Struggling with the AMCAS Work and Activities section? We’re here to help. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) runs the American Medical College Application Service, or AMCAS, a centralized application service that allows aspiring first-year medical students to create one application that can be sent to most US medical schools. In this blog, you'll learn how to compose effective AMCAS Work and Activities entries, including the AMCAS "Most Meaningful Experiences", which activities should be included, and how to maximize the allotted space to create powerful entries. Finally, we'll show you 40 AMCAS Work and Activities examples from our own past successful students so you can create your own stand-out entries.

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Article Contents
28 min read

What is the AMCAS Work and Activities Section? How to Structure Your AMCAS Work and Activities Entries How to Structure AMCAS Most Meaningful Experiences 40+ AMCAS Work and Activities Examples FAQs

What is the AMCAS Work and Activities Section?

The fifth section of your AMCAS application is the Work and Activities Section. This section includes much more than your extracurriculars for medical school or medical school resume. It’s one of the first sections a medical school admissions committee will review from your medical school application, and it gives them a snapshot of who you are, your accomplishments and interests.

It's best to start working on your medical school application activities section as early as possible. Although it may seem like a smaller or less important part of your application as a whole—this is not true! Your AMCAS work and activities section entries are an asset to your application, and they will take longer to complete than you think. Your entries include quite a bit of detail, and some serious thought should be given to choosing your experiences, as you’ll have limited space. So don’t delay or put off this portion of your application—crafting stellar entries will take a lot of time and energy, but the payoff is immeasurable.

AMCAS allows you to include up to 15 experiences, with no more than 4 experiences in any one category. Note that you do not need to enter exactly 15 experiences, or even include an experience for every single category. It’s most important to choose activities that are significant to you and demonstrate your passions, interests, abilities and skills. The selection of what activities to include and highlight may also come down to a medical school’s preferences.

Med school admissions expert and graduate from the University of Maryland School of Medicine Dr. Monica Taneja, MD, shares what she focused on when choosing AMCAS activities and experiences:

“It is necessary to have activities in the main categories of volunteering and clinical experience. Research is also becoming more important to schools, so I would prioritize inclusion/participation in a research activity. Beyond that the categories are less important; however, there are some schools that highly value other areas like work experience, so you should try to match your activities with the schools you are applying.” - Dr. Monica Taneja, MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine

AMCAS Work and Activities Categories

To get started, here are the AMCAS Work and Activities section categories:

How do I choose which activities to include?

Not sure where to start with choosing your activities? One of our students, Allison, has some advice to share from her time as a med school applicant. She took an outside-the-box approach to brainstorming, and the results paid off! Allison received acceptances from 6 medical schools, including her top choice of Dell Medical School in Texas.

“Sit down with yourself in a room and just write down everything that you've done. Write down any volunteering experiences write down any athletics you're involved in any volunteer stuff, literally anything just write it all down even if you don't think that it's important. Sometimes by writing it down it can spark other memories of other things you've done. One thing I wish I had done if you [are] just now starting on this premed journey just get like a journal and any time you volunteer for something, any time that you have something published or do a project like just write down what you did and just like a little blurb about it so that you have something to come back to for later.

“Then I sat down [and] talked with my friends, talked with my husband … I called my mom, I was like hey just out of curiosity do you know anything I've done that's like not on this list and surprisingly there was a lot of stuff that I … completely forgot about that.

“Talking to your own panel of people and getting their input as well [is useful] because sometimes things that seem so mundane or not exciting to me that I didn't even remember were things that really stuck out in their minds and were things that ended up making their way into my final application.” - Allison, BeMo student, current student at Dell Medical School

When it comes to your medical school app, quality matters more than quantity, and even the AAMC website specifies that medical schools are much more interested in significant AMCAS experiences than they are in seeing every single activity or experience a student has had. The AMCAS experiences section list of categories is fairly diverse, so for the most part it shouldn’t be especially hard to match a given experience to a specific category. However, you can only assign 1 category for each entry, so you must be selective.

It’s best to avoid reciting items from your CV and focus on quality experiences that mean something to you, says Dr. Jaime Cazes, an MD graduate from the University of Toronto medical school and one of our med school admissions experts. Dr. Cazes applied to all medical schools in Canada, and 2 medical schools in the US using the AMCAS application.

