*~*~*~* Official AMCAS "Work/Activities" Tips Thread 2021-2025 *~*~*~*

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.
Some Activity description examples for you, with thanks to member Nick Naylor:

Scroll down slightly to Activities. If necessary, click each activity name to see the expanded narrative.
http://mdapplicants.com/profile.php?id=19291

For a shadowing description, see post #2 of this thread, item 10. Yes, it's fine to go into more detail, keeping in mind that adcomms know what shadowing entails.

Feel free to ask more questions.
Thanks for the help tho the profile states that the application was done in 2010; it should still be relevant today, correct?

Also, when I said going in detail in terms of shadowing, I was also describing the experience with not just what he did but also how he did it; how he conducted his business and how I believe he went above and beyond for all his patients (tho I say this may be due to private office he holds); this should be fine too, right?

Members don't see this ad.
 
1) the profile states that the application was done in 2010; it should still be relevant today, correct?

2) Also, when I said going in detail in terms of shadowing, I was also describing the experience with not just what he did but also how he did it; how he conducted his business and how I believe he went above and beyond for all his patients (tho I say this may be due to private office he holds); this should be fine too, right?
1) Yes. It gives you an idea of what's looked for. Perhaps you'll get other responses in your original thread with further examples.

2) Yes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
1) Yes. It gives you an idea of what's looked for. Perhaps you'll get other responses in your original thread with further examples.

2) Yes.
Thanks for the help; as for the 700 character descriptions, from what I gathered from the profile you gave me, I was thinking of stating what I did there and what I learn from the experience/how it helped develop me as a person.

Example:
Clinical Volunteering - US: At Illinois Advocate Masonic Hospital, I was given the opportunity to volunteer at the various departments during the summer after my first year of college and continued to do so on a seasonal basis; Volunteers were given a variety of tasks, ranging from directing patients to their appointments to assisting the staff with their medical tests. Reflecting upon this experience, I had gained a better understanding of the medical system in the United States as well as developing my communication skills and awareness of different backgrounds through the many interactions with patients, fellow volunteers and health professionals.

Is there any other aspect that I should stress in my description or is this alright?
 
Members don't see this ad :)
Thanks for the help; as for the 700 character descriptions, from what I gathered from the profile you gave me, I was thinking of stating what I did there and what I learn from the experience/how it helped develop me as a person.

Example:
Clinical Volunteering - US: At Illinois Advocate Masonic Hospital, I was given the opportunity to volunteer at the various departments during the summer after my first year of college and continued to do so on a seasonal basis; Volunteers were given a variety of tasks, ranging from directing patients to their appointments to assisting the staff with their medical tests. Reflecting upon this experience, I had gained a better understanding of the medical system in the United States as well as developing my communication skills and awareness of different backgrounds through the many interactions with patients, fellow volunteers and health professionals.

Is there any other aspect that I should stress in my description or is this alright?
Your example looks fine, though I might have liked to see more of the roles you filled. With some editing, I expect you could pare down the example paragraph significantly. Succinctness is good.

The 700 character space often includes some of: activity description, motivation for involvement, your role, skills gained.

For MM slots, the 1325 character space might include anecdotes, impact, insights gained, qualities demonstrated that are desirable in a future physician, future direction.

If you have extra room in a 700 character space, since all experiences don't need that much said about them, you might add in some of the other components mentioned in paragraph 2.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Your example looks fine, though I might have liked to see more of the roles you filled. With some editing, I expect you could pare down the example paragraph significantly. Succinctness is good.

The 700 character space often includes some of: activity description, motivation for involvement, your role, skills gained.

For MM slots, the 1325 character space might include anecdotes, impact, insights gained, qualities demonstrated that are desirable in a future physician, future direction.

If you have extra room in a 700 character space, since all experiences don't need that much said about them, you might add in some of the other components mentioned in paragraph 2.
Thanks for the advice but in terms of roles, what do you mean by that? Are you referring to specific departments and what I did for them or something else?
 
Thanks for the advice but in terms of roles, what do you mean by that? Are you referring to specific departments and what I did for them or something else?
You said, "Volunteers were given a variety of tasks, ranging from directing patients to their appointments to assisting the staff with their medical tests."

