluntourism and maybe have a negative connotation. I was 19 at the time I did this, and I thought it would be important. I put this experience in my first medical school application, and now I am debating on not putting it in my upcoming application all together (due to the possible negative connotation). The experiences I have had volunteering at children’s hospitals, working in hospitals, and shadowing physicians has given me way more insight into medicine than this 10 day trip when I was 19. I was hoping you could shed some light whether putting this experience in my upcoming application is even worthwhile or possibly seen as a privileged red flag.

Thanks
This has been discussed many times in various SDN threads. Here is one: Voluntourism and adcomm cognitive dissonance

Here is the AAMC position: https://www.aamc.org/media/23351/download

That said, some med schools and adcomms give you credit for such an experience, and others won't, but you are unlikely to know which is which. In your case, the activity took place so long ago that I'd suggest you minimize/omit it, as you obviously have other more recent and more robust clinical experiences that won't be open to unfavorable interpretations.

Disclaimer: I have myself participated in multiple similar experiences as a physician and went out of my way to involve college student participants in meaningful and education discourse about what they were seeing, so I don't share the general disapproval which the linked thread suggests is often the case.
 
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Catalystik

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Summer of 2019 I used to work in the kitchen at my current place of employment (around 275 hours), and this past spring I transferred to work as a Hospitality aide. This position included just answering call lights and doing basic bedside help for residents and patients at the skilled nursing facility, until management offered to pay for CNA classes. The summer of 2020 (after about 150 hours or so of being a hospitality aide) I started full time as a CNA (500+ ongoing hours).

My main question would be: should I list all three activities as separate on my eventual activities list? My rationale would be that it showed a story of me moving up into the clinical realm of our facility. Any input is more than welcome :)
Assuming the hospitality position included frequent patient assistance, list the nonclinical kitchen job in its own slot and the other two (clinical) roles together. Alternatively, list the kitchen hours/dates as part of the back story for the roles with patient interaction without including them in the total hours of the clinical employment header.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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Were the clients referred by physicians? What sorts of diagnoses did these people have. When you say you "administered psychological tests," could you describe further? Did you have special training/a certificate for this task?
Hi I know this is from a while ago, but now i'm working on my activities section for this upcoming cycle. Some of the clients were referred from our school's health center (psychiatrists) and others from the community. They're diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD, autism, eating disorders, other behavioral disorders. I administered Quality of Life tests, PHQ9 and GAD7 then i'd give the results to their clinician. I had training, but nothing too specific. I had to do CITI training if that counts?
 

Catalystik

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Hi I know this is from a while ago, but now i'm working on my activities section for this upcoming cycle. Some of the clients were referred from our school's health center (psychiatrists) and others from the community. They're diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD, autism, eating disorders, other behavioral disorders. I administered Quality of Life tests, PHQ9 and GAD7 then i'd give the results to their clinician. I had training, but nothing too specific. I had to do CITI training if that counts?
I'd consider the testing component of your job to be Clinical. I suggest you refer to the "clients" as patients to make that fact more clear to readers.
 
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I'd consider the testing component of your job to be Clinical. I suggest you refer to the "clients" as patients to make that fact more clear to readers.
Great, thanks so much for the response, I appreciate it! I'll be sure to refer to them as patients
 
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Catalystik

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I volunteer for a blood bank and help out at all of the on-campus blood drives. I am sort of a senior volunteer, and I often train 2 or 3 other volunteers on the spot and I'm the go-to guy if they have questions. I'm not sure if this is really leadership or not. I just have nothing else remotely close to leadership so I'm kinda desperate!
If you were to list this as Leadership, you'd have to carve out the hours of leadership-y type activities (training and oversite of newbies) and list those dates and hours on their own. How many would that be? Would your official Contact agree? The general community service role would go in a separate space (taking care not to double count the hours).

If you list it only under Volunteering, you could include the dates and hours of everything you've done for the blood bank. You could include both your general role and your leadership role in the name you give the activity space and give details for the latter (date of onset, % time you are in charge) as well as your original role in the narrative. That would make for a meatier activity and demonstrate your increase in responsibility over time, besides keeping the context better.
 

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