“Finding things that you are truly passionate about is great. It can be easy for people to look through your application and spot the “CV stuffers”. And these things are activities that you don’t have a long commitment with, aren’t passionate about, or that seem like things you just do to pad your CV with. I would highly recommend participating in activities OUTSIDE of academics or medicine as these truly do make you seem well rounded and are amazing opportunities for you to look to for stories, or lessons learned that you can talk about on your application or interviews. We love to see people who are passionate about medicine as well as things outside of medicine!” - Dr. Jaime Cazes, MD

You want to think strategically about which of your experiences you want to include, demonstrating a diverse range of experiences and highlighting a variety of key qualities sought in aspiring med students. The qualities that medical schools are searching for in applicants can be identified by looking at the AAMC Core Competencies, which are spread across three areas: 

How to Structure Your AMCAS Work and Activities Entries

For each standard AMCAS Work and Activities entry, you will be asked to include the following information:

  • Experience Type
  • Experience Name or Title
  • Experience Dates
  • Total Completed Hours
  • Experience Description

You will need to identify at least one of your experiences as being the “most meaningful”. You can include up to 3 AMCAS Most Meaningful activities, which we’ll cover later on.

AMCAS allows you to record both "Completed" and "Anticipated" activities, meaning you can distinguish between past, present and planned activities you'll be engaged in. Check the AMCAS guide on how to enter your work and activities for instructions on how to record your completed and anticipated activities.

For anticipated experiences, you’ll be asked to include a contact name, the name of the organization and the location of the activity, too. When marking your hours for these activities, be sure the dates for "Completed" activities and hours are past and the end dates and recorded hours for "Anticipated" experiences are in the future, otherwise you will not be able to submit the section. Note that anticipated experiences can be present or ongoing activities, or activities you expect to start at a future date that are relevant to your application.

Furthermore, will have 700 characters (including spaces) to describe the experience. For this description, most admissions committees want to see the following for each entry:

  1. How much time you dedicated to a given activity 
  2. What your responsibilities or specific accomplishments were
  3. The impact you made on a given activity/experience
  4. The qualities you demonstrated—for this, consult the AAMC Core Competencies 

While 700 characters may sound like a lot, but it is actually quite difficult to summarize many important experiences in this amount of space. To structure each standard Work and Activities entry, we recommend using approximately one-third of the allotted characters to describe the setting and activity, ensuring that the most important accomplishment or result is highlighted. The remaining space in the entry should be used to demonstrate how the experience impacted you and helped you develop the qualities sought in future medical professionals.

Our student, Allison, shares some of her tips on structuring your activities entries in a concise and meaningful way:

“Break it down in two little sentences. The first one if you need to explain a little bit about [the activity] or talk a little bit more in depth about some responsibilities that people may not know … then the second sentence you want to talk or kind of give your reader insight to how this is going to be beneficial as a medical student and even in your future as a physician … I was able to say doing this taught me things like leadership, taught me how to manage multiple responsibilities at once." - Allison, BeMo student, current student at Dell Medical School

Allison also stressed the importance of showing, not telling in your activities and experiences entries. This means not just describing the skills an experience taught you, but providing clear examples of events that instilled those skills in you.

"It's not necessarily that you made that connection for them, but you [leave] the … breadcrumb trail there for them to conclude that themselves … so instead of saying you know I learned how to be responsible, you give examples of instances in which you were responsible.” - Allison, BeMo student, current student at Dell Medical School

Here’s an example of how to structure an AMCAS work and activities entry:

When the headings are removed, the above entry is exactly 700 characters long, including spaces.

Here are our tips for how to ace your AMCAS Work and Activities entries!

Getting the entry to that exact length, however, took quite a bit of writing, re-writing, editing and re-phrasing for concision. Each word was carefully chosen to maximize impact in minimal space, ensuring the activity itself was described effectively and that the impact of the experience and its connection to education and future work was highlighted.

As well, without saying so explicitly, this entry draws on or implies several of the core competencies and key qualities that make a strong physician. So, even though this entry is not directly related to the practice of medicine or being a physician, it enhances the medical school application by demonstrating these qualities:

  • Teamwork and Collaboration (playing together effectively)
  • Interpersonal Skills (which is necessary for that effective teamwork)
  • Reliability and Dependability (everyone coming together to practice consistently and regularly, working as a unit)
  • Commitment to Learning and Growth (winning the championship and being earning the designation of “top Defender” requires progress and improvement)
  • Resilience (again, to be named a top player necessitates overcoming obstacles and bouncing back from failures)
  • Adaptability (intentionally participating in an activity that alleviates stress so that proper focus can be given to schoolwork – or, in other words, adapting to the stress of school by relieving that stress through rewarding physical exertion).

This should be your general structure for each standard entry in the AMCAS Work and Activities section. Take your time to write with intention and reflect on how these experiences matter for your future as a physician. Give yourself enough time to write a draft, review it and edit it. Next, send it off for professional review to ensure that your ideas are articulated as you intended, that you’ve maximized the potential impact of each entry, and that your prose is perfectly polished and free of errors, typos, or grammatical inconsistencies.