These are 'roles' What else was included in the "variety" to which you refer? Or was that all of them? Can you add examples of medical tests with which you helped? The names of the "various" departments in which you assisted would also help add detail of interest.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
You said, "Volunteers were given a variety of tasks, ranging from directing patients to their appointments to assisting the staff with their medical tests."

These are 'roles' What else was included in the "variety" to which you refer? Or was that all of them? Can you add examples of medical tests with which you helped? The names of the "various" departments in which you assisted would also help add detail of interest.
Thanks for the help; would this be the same for hobbies as well or should they be addressed in a different way?
 
Thanks for the help; would this be the same for hobbies as well or should they be addressed in a different way?
It depends on the hobby and what you want to say. Ideally, you'd say something to suggest your passion for the hobby and why you engage in it. What has it done for you? Has it helped you grow in some way? Have you learned teamwork or leadership skills? Etc.

Note: I do not suggest using a formulaic approach for every Activity entry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
It depends on the hobby and what you want to say. Ideally, you'd say something to suggest your passion for the hobby and why you engage in it. What has it done for you? Has it helped you grow in some way? Have you learned teamwork or leadership skills? Etc.

Note: I do not suggest using a formulaic approach for every Activity entry.
Thanks for the advice; also for publications, do I just put in the citations in the description or is there anything else that I have to put in?
 
Hello I have research experience (most meaningful), posters/conferences, and publications. I was planning on listing these all separately.

Would you suggest I group them in a particular way? Or just list them as three separate experiences?
 
Hello I have research experience (most meaningful), posters/conferences, and publications. I was planning on listing these all separately.

Would you suggest I group them in a particular way? Or just list them as three separate experiences?
Having three separate Activities slots for these experiences is typical. For exceptions, see post #2 of this thread, item 20.
 
Apologies if this has been answered before but I could not find it: in order to be transmitted to schools on June 25, when is the last day we can reasonably submit our AMCAS primary?
 
Members don't see this ad :)
I'm wondering how to list the time frames for one of my activities. I have been working as a health technician through my university's health service since August 2020. However, I had to reapply for my job in December since I graduated – I was a student employee from August 2020-November 2020 and a temporary employee from January 2021-now. The December gap was because my university requested that students stay home for the remainder of the semester after Thanksgiving due to COVID. Although I'm doing the exact same thing, would this change of employment type or the month break warrant breaking these into two time frames? I think I need to list this as a repeated event anyway since I will be working at least through June and want to list my projected hours. Thanks in advance!
List all of it under Paid Employment-Medical/Clinical (assuming you had patient interaction). Considering you spent 1-2 months off from the job, you can list a single time span, keeping in mind that calculations will suggest you worked fewer hours per week than were really the case. If you care, then split it into three time spans instead of two or explain the gap in your narrative.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Apologies if this has been answered before but I could not find it: in order to be transmitted to schools on June 25, when is the last day we can reasonably submit our AMCAS primary?
This is the Work/Activities Tips Thread. Please ask your question elsewhere, or Search the main PreMed forum using "Verification Timeline."
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Apologies if this has been answered before but I could not find it: in order to be transmitted to schools on June 25, when is the last day we can reasonably submit our AMCAS primary?
No way to know. It depends on whether there are any issues that hold up your verification, PLUS how long the queue is the moment you submit.

The queue is 0 days right now, and will quickly build to 6-8 weeks at its peak this summer. Your guess is as good as anyone else's as to the last day you can submit AND be verified on 6/24, so that you can be transmitted on 6/25.

Of course, you don't need to be in on the very first day to be successful, and you should absolutely not submit before you are ready, but, you should submit as soon as you are ready because earlier is better than later in a rolling process. Good luck!! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
1. What should go in the contact title? For nearly all of my activities, my contacts are just my supervisors, but does it look weird to put "supervisor" for everything? Do they want their job title instead? For example, my contact for my TA job is my supervisor, but his job is a professor at the university. Similar nature for most of my other activities. What am I supposed to list, and does it really matter?

