Struggling with the AMCAS Work and Activities section? In this blog, you'll learn how I composed 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, I'll share 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
22 min read

What is the AMCAS Work and Activities Section? AMCAS Work and Activities Categories How Did I Choose Which Activities to Include? 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?

A major component of the holistic review that most medical schools are moving toward, is the AMCAS Work and Activities section. Before we get into the weeds of this section, I want to talk about the WHY. Why is this section important?

This section allows schools to see you as more than a set of statistics, and as a well-rounded individual.

The 2 main goals that this section should accomplish are:

  1. For you to highlight experiences that have shaped you to become the individual you are today
  2. Highlight experiences that can make you a great fit for a career in medicine

Now to the more nitty-gritty details of this section:

The AMCAS work and activities section shows up BEFORE the medical school personal statement, so readers will have an insight into some of the activities that are important to you. Then the personal statement will weave these activities together into a cohesive narrative essay.

Does the order matter?

Admissions committees will see your experiences listed in chronological order by default. However, they’ll have a choice of how to read these experiences. Some reviewers might rearrange your experiences by category (e.g., a reviewer can rearrange and want to only see your clinical experiences or only volunteering or only your honors or awards) or any other ways.

AMCAS Work and Activities Categories

AMCAS allows you to describe up to 15 experiences with only a 700-character limit for each (including spaces).

Three of your experiences can be designated as “AMCAS most meaningful experiences” and further expanded on in a separate section with a 1,325-character limit.

Here are the categories you can choose from: 



How Did I Choose Which Activities to Include?

I made sure to include a mix of experiences and nearly hit every type that were applicable to me. I made it to 14 entries. So no, you do not need to use all 15 entries. Remember that admissions committees are getting hundreds to thousands of applications, therefore it will behoove you to strive for quality of experiences over quantity of experiences.

A good rule of thumb is to try and include categories above that most medical schools tend to look for:

  • Clinical experiences (can include either work or shadowing that involved patient contact)
  • Community service
  • Research

I would include clinical experiences that showed longitudinal involvement, for instance clinical scribe experience for a few months, or a free clinic volunteering experiences over a few years. I would say the same for research. If there is one research project which you continued over a few years that resulted in publications, posters, or presentations. 

Other categories you include will be dependent on your individual interests and experiences as an applicant. Some things to think about in terms of what to include for AMCAS hobbies, and extracurriculars for medical school, is if you can convey in an impactful way the contribution you made, or the impact it made on you. For instance, I was a writer for an online magazine that focused on South Asian women’s issues and I did this as an extracurricular activity. I chose to include this under hobbies because I could meaningfully about what I learned from it (writing skills, interviewing skills, incorporating different perspectives, self-expression), and how it might help me with a healthcare career. 

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 did I choose what to make my most meaningful experiences?

Regarding the most meaningful designation, I would highly emphasize having at least 1 or more meaningful experience that is a part of your clinical hours for medical school (can be paid or unpaid) where you participated in direct patient care. After all, you are applying to medical school!

For the other two most meaningful experiences, they can be anything that you have a lot to talk about and have shown extensive time commitment to, or have accolades from, or that you truly are passionate about. This can be a sport that you did for several years, an instrument that you mastered, a research project that you did several years that resulted in publications or presentations, or community service work that had you advanced in leadership/responsibilities.

I would recommend making the 3 meaningful experiences in different categories to show variety, but all 3 should showcase deep commitment and investment into something. This is important because a medical career takes deep investment and commitment, so your experiences should reflect that.

To summarize: Your 3 most meaningful experiences should be ideally from different categories, at least one of them must be clinical in nature, and all 3 should showcase deep commitment or improvement/advancement in some regard, over time.

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

How to Structure Your AMCAS Work and Activities Entries

When did I start on this section of AMCAS and how did I get my experiences organized?

I started the work and activities section prior to my personal statement. It was an ongoing process, but this section took me a couple of weeks to a month. I started on it ahead of the application cycle, by keeping an updated medical school CV and modified this document according to AMCAS requirements, after AMCAS opened.

I would recommend as you are going through your college and/or gap year before medical school, to keep up an updated CV or resume that has some of the above categories as headings. Then, as you go through your premed years, I would add those experiences to a document. This can serve as a good tool for you to visually see where you have strong experience already, where you can bolster your application more, and where you feel like you want to further deepen your interests.

For each experience on your resume, I would include some basic details like:

o  When you started it, how long you’ve been doing it for

o  Organization name

o  A contact name/email

o  Location of the experience

o  Total hours

o  A brief description of the role, responsibilities, and any metrics that highlight your accomplishments during this experience.

o  If you’re having clinical experience, I would recommend keeping a journal of memorable cases or interactions you had either with patients or staff.

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

How to Structure AMCAS Most Meaningful Experiences

Some tips on including some important experiences if you feel like you’re pressed for space, is to think about how you can group certain experiences or combine them into one. For instance, you could list various presentations and posters under the research lab section if you make a research experience your “most meaningful” because you will have more character count to list all the accomplishments pertaining to that research. Also, if you were a superstar and won multiple awards during a graduation ceremony, under the honors and awards category, you can list multiple in one entry.

Another challenge is how to include sufficient detail to discuss the experience but not go over the character limit. For this as mentioned prior, I recommend starting a google doc or word document and creating your draft on that and then copy/paste content into AMCAS after you’ve edited it and made sure it meets the word limit.

How did I draft my most meaningful experiences?

Below is an example of one of my most meaningful experiences which happens to be clinical in nature. I started by giving an overview of where I worked, who I worked with, my role and responsibilities. I highlighted any unique aspects of the organization, for instance if it has a unique mission or serves a specific patient population. I would then use the remaining space to discuss any short anecdotes or lessons learned, or the impact you made within this experience. 

Note: I used a patient encounter from this same experience in my personal statement, but in the work and activities section, I spoke about what I did and how I grew from this experience in a higher level. I discussed several lessons I learned and gave examples that showcase the qualities I exhibited. Some personal qualities I highlighted are teamwork, resolving conflict, efficiency, focus on patient education. In my personal statement, I zoomed into a more specific patient encounter where I described what happened and how I assisted. 

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

Description:

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

Description:

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.


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

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

Description:

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

Description:

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

Description:

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.

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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

Description:

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

Description:

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

Description: 

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

Description: 

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

Description: 

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.

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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

Description:

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

Description:

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

Description:

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

Description: 

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

Description: 

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

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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

Description: 

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

Description: 

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.

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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

Description: 

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

Description: 

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

Description: 

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.

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AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Leadership

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AMCAS Work and Activities Examples: Social Justice and Advocacy

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FAQs

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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