Keep in mind that brainstorming for your AMCAS Work and Activities section will help you craft your AMCAS personal statement and get you ready to answer some of the most common medical school interview questions, too.

How to Structure AMCAS Most Meaningful Experiences

You will also be able to identify three of your entries as AMCAS “Most Meaningful Experiences”. In this crucial element of your application, you are given an additional 1,325 characters (including spaces), or about half a page, to discuss the impact and transformative nature of up to three of your experiences or activities. You must identify at least one of your entries as the most meaningful.

You won’t need to duplicate an entry, just check a box on your application indicating that the chosen experience is a “most meaningful” one, and you’ll be given a bigger text box to fill out. Also, bear in mind that the text container AMCAS uses allows no formatting at all. Use only full sentences with full ideas, and ensure you have someone to review what you’ve written, so that you know you’re presenting well-written, fluid prose, that makes your growth and development evident.

The entries you identify as “Most Meaningful Experiences”, and the way you address those experiences, are immensely important and are under considerable scrutiny by the application reviewers.

The AMCAS Instructional Manual’s guidance on “Most Meaningful Experiences” is as follows:

"When writing your response, you might want to consider the transformative nature of the experience, the impact you made while engaging in the activity, and the personal growth you experienced as a result of your participation."

One of our medical school admissions experts and MDs, Dr. Jaime Cazes, shares some of his insights on choosing your Most Meaningful Experiences for AMCAS.

“What I think of as most meaningful are the things in my life that were the most formative of who I am today. What were the events/experiences that I still look back on today and that change how I react to things around me. In general, it is usually good to have meaningful experiences to draw on from each area of your life and some areas include family, friendship, academics, hobbies, extracurriculars, volunteering, mentoring, etc. It is always a good idea to look back on your CV/experiences and think about a specific moment or thing that happened that formulated who you are as a person now.” - Dr. Jaime Cazes, MD

Our student, Allison, originally thought she would include her experiences as a nurse and nurse technician, as these roles were directly related to medical school. However, medical school admissions committees read literal thousands of applications, and she knew how important it was to stand out by demonstrating her passions outside of medicine, too.

“Talk about the three big things on your application that if someone asked you about you could literally go on for minutes, hours about … by talking about the things you're passionate about it really comes out in your words and it really starts to paint you as more of a human being rather than just another application that they're having to read and I think by having [activities] on [my application] that weren't medically focused again gave that reader something to breakup the mundane.” - Allison, BeMo student, current student at Dell Medical School

For your Most Meaningful entries, do not simply name the positions you held or offer a mere list of qualities, tasks, or roles from that experience. You have more room, and that room should be devoted to forming a brief but compelling narrative that demonstrates key qualities that speak to the larger question, "Why do you want to be a doctor?".

It’s worth noting that, in composing these experiences, you will still have the initial 700 characters to offer a description of the position itself, so the extra 1,325 characters are used to reflect on the impact of those experiences.

Let’s look at a research position to explore an example of how to structure these particular entries. If your “Most Meaningful Experience” is a summer undergraduate research fellowship position, then here is your structure:

When the headings are removed, this entry is 2,004 characters, with spaces. This is exactly the same scaffolding you can use for jobs, sports, volunteering, AMCAS hobbies examples and extracurriculars, and any other type of work experience.

For any clinical experience, if possible, you can include a small vignette that portrays your interaction with a patient. Well thought out and strategically employed vignettes help to paint a vivid picture of you as a provider of care. These pictures leave impressions and this is what you need, so just ensure that the impression you leave is one of a mature professional who embodies the key qualities and the AAMC core competencies, which medical school admissions officers desire in aspiring future physicians.

40 ACMAS Work and Activities Examples

AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Paid Employment – Medical/Clinical

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #1

Experience Type: Paid Employment – Medical/Clinical

Experience Name: Emergency Department (ED) Assistant

Total Hours: 1,400 hours

Most Meaningful: No


In the ED, I provided constant observation to assigned medical and psychiatric patients, assisted with direct patient care and safely transported patients to and from the department. Being part of a patient care team, I learned that every member of the team contributes an invaluable skillset, essential to the efficiency and success of the department. I played a calming and helpful role during a difficult and often stressful time for the patients. I empathized and worked to develop trusting relationships so patients could work with our team more effectively. By working in this challenging position and with patients with a different set of needs, that I have learned patience and compassion.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #2

Experience Type: Paid Employment – Medical/Clinical

Experience Name: Emergency Department Technician

Total Hours: 1,500

Most Meaningful: Yes


As a full-time technician, I work closely with physicians and nurses to perform EKGs, CPR, point of care testing, phlebotomy, wound care, and splinting. I administer medications under nurses’ orders, assist in crutch walking, and assist physicians with procedures. I was promoted to Resource Technician because of my knowledge of the department, teamwork, and time management skills. I am now in a leadership position that requires critical thinking, knowledge of the needs of the department and leadership capacity. I supervise the ED Technicians and Assistants, help in each zone of the department, and solve problems. I also train new technicians.