2. How do I name an activity for a club where I held a leadership position for only part of the time? I participated in a club for 3 years. Only during the second year, I was VP. So can my activity title be "VP of X" with start/end dates spanning the 3 years and explain in the description that the leadership position was only held for one of the years? I don't want it to look dishonest like I'm pretending to have held the position all 3 years.
 
1. What should go in the contact title? For nearly all of my activities, my contacts are just my supervisors, but does it look weird to put "supervisor" for everything? Do they want their job title instead? For example, my contact for my TA job is my supervisor, but his job is a professor at the university. Similar nature for most of my other activities. What am I supposed to list, and does it really matter?

2. How do I name an activity for a club where I held a leadership position for only part of the time? I participated in a club for 3 years. Only during the second year, I was VP. So can my activity title be "VP of X" with start/end dates spanning the 3 years and explain in the description that the leadership position was only held for one of the years? I don't want it to look dishonest like I'm pretending to have held the position all 3 years.
1) List the role, degree, or title most relevant to their relationship to you in that activity. Keep in mind that more than one can be entered In the space with a comma between, eg, RN, Surgical Floor Supervisor.

2) Make the title Member & VP of [whatever]. Tag the space as Extracurricular. Explain the leadership role time and duties in the narrative.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Can I just state that I did a poster presentation and attended conferences in the description for my research, or should I devote an entire activities section for this explicitly with the title of the posters and the full names and dates of the conferences?
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Can I just state that I did a poster presentation and attended conferences in the description for my research, or should I devote an entire activities section for this explicitly with the title of the posters and the full names and dates of the conferences?
If it was a campus poster and conference, it's fine to leave it with your Research entry. If you presented the poster at a regional or national conference, it deserves its own space if you have room for it. Attending conferences as an attendee without any organizational, presentation/speaker, or leadership role need not be mentioned at all.
 
In my PS, I wrote in detail about how one of my activities strongly influenced my decision to apply to medical school. It is definitely one of my most meaningful experiences, but I'm hesitant to list it as such in the work and activities section. I feel like I'd have a hard time adding an extra 1325 characters that don't consist of extra fluff or aspects already covered in my personal statement. Would not listing this as a MME be a red flag to adcoms since it would obviously be a very meaningful experience?
 
In my PS, I wrote in detail about how one of my activities strongly influenced my decision to apply to medical school. It is definitely one of my most meaningful experiences, but I'm hesitant to list it as such in the work and activities section. I feel like I'd have a hard time adding an extra 1325 characters that don't consist of extra fluff or aspects already covered in my personal statement. Would not listing this as a MME be a red flag to adcoms since it would obviously be a very meaningful experience?
No -- there are no "obvious" MMEs, since they are truly in the eye of the beholder.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
In my PS, I wrote in detail about how one of my activities strongly influenced my decision to apply to medical school. It is definitely one of my most meaningful experiences, but I'm hesitant to list it as such in the work and activities section. I feel like I'd have a hard time adding an extra 1325 characters that don't consist of extra fluff or aspects already covered in my personal statement. Would not listing this as a MME be a red flag to adcoms since it would obviously be a very meaningful experience?
Some points to make:

-You don't need to use all, or even most, of the 1325 extra characters.
-At some schools readers/screeners don't have access to both the PS and the Activities section.
-If you don't designate it as MM, then you can still fill a regular 700 character space.
-If you do want to make it MM, then try to use different vocabulary, share different anecdotes, and add motivation, future direction, other impacts, or whatever, so that someone reading both entries won't view it as a rehash and to make it seem fresh.
-Adcomms will not judge you negatively if you don't make it MM.
 
  • Love
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
Is it worthwhile to list a merit scholarship? It's the only award/recognition I have besides dean's list, if that even counts. The monetary value isn't particularly high (<$20K) and the GPA required to be renewed each year isn't high either, which I think is a 3.3 every year or even less.
 
Is it worthwhile to list a merit scholarship? It's the only award/recognition I have besides dean's list, if that even counts. The monetary value isn't particularly high (<$20K) and the GPA required to be renewed each year isn't high either, which I think is a 3.3 every year or even less.
I think it is. Everything counts. Maybe not for much, but it's what you have. No sense in hiding it.
 
