Work and Activities

The following information is guidance based on completing the AMCAS Primary Application’s “Work and Activities” section. These content recommendations and formatting tips can also be utilized for the AACOMAS application and other health professional schools applications.

AMCAS “Work and Activities” Section

In AMCAS’s primary, you do not upload a resume of your experiences. Instead, you add up to 15 entries and summarize each experience in 700 characters.
For three (3) of these experiences, you identify them as most meaningful experiences, which provides an additional 1325 characters with which to describe the experience.

For each entry, applicants can choose the experience type that best describes each experience:

  • Artistic Endeavors
  • Community Service/Volunteer- Medical/Clinical
  • Community Service/Volunteer- Not Medical/Clinical
  • Conferences Attended
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Hobbies
  • Honors/Awards/Recognition
  • Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Leadership- Not Listed Elsewhere
  • Military Service
  • Other
  • Paid Employment – Medical/Clinical
  • Paid Employment – Not Medical/Clinical
  • Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation
  • Presentations/Posters
  • Publications
  • Research/Lab
  • Social Justice/Advocacy (*New to the 2024 cycle!)
  • Teaching/Tutoring/Teaching Assistant

What to Consider When Deciding What Activities to Include

  • Include both clinical and non-clinical activities, especially activities where you have led projects and/or people.
    • Many schools like to see demonstrations of the core competencies, such as leadership, teamwork, and working with diverse populations and audiences.
    • Schools are seeking to understand how you spent your time during your undergraduate years (and post-graduation, if applicable); if you spent a significant amount of time as a server, working at your family’s business, or doing construction (all things UConn applicants have done in the past!), mention that on your applications.
  • How does this experience impact my future profession in medicine?
    • Be mindful that medical schools are trying to determine how you have explored/tested your decision to pursue medicine. Not all experiences need to tie back to medicine in some way, but consider how your various work or volunteer positions have readied you.
  • Enter only significant experiences; that is, roles, activities, or events that you could explain at length and provide an example for, if prompted.
    • Do not include one-time service experiences or other such activities—schools are looking for a demonstrated pattern of involvement in activities over a period of time that indicate this experience has been important to you/influenced you in some way.
  • Some schools have required experiences or expectations—make sure you include those (e.g., shadowing, clinical, research).

Formatting Tips

While there is no one way to complete the work and activities descriptions, these tips may help guide you:

  • Don’t assume the readers know what you did based on title alone! Fully explain all activities, roles, and key responsibilities.
    • Briefly describe the organization, population served and your role and responsibilities.
    • Emphasize your time commitment (e.g., each week for two years, once a month, etc.)
    • Expand on what you saw, what you did, and what you learned—try to put particular focus on any skills gained, accomplishments or growth you had in your role, impact you had within the organization, and the affect of the experience on you.
    • Return to the core competencies as you articulate your skills and growth!
  • Think of this section like your resume.
    • Some advice on the internet encourages telling stories for each of your descriptions; while anecdotes and examples can be extremely useful and welcomed in the most meaningful experiences descriptions, the personal statements, secondary essays, and so on, there is usually not enough space to meaningfully describe the activity, your position, and its impact on you and include a story to illustrate that.
    • These descriptions are, for some experiences, the only way committees are going to learn about what you did—don’t leave them wondering what happened.
    • Utilize resources like the Center for Career Development on campus, who can help you to pick strong action verbs, structure your responses, and highlight important aspects of your involvement.

Anticipated Experiences

For experiences not yet started (i.e., a planned, new activity that is not a continuation of an existing activity):

  • Enter May 2022 as the start and end date in the Completed section (or the current month you are submitting your application in).
  • Enter 0 (zero) in the Completed Hours field.
  • Enter May 2022 (or the current month you are submitting your application in) as the start date in the Anticipated section.
  • Enter the month/year you plan to finish the experience (current month* or future month/year) in the Anticipated date range.
  • Enter the total future hours of the work/activity you expect to fulfill in the Anticipated Hours field.


AAMC Work and Activities Guide

AMCAS Application Workbook