In the 7 months that I have worked in this level one trauma center, I witnessed and participated in a variety of medical cases among a diverse patient population. I developed many clinical skills and refined my medical knowledge. While documenting a patient’s vital signs, I noticed an irregular and concerning heart rhythm, supraventricular tachycardia, and immediately notified the patient’s physician. I learned the importance of diligence and paying attention to detail during the most routine task. Additionally, my role as a technician necessitates working closely with many physicians and nurses. I prioritize tasks, anticipate the needs of physicians and nurses, and manage my time to be an effective member of the team. I have worked on my interpersonal skills to be more patient and understanding.

Working in this leadership role as Resource Technician, I continuously improve my collaboration and leadership skills, but also gain a better understanding of the inner workings of running a successful team in the Emergency Department. I believe my time working as a technician in a high stress, fast-paced environment, acting as a supervisor to my colleagues, and orienting new hires has allowed me to gain more clinical experience and skills, and has better prepared me for medical school.

In choosing your Most Meaningful entries, remember to always focus on quality and impact. One of our students, Rishi, says that as a successful medical school reapplicant, he focused more on diversity and quality in his activities entries, instead of reaching 15 entries. Rishi received 3 acceptance letters, and accepted an offer to the Carver College of Medicine.

“You should really be deliberate and intentional with picking those [most meaningful experiences] and the advice I give you is it doesn't have to be necessarily, you know, your favorite activity … but you want to be strategic in using those three so find three things that you know are going to be valuable to your application so they should typically I think illustrate three different qualities or attributes or kind of important things about your application that you'd like to convey to the admissions committee.” - Rishi, BeMo student, current student at the Carver College of Medicine

AMCAS Work and Activities example #3

AMCAS Work and Activities example #4

AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Research/Lab and Presentations/Posters

Don’t have any research experiences? This is an important medical school requirement, but you don’t necessarily need extensive research activities to get accepted. Our admissions expert, Dr. Monica Taneja, stresses the importance of participating in activities you are passionate about, while balancing the medical school requirements:

“During undergrad, I focused on activities that I enjoyed! I liked public health research, so that’s what I involved myself with. I was passionate about working with low-income patients, so I sought an opportunity to do that. As you apply, activities that you are passionate about and can show longevity [in] are more important than one-off things that just check a box. You should still have research, volunteering, and clinical experience, but generally pick items that you can speak about with high regard.” - Dr. Monica Taneja, MD, University of Maryland School of Medicine

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #5

Experience Type: Research/Lab

Experience Name: HIV Research Internship at X University

Total Hours: 900 hours

Most Meaningful: No


I participated in an Internship at X University through the BioMed Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program. I conducted research under the supervision of Dr. X entitled “Exploring Post-Transcriptional Regulation of CCR5 in HIV Elite controllers". Using a combination of genomic methods, I worked on identifying the genes causally responsible for elite control in patient samples who manifest a distinct mutation for HIV by performing PCR, gel electrophoresis, and CRIPR. At the end of the summer, I presented my research at the SURF Program Symposium. This experience enriched my learning in many subjects especially in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #6

Experience Type: Research/Lab

Experience Name: Clinical Research Internship

Total Hours: 900

Most Meaningful: Yes


After performing research from a chemistry perspective, I was interested in growing my knowledge in neuroscience. I embarked on a clinical internship at Spectrum Health with a neurosurgeon named Dr. Y. Dr. Y was focused on placing metal electrodes called neurostimulators into the spine of his patients. The neurostimulators bypassed the pain receptors in the spinal cord. Because this was a new technique that had variable results depending on the patients, I assessed the effectiveness by comparing pain levels pre- and post-op using Owestry Disability Index (ODI) Score. Using these ODI scores, I analyzed the data and found statistically significant data that was published by Medtronic.