Is it worthwhile to list a merit scholarship? It's the only award/recognition I have besides dean's list, if that even counts. The monetary value isn't particularly high (<$20K) and the GPA required to be renewed each year isn't high either, which I think is a 3.3 every year or even less.
Nearly $20 K in merit scholarship money is worth mentioning. But do include the criteria and, if possible, how competitive it was.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
i) If listing multiple publications in a single entry, should the most recent publication date be entered in the "date" slot?
ii) Is there utility in listing a high impact publication as a separate entry (NEJM, Lancet, etc.) or should is it sufficient to list as the first in an entry with multiple publications? I speak about it briefly in my personal statement.

Thanks!
 
i) If listing multiple publications in a single entry, should the most recent publication date be entered in the "date" slot?
ii) Is there utility in listing a high impact publication as a separate entry (NEJM, Lancet, etc.) or should is it sufficient to list as the first in an entry with multiple publications? I speak about it briefly in my personal statement.

Thanks!
i) Yes, though it wouldn't be incorrect to use the date of the first pub listed in the space if you're not listing them by reverse chronology.
ii) Just list it first in your Publications slot.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
I'm in a bit of an odd situation (at least for me).

My lab submitted a protocol that was accepted for publication (searchable on PubMed) with me listed as the 5th author about 1.5 years ago; however, now that we completed the project and have also had it presented at institutional conferences, my increased contribution led to me being credited as 3rd author.

And we're now submitting the manuscript, I've helped out more with some writing and going over the secondary search, I'll be credited as 2nd author.

In the publications section, should I list myself as the 5th, 3rd or 2nd author? I'm leaning towards 3rd, while mentioning that at the protocol submission, I was listed as 5th. Any thoughts?
 
I was recently elected for a leadership position this month for the the organization I'm in. I haven't technically started anything for that but I'll be doing work over the summer to prepare for it. Would this still be okay to count as leadership?
 
I'm in a bit of an odd situation (at least for me).

My lab submitted a protocol that was accepted for publication (searchable on PubMed) with me listed as the 5th author about 1.5 years ago; however, now that we completed the project and have also had it presented at institutional conferences, my increased contribution led to me being credited as 3rd author.

And we're now submitting the manuscript, I've helped out more with some writing and going over the secondary search, I'll be credited as 2nd author.

In the publications section, should I list myself as the 5th, 3rd or 2nd author? I'm leaning towards 3rd, while mentioning that at the protocol submission, I was listed as 5th. Any thoughts?
You could do as you suggest, or alternatively, call yourself a co-author and save yourself from a lengthy explanation. If you have the space, describe your specific contributions.
 
I was recently elected for a leadership position this month for the the organization I'm in. I haven't technically started anything for that but I'll be doing work over the summer to prepare for it. Would this still be okay to count as leadership?
No, it hasn’t yet resulted in leadership, so don’t tag it that way. However, in the space name, you can add “& [Title]-Elect.”
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Hello, just have a quick question. I've done the same role (medical translating at COVID sites) for multiple organizations. Should I just put one of the contacts in the contact box and the other contact in the body of the description?
 
Not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask, but would anyone be able to review my activities section? Also willing to swap!
 
Not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask, but would anyone be able to review my activities section? Also willing to swap!
Sorry, but Activity reviews fall outside the scope of this thread. There have been a number of threads in the main forum from others looking for feedback You might Search them out there or post your own request.
 
