How To Write The AMCAS Work & Activities Section (With Examples)
It’s time to let medical schools know how much you’ve accomplished during your premed years. Now’s your big chance: Section 5 of the AMCAS application offers the opportunity to write up to 15 experience descriptions that are up to 700 characters in length.
AMCAS work & activities entries are important.They are just as important as your personal statement. Many applicants think that they don’t have to spend the same amount of effort and time working on their work & activities write ups as they do on the personal statement. This is a myth! Your AMCAS work & activities entries offer another chance to highlight what you have accomplished, what you have learned, and how you have grown.
Take full advantage of the space offered to you. Also keep in mind, that the AMCAS personal statement prompt is not as open ended as it has been in previous years and now requests that you focus on your motivations for pursuing a career in medicine. Therefore, your AMCAS entries offer the opportunity to elaborate on your experiences in a different way to distinguish your candidacy.
During the 2018 – 2019 application year, we observed that medical school applicants who did not take full advantage of the work & activities entries did not earn medical school interviews and are now asking us for help with re-application. What can you learn from this? Even if you have excellent stats, you must compose compelling and convincing documents to earn medical school interviews. Grades and MCAT scores alone won’t earn you interviews.
What Are AMCAS ‘Most Meaningful’ Entries?
ACMAS applicants can select up to three of the 15 entries that they consider their “most meaningful experiences.” You can use up to 1,325 characters (including spaces) to elaborate on why your experiences were meaningful. For each experience, applicants select one of the categories AMCAS specifies.
AMCAS Work & Activities Categories To Consider:
- Community Service/Volunteer – Not Medical/Clinical
- Community Service/Volunteer – Medical/Clinical (shadowing falls under this category)
- Paid Employment – Not Military
- Paid Employment – Military
- Conferences Attended
- Extracurricular Activities/Hobbies/Avocations
- Leadership – Not listed elsewhere
Don’t forget: When writing these entries, you will need to write out:
- A specific experience name
- Contact name and title
- Organization name
- City, state, and country of the activity
- Dates of the activity
- Average hours per week (you can enter zero for Awards/Honors/Recognitions).
AMCAS® Most Meaningful Entry Examples
Still unsure of what to write for your AMCAS® activity and most meaningful entries?
The most meaningful experience summary is your opportunity to elaborate on how the experience was significant to you, what you learned, why it was transformative, and how it motivated you. Take full advantage of the space offered to you. Read an example below from The MedEdits Guide to Medical School Admissions Admissions.
Most Meaningful Experience Description
The Adult Day Health Center is a comprehensive facility that offers a variety of services to members of the community. My duties at the Adult Day Health Center is to make sure patients are comfortable, address their needs such as thirst or hunger, or to simply offer them company. The Center serves a largely underserved and homeless population so I also help clients find places to stay, sift through our donated clothes pile to help them find clean garments, and seek out transportation for them.
Most Meaningful Experience Summary
I look forward to the Sunday mornings I spend with HIV patients. My conversations with them have revealed these patients’ great physical suffering; I have also learned how HIV steals independence and inflicts solitude. These patient interactions illustrate the human toll of disease and enhances my dedication to serving others as a physician. I make the most of the time I spend with these patients because I know that these interactions have great potential to make a difference. I reach out to the individuals who always sit alone, making sure they remember to order lunch. I enjoy making the child of a patient feel comfortable as his mom receives her medication. I encourage the patient working with his speech pathologist to use his alphabet card to better enunciate words while he discusses his favorite pop star with me over lunch. Having come to learn and use the names of the Sunday crowd, I know I offer them an enhanced sense of security and belonging. Witnessing how diseases can affect mothers with small children and people of all races, ages and backgrounds and seeing the changes in the health of the patients I serve week to week have made me aware of the bleak realities of illness. This experience has increased my respect for individuals in need as well as my desire to serve them.