This experience was meaningful because I was able to closely interact with patients, increase my knowledge of neuroscience, as well as positively impacting patients through my research. Before interacting with patients, I shadowed Dr. Y for almost 100 hours and learned about HIPPA violations, respect for privacy, and compassion for patients. I watched as Dr. Y performed many spinal procedures such as kyphoplasties, injections, and laminectomies. Eventually, I watched him insert the spinal electrodes and learned about their composition, how they worked, and possible risks. After receiving the ODI scores of patients before the surgery, I compiled patients’ ODI scores before and 6 months after their surgeries and noted if they increased or decreased. I shadowed Dr. Y for many hours to get a better understanding of what the spinal stimulators were doing, and I also surveyed the patients to get personal measurements of their pain. I analyzed the ODI scores and was able to find statistically significant data that the manufacturer of the spinal stimulators published in their studies and now uses as a selling point to other surgeons around the country. This experience was extremely special to me because I was able to make a meaningful, measurable difference in patients’ quality of life.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #7

Experience Type: Posters/Presentations

Experience Name: Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) Symposium

Total Hours: 78

Most Meaningful: No


ACHRI provides a platform for innovation in child and maternal health in Alberta. I was chosen as a trainee of the organization based on my research on Infantile Spasms (IS) in a pediatric neurology lab. I participated in monthly seminar series, journal clubs, inter-departmental competitions, and ACHRI scientific meetings. Presenting my IS research findings at a recent symposium, I engaged with collaborators, clinicians, and scientists from a multitude of medical fields. Having open conversations with a variety of clinicians and scientists about the translational studies cemented the impact that collaboration has on the progress of medicine.

AMCAS Work and Activities example #8

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AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Community Service/Volunteer

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #12

Experience Type: Community Service/Volunteer – Medical/Clinical

Experience Name: Volunteering at Z Mobile Clinic in Ecuador

Total Hours: 20

Most Meaningful: No


I provided education, primary care, and dental care to over 1,000 patients by participating in mobile clinics. I also had the chance to assist in local projects by building staircases with members of the community. I had been struggling with anatomy and considered not pursuing medicine anymore, but my first mobile clinic experience reaffirmed my goal of becoming a doctor. Listening to the patients explain their life stories and struggles to the physicians was invaluable. The opportunity to expose myself to people from new cultures prepared me to interact and communicate with patients from all backgrounds.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #13

Experience Type: Community Service/Volunteer – Medical/Clinical

Experience Name: Free Health Clinic Volunteer

Total Hours: 100

Most Meaningful: No


After Hurricane Irma affected my community of Fort Lauderdale, I felt an ethical responsibility to get involved. After months of planning and communicating with many hospitals and shelters, I was able to coordinate a free clinic in Fort Lauderdale. Over 10% of Americans have no access to medical care and I felt fortunate to work with generous physicians who donated their time to assess and treat patients in my community. I plan on coordinating a free bi-monthly clinic beginning in the fall. Poverty and lack of access to healthcare remain prevalent issues in the U.S, and I hope to continue working to alleviate these inequalities.

Wondering how many volunteer hours do you need for medical school? Here's a guide on where to start looking:

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #14

Experience Type: Community Service/Volunteer – Medical/Clinical

Experience Name: Lawrence Memorial Hospital Volunteer

Total Hours: 200 hours

Most Meaningful: No


I served as a volunteer at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in their escort unit as well as their gastroenterology clinic. I assisted mostly with the transfer of patients while working in their escort unit and with the turnaround of patient discharge while working within the Gastroenterology Clinic. The position within escort as well as the Gastroenterology Clinic allowed me to interact with discharged patients for prolonged periods of time as they waited for their taxi or family member to come. It was a wonderful way to practice conversing with individuals from different age groups and backgrounds while also getting exposure to a new discipline within medicine in Gastroenterology.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #15

Experience Type: Community Service/Volunteer – Medical/Clinical

Experience Name: Midland Care, Hospice and PACE Volunteer

Total Hours: 420 hours

Most Meaningful: Yes


I served as a volunteer at Midland Care's Lawrence location. This facility specialized in daytime care for individuals suffering from debilitating health conditions. I assisted administratively helping with the organization of protocols and weekly record keeping for residents of the facility, as well as helping with the planning and organization of activities for the residents.

When I applied to Midland Care, my intent was to give myself an experience of healthcare in a new and different environment. Having had years of experience in a hospital setting, I challenged myself to experience something out of the ordinary and explore other environments I could possibly find myself in as a future medical professional. Midland serves as a nonprofit center for individuals to receive daytime care for conditions they are afflicted with that require supervision, as well as hospice care for those individuals who need it. The center in Lawrence specialized in daytime care for residents. My preconceptions told me that this experience would be difficult. Such an environment surely would weigh heavy on one’s spirit. What I found in my years at the center was very much the opposite. The individuals working here had such a genuine kindness and caring in their heart for their job and their patients, I could only admire the way these professionals conducted themselves. They taught me how one's situation is a product of how you choose to embrace it. What drives my friends at Midland to be the caretakers they are is a deep-rooted belief of the capacity for good we as people have. Every week of volunteering teaches me to redefine success and motivates me to be a multifaceted caretaker.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #16