List all of it under Paid Employment-Medical/Clinical (assuming you had patient interaction). Considering you spent 1-2 months off from the job, you can list a single time span, keeping in mind that calculations will suggest you worked fewer hours per week than were really the case. If you care, then split it into three time spans instead of two or explain the gap in your narrative.
Thank you! Sorry for originally posting in the wrong thread, I had them both open in different tabs and must have clicked the wrong one.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Sorry if something like this has already been asked, but I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing.
I am a reapplicant (2020-2021 cycle) going on my second gap year, and wanted to add the honors thesis I did my senior year to my activities section (hasn't been published but has had some recognition in the academic world outside of my school). I did not list this last cycle as its own activity, but my pre med advisor said it was fine to list the thesis as "research" this time around, even though I did not complete the hours this year. I already have around 900 hours of wet lab work on a different project which were in my application last year, so I was wondering if it would raise a major red flag for med school Ad Coms if they saw an additional 500+ hours of research on my app, even though those hours technically came from the prior application cycle (obviously I would list the hours as coming from the correct year). Should I instead classify my thesis work as "other," or is it ok to keep it as research? I hope to use it as one of my most significant experiences (I had a similar topic last year that related to the thesis, but feel that the thesis itself was really important) so am not sure how to proceed.
 
@Catalystik I am listing two different publications in one entry, and wondering if you had any tips for experience name? The publications are in two different journals on completely unrelated topics. Same question for the organization name.
 
Sorry if something like this has already been asked, but I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing.
I am a reapplicant (2020-2021 cycle) going on my second gap year, and wanted to add the honors thesis I did my senior year to my activities section (hasn't been published but has had some recognition in the academic world outside of my school). I did not list this last cycle as its own activity, but my pre med advisor said it was fine to list the thesis as "research" this time around, even though I did not complete the hours this year. I already have around 900 hours of wet lab work on a different project which were in my application last year, so I was wondering if it would raise a major red flag for med school Ad Coms if they saw an additional 500+ hours of research on my app, even though those hours technically came from the prior application cycle (obviously I would list the hours as coming from the correct year). Should I instead classify my thesis work as "other," or is it ok to keep it as research? I hope to use it as one of my most significant experiences (I had a similar topic last year that related to the thesis, but feel that the thesis itself was really important) so am not sure how to proceed.
-Were the 500 hours of thesis-related "research" from a hypothesis-based project, with methods, data collection, analysis, and conclusion drawn, or by "research" do you mean exploring background papers on a topic and summarizing it? Maybe you could explain further?
-Why did you not list it for the last cycle?
-The experience of writing a thesis is generally listed under "Other." Hypothesis-based related research is generally in a second space tagged "Research." If you were to use an Other space for discussing the thesis, the delay in listing it could be explained by the fact that you have now defended the thesis and had it accepted & archived, and are able to report that important status now (assuming it wasn't true a year ago).
 
@Catalystik 1) I am listing two different publications in one entry, and wondering if you had any tips for experience name? The publications are in two different journals on completely unrelated topics. 2) Same question for the organization name.
1) Examples might be: Co-Authored Papers in Peer-Reviewed Journals. Or Scholarly Journal Articles in [Discipline].

2) Organization is an elective blank. You need not fill it in. The journal is the organization and is available in the citation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
-Were the 500 hours of thesis-related "research" from a hypothesis-based project, with methods, data collection, analysis, and conclusion drawn, or by "research" do you mean exploring background papers on a topic and summarizing it? Maybe you could explain further?
-Why did you not list it for the last cycle?
-The experience of writing a thesis is generally listed under "Other." Hypothesis-based related research is generally in a second space tagged "Research." If you were to use an Other space for discussing the thesis, the delay in listing it could be explained by the fact that you have now defended the thesis and had it accepted & archived, and are able to report that important status now (assuming it wasn't true a year ago).
Thank you for your guidance!
- The research was hypothesis based with data collection and analysis, but it was more on the public health side of things, less hard-science.
- I didn't list it last cycle because I had heard it was looked down upon to list something that was already in the academic section of your application (since it was technically for credit, 2 semester independent honors thesis), but my pre-med advisor this year assured me that plenty of people list it like this and it's fine.
- This year it still hasn't technically been accepted/I haven't defended it, but it's been used in other published studies/stories and I've been asked to present it on a few occasions
 
Thank you for your guidance!
- The research was hypothesis based with data collection and analysis, but it was more on the public health side of things, less hard-science.
- I didn't list it last cycle because I had heard it was looked down upon to list something that was already in the academic section of your application (since it was technically for credit, 2 semester independent honors thesis), but my pre-med advisor this year assured me that plenty of people list it like this and it's fine.
- This year it still hasn't technically been accepted/I haven't defended it, but it's been used in other published studies/stories and I've been asked to present it on a few occasions
I agree that it's acceptable and commonly done to list research experience gained for credit. You have enough other research, that you would be fine listing this experience under Other, but I don't feel it would raise eyebrows if you use the Research tag, given your explanation of why you didn't include the activity last year.

