My AMCAS is close to submission, but I was looking over my Activities and I’m concerned they look a bit… dry. The recent years are very heavy on the research and volunteering, because, well, that’s what I do with most of my time as an OPM. Obviously I have other hobbies (hiking, collecting comics, ukulele), but although I enjoy them I haven’t achieved any prominence and I honestly think they’re a bit trivial for this app. I also don’t want to overwhelm the adcom with 15 activities.

Here is the listing so far (actual desc. edited for this post):

Epidemiology intern, personal care assistant, Honors research thesis (Grad), American Red Cross Disaster and Health Services, OPM , shadowing physicians, hospital volunteer, Technical research assistant (job), Docent for walking tours, Work abroad in the UK, Senior research thesis (UG), College campus life intern, College ski team.

As you all know, this pursuit takes 110%, but I don’t want to seem as though I have no other interests in my life. Does it look balanced, or do I look like an intense pre-med completist? Thanks…

I added some interests & activities as one combined thing on my activities. So in addition to what you listed above, I had “other interests & activities” or something, and there I put things like photography, hockey, etc.

I had a similar question along these lines. My undergraduate experience was 1998-2003, during which I was very active in a number of organizations (cycling team, united way, etc.). I’m wondering if I should list these on my Work and Activities? On one hand that seems a little old, but on the other it seems to show a consistent time line of leadership/activity from college to working, then into my post-bacc time.

How much “shadowing” is required to list on the AMCAS? I’ve shadowed three different doctors on a couple of occasions, just to see what their days are like, but nothing long-term. Should I put this down?

Last one. Is there a “good number” of Activities to have? I know I don’t have 15, more like 8 for me.



Hi Zach: I’m just a bit older than you, and I listed one or two time-intensive or significant college activities just to show that I was active during those years. Obviously I did a lot more back then, but with more years to fill it’s important to get recent activities as well since I’ve heard that anywhere there’s a time gap it looks odd.

You can put shadowing down even if it’s for a few hours (since some schools like it), but I was told to lump it all under one experience and list the doctors, specialties, and hours spent with each person.

Great advice. Thank you.