Experience Type: Community Service/Volunteer – Medical/Clinical

Experience Name: Maple Grove Hospital Volunteer

Total Hours: 500 hours

Most Meaningful: No


I served as a Guest Service Volunteer at the hospital working primarily to guide incoming friends and family members to locations in and around the hospital as well as assisting with patient discharge proceedings. My interactions were largely with new families, and the experience garnered a wonderful environment in which I was able to develop my abilities in both communication and understanding hospital procedure. As I gained experience in the department, I also assisted in the training of incoming volunteers which was one of the first instances in which I have been in the role of a mentor. Helping others become a part of our team was rewarding in itself and added depth to my experience.

AMCAS Work and Activities example #17

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AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Community Service/Volunteer – Non-Medical

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AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Teaching Experience

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #24

Experience Type: Teaching/Tutoring/Teaching Assistant

Experience Name: Math and Chemistry Teaching Assistant

Total Hours: 273

Most Meaningful: No


I served as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for Mathematics and General Chemistry. As a TA, I attended class with the students, graded assignments, and held office hours and study sessions. Through my position as a TA, I learned patience and worked with each student at his or her own pace. I came up with new ways to explain concepts that were suited to each student’s learning style. Their responsiveness and the look on their faces when they first understood a concept was the most rewarding aspect of the job. I will strive to facilitate patient education as a physician, making sure that a patient leaves the clinic well informed with all of their questions answered regarding their healthcare needs.

AMCAS Work and Activities example #25


AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Honors, Awards and Recognitions

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #26

Experience Type: Honors/Awards/Recognitions

Experience Name: Sophomore Class GPA Award and Merit Scholarship

Hours: 0

Most Meaningful: No


I was one of two students in the sophomore class of the College of General Studies at X University nominated by faculty for my collected works. The Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning (CITL) selects two students, nominated by faculty, for the Best ePortfolio Award. CITL looks for evidence of student learning and evaluates quality and quantity of information posted in the ePortfolios. I was also one of ten students recognized at X University College of General Studies for the top GPA of the sophomore class and awarded a merit scholarship for this accomplishment. I continued with my academic success and graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences Magna Cum Laude.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #27

Experience Type: Honors/Awards/Recognitions

Experience Name: Health Society (HS) Grant

Hours: 0

Most Meaningful: No


I was awarded the HS grant, which is a provincial grant given out yearly to the top 5 percent of candidates based on research credibility and long-term impact on clinical medicine. I was selected based on the immediate translatability of my project. Through HS, I further investigated the cure for Infantile Spasms, a project described in another entry. Drafting a research grant was a challenging and transformative experience, which required critical thinking and a reconsideration of the bigger context for medicine and its applications.

AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Shadowing and Clinical Observation

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #28

Experience Type: Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation

Experience Name: Clinical Shadowing at Vibrant Health Clinic 

Hours: 6

Most Meaningful: Yes


I had the wonderful opportunity to shadow Dr. Kelly Kreisler at Vibrant Health Clinic in Kansas City. I spent the day observing Dr. Kreisler at each of her appointments with patients at the clinic and had the opportunity to see how Doctors work with translators to breach the barrier of language. The experience at this clinic served as an interesting look into how a medical professional approaches handling the delivery of care to patients of diverse backgrounds.

Shadowing Dr. Kreisler served as an invaluable experience when exploring various unique environments within the medical field. Vibrant Health is a clinic in the Kansas City area that serves many individuals who have recently immigrated to the United States from different countries. Dr. Kreisler's specialty is in Pediatrics, where many of the patients she was seeing were young and in the process of acclimating to their new life here in the United States. It was evident how much of an experienced physician Dr. Kreisler was as she seamlessly worked with translators to comprehensively assure that there were no errors in communication between her and the parents of her patients. A very interesting point in my shadowing experience was seeing how Dr. Kreisler asked her patients and their parents if they were speaking English at home or at school. This was interesting as I didn't even think to consider how socialization played a role in the health and development of these young patients. This really was a lesson for me in seeing what it means to be comprehensive in the care of one's patients. This experience was truly memorable, from its unique setting, to the examples of the sometimes complex nature of doctor/patient interactions. It is an attribute I would hope to bring into my own practice, as I pursue my dream of studying and practicing medicine.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #29

Experience Type: Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation

Experience Name: Clinical Shadowing Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Hours: 6

Most Meaningful: Yes


I had the pleasure of shadowing Dr. Michael Zabel at Lawrence Memorial's Cardiology Center. I spent the day observing Dr. Zabel make his rounds, evaluate various test results from his patients, and was able to see how the process of record keeping is done within a hospital setting from the perspective of the Doctor. As my first official opportunity of shadowing a Doctor, this was a wonderful way to see many aspects of a Doctor’s day on the job from the time he gets to his personal office, to patient rounds, to analyzing test data and charting.