As your data been cited and presented off campus, that is worth mentioning.
 
When listing my university registrar as a contact for academic awards, would this format be okay? For registrar contact, my school's website does not list a specific name. The formatting seems good when I print my AMCAS draft, but I just wanted to check whether it was okay that I did not have a specific person listed.

Contact title: Office of the Registrar
Contact first name: [University name]
Contact last name: "University"

Appears on printed application as: [University name] University, Office of the Registrar
 
When listing my university registrar as a contact for academic awards, would this format be okay? For registrar contact, my school's website does not list a specific name. The formatting seems good when I print my AMCAS draft, but I just wanted to check whether it was okay that I did not have a specific person listed.

Contact title: Office of the Registrar
Contact first name: [University name]
Contact last name: "University"

Appears on printed application as: [University name] University, Office of the Registrar
That’s perfect.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Hi all,

I have 3 activities based on my lab research in UG. I have totaled ~2,000 hours over 3 years and 2 months.

1 is the research assistant - MME - 1800 hours
1 is presentations/posters - 0 hours
The last is a research program section where I grouped together 2 different research programs (1 sophomore, and 1 junior/senior year) + 2 more posters that I could not fit elsewhere. All the research done here was affiliated with my lab above, as well.

Is it okay to estimate 200 of my hours from the total and list this number for the "research programs activity"? Or should I just list it as 0 and add the last 200 back into my MME research assistant activity.

For posters/presentations it makes sense to have 0 hours listed, but for 2 intensive research programs over 3 years it might be weird to list 0, that's why I'm asking. Please advise!
 
Hi all,

I have 3 activities based on my lab research in UG. I have totaled ~2,000 hours over 3 years and 2 months.

1 is the research assistant - MME - 1800 hours
1 is presentations/posters - 0 hours
The last is a research program section where I grouped together 2 different research programs (1 sophomore, and 1 junior/senior year) + 2 more posters that I could not fit elsewhere. All the research done here was affiliated with my lab above, as well.

Is it okay to estimate 200 of my hours from the total and list this number for the "research programs activity"? Or should I just list it as 0 and add the last 200 back into my MME research assistant activity.

For posters/presentations it makes sense to have 0 hours listed, but for 2 intensive research programs over 3 years it might be weird to list 0, that's why I'm asking. Please advise!
Put 200 hours for the Research Programs activities.

If you spent time standing next to a poster, it’s ok to put those few hours in the Presentations Posters Total Hours space instead of zero.
 
Thanks for all your help so far! I have another question: would you recommend listing study abroad experiences in my activities? Prior to today, I viewed study abroad experiences as coursework (as it was led by my university professor) and as such, did not think it would be fitting to create an activities slot for it. However, I am now seeing others say that they have added it as an activity.

While it was a really unique experience, I'm not sure if I should list it, since I've also planned on speaking about it in many of my secondaries. So my questions would be 1) should I list it as an activity, and 2) how would I go about estimating hours?
 
Put 200 hours for the Research Programs activities.

If you spent time standing next to a poster, it’s ok to put those few hours in the Presentations Posters Total Hours space instead of zero.
Thanks!!!

One last question. Since this research program activity is really a mix of 2 separate research programs (from my university), 1 poster affiliated with 1 of these programs, and 1 other poster affiliated with a separate microbiology conference within my school, could I just put my Principal Investigator down as a primary contact instead of using characters to list 3 separate contacts?

I have him down already for my MME research and for the posters/presentation sections, which make sense, but am wondering if I should also include him for this third "mixed" activity. He is a distinguished professor and he will vouch for all three but I am not sure if it is weird to list him for all of them.
 
Last edited:
Hopefully my last question here. Should I change up the description for my most meaningful activity from the last time I applied?
 
Top