Getting the call that I could shadow a doctor from cardiology was the best start to a Monday that I could have asked for. The fact that the appointment was on my birthday was an added bonus; this was a wonderful way to spend the day. The experience showed me a wonderful example of what proper and respectful bedside manner looks like between doctors and patients. I was lucky enough to sit in while Dr. Zabel spoke to his patients, most of which were alone in their hospital rooms. He took the time with each of his patients on his list to talk to them about their condition and make sure they understood what their charts meant. He would then proceed to talk to his patients about their jobs, families, or how their retirement was going. It was a wonderful look into the human side of this profession and an aspect of the job I find myself very much looking forward to. To end the day, Dr. Zabel looked at echocardiographs with me and gave me insight into how he analyzes them and what diagnoses he can derive from them. While this was a bit nerve wracking, there were times he would ask me to infer what I thought was wrong. I was blown away that he allowed me to do this with him. Instead of feeling like a fly on the wall, I felt as though I was a meaningful part of the doctor's day and was able to interact and see how my qualities could fit into this job.

AMCAS Work and Activities example #30

AMCAS Work and Activities example #31

Taking a gap year before medical school? Consider these best premed gap year jobs:

AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Paid Employment – Non-Medical

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #32

Experience Type: Paid Employment – Not Medical/Clinical

Experience Name: Clinical Shadowing at Vibrant Health Clinic 

Hours: 400

Most Meaningful: No


I worked as an online and in person tutor for Varsity Tutors in the Minneapolis area as well as in Lawrence. I tutored everything from standardized tests such as the ACT and SATs to individual subjects such as organic chemistry, biology, and many more. I really loved the experience of teaching my students and made sure that with each student, I individualized their learning plan and really got to the source of any problems they had with the subject. Teaching is very rewarding, and it pushes me as an individual to have a deep understanding of the content I am teaching and exploring new, more effective ways of how to communicate information to my students.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #33

Experience Type: Paid Employment – Not Medical/Clinical

Experience Name: Summer Internship Perrigo Pharmaceuticals

Hours: 490

Most Meaningful: No


In the Summer of 2016, I had the opportunity to intern at Perrigo Company in Crystal Minnesota. I had the pleasure of working in the technical operations department. In this position, I was tasked with the development and refinement of manufacturing procedures, as well as working alongside fellow coworkers in the production of the medications. I was given a degree of autonomy in my role, in demonstrating extensive degrees of both innovation and organization in the projects I was tasked with. Many times, the job was a test of perseverance and patience working as a small gear in the machine. The experience offered a unique insight into an industry behind the medical field and how it operates.

AMCAS Work and Activities example #34

AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Extracurriculars and Hobbies

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #35

Experience Type: Extracurricular Activities

Experience Name: Zeta Beta Tau

Hours: 1,000

Most Meaningful: No


I have been a member of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at KU since my freshman year of attending school in Kansas. The Chapter has a wonderful outreach within the community and having the opportunity to work as Operations Director, as well as serve in the risk management committee during my time as member allowed me to grow the chapter with my fellow leaders, to double in size as a chapter and achieve the permit and raise 75,000 dollars in funding to build a house on campus. I have been a part of numerous volunteering opportunities sponsored by the chapter and have worked extensively to help make the organization well rounded and reputable within the community at KU.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #36

Experience Type: Hobbies

Experience Name: Custom Sneakers

Hours: 500

Most Meaningful: No


Since I started to dress myself, I always loved picking out shoes above all other articles of clothing. As I grew, I developed a real passion for fashion. I loved finding the most unique sneakers in magazines and cutting them out so one day when I could afford them, I remembered which ones I liked. There were some though that I liked but were just not quite right. I would buy bland, or on sale versions of the shoes I liked then paint them to what I thought was perfect. I started to make my own designs and learned about how various paints and glues work on different materials. Working with different materials and techniques taught me how to work procedurally. To achieve the desired product I learned that once must consider the intricacies of each step and execute them in a fashion that leaves as little as possible to chance.

AMCAS Work and Activities Example #37

Experience Type: Hobbies

Experience Name: In House Mechanic

Hours: 1000

Most Meaningful: No


The worst part about owning cars? Taking them to the dealership due to a little noise, only to come out having to take out a second mortgage to fix numerous other problems you didn't know you had. My dad and I loved to fix the problems ourselves. We bonded over brake discs, exhaust pipes, and just about anything that rattled and squeaked the way it wasn't supposed to. Working to solve these mechanical problems really developed my critical thinking and reasoning to be able to deduce a larger problem from a few symptomatic indicators. Practicing working algorithmically or using heuristics I found ways to solve the problems in cars and other facets of my life.

AMCAS Work and Activities example #38

AMCAS Work and Activities example #39

AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Leadership

AMCAS Work and Activities example #40

AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Social Justice and Advocacy

AMCAS Work and Activities example #41

AMCAS Work and Activities example #42


1. What are the different experience AMCAS Work and Activities categories?
  • Artistic Endeavors
  • Community Service/Volunteer - Medical/Clinical
  • Community Service/Volunteer - Non Medical/Clinical
  • Conferences Attended
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Social Justice/Advocacy
  • Hobbies
  • Honors/Award/Recognition
  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Leadership - Not Listed Elsewhere
  • Military Service
  • Paid Employment - Medical/Clinical
  • Paid Employment - Non Medical/Clinical
  • Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation
  • Presentations/Posters
  • Publications
  • Research/Lab
  • Teaching/Tutoring/Teaching Assistant
2. Should I include 15 experiences in AMCAS Work and Activities?

Not necessarily, it's much more important to choose quality experiences to include instead of adding experiences just to try and fill up all 15 spots. If every single one of your experiences were significant but you only have 10, that's perfectly acceptable.

3. Should I really include a hobby or artistic endeavor on my AMCAS application?

AMCAS hobbies and artistic endeavors can certainly serve as a way to set your application apart from others. If a hobby or artistic endeavor has been a big part of your life or part of your identity, it can certainly be included. It's important, however, to ensure that what you want to include is really a significant experience for you. You'll need to demonstrate that your participation has helped shape you as a person, helped you grow, and taught you important lessons.

4. How far back can I go for listing an experience for AMCAS Work and Activities?

You can list experiences as far back as the summer following your senior year at high school. For the most part, entries further back than that are not relevant and shouldn't be included.

5. What should I write for my AMCAS experiences titles?

Activity names should be as descriptive as possible. For example, instead of writing “Volunteer”, “Patient Transplant Volunteer” is more suitable and descriptive.

6. What should I write in the hours section for awards and publications on AMCAS?

Simply enter “0” into the hours section for these items.

7. I participated in an experience more than once, how do I list this correctly on AMCAS?

There is a “Yes” checkbox listed next to the “Repeated?” field. Simply check this box which will then allow you to add up to three additional date ranges for the experience.

8. Should I list an AMCAS experience as most meaningful if I already discussed this in my personal statement?

Ideally, your most meaningful experiences should not be the same as the main experiences you discuss in your personal statement. You could either choose another significant experience to list as your most meaningful or discuss a different experience in your personal statement.

9. Should I list an activity that I plan to start in the future?

AMCAS allows you to add future hours for an anticipated activity. Check what AMCAS says as to how much in the future you can include hours (for example, sometimes AMCAS will state you can include future hours up until August of the year you are applying). Ensure that you only include future hours if you are 100% certain you can and will fulfill these, as AMCAS can verify these months after you have submitted the application.

10. What is the biggest mistake students make when filling in the AMCAS work and activities section?

The most common mistake students make is that they spend way too much time describing the activity, and not enough time reflecting on their experience and discussing what they learned or gained from the experience. With such a small amount of space, it's important that only one-third of the description actually describes the experience. Use the remaining characters for self-reflection and lessons learned. 

11. Will admissions committees see my AMCAS Work and Activities section first, or my personal statement first?

They will see your Work and Activities section first.

12. Should I list all my shadowing experiences in one entry, or split them across multiple entries?

You can combine them into one entry. This is especially useful if you have a variety of experiences you want to talk about in your Work and Activities section – you do not want to be repetitive. Don’t forget to highlight what you’ve learned in during shadowing as well as what impact you may have had.

13. How should I list publications in AMCAS?

List as many as possible using the AMA format. If a given publication has many authors, list the first three. Your name does not have to appear in the list.

15. Does AMCAS contact verifiers?

Not often—only if they have significant doubts about the activity or the way you’ve described it. However, if they do reach out to verifiers it’s simply to confirm that you were in fact involved in the activity.

16. If I’m a reapplicant, do my AMCAS Work and Activities roll over?

Yes, if you previously filled out an AMCAS application, your experiences will roll over. Just be sure to check all your entries to make any edits or updates, and follow the AMCAS applicant guide to filling out this section.


To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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