Rosabell

5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2010
10
0
91
Status
Medical Student
Hi,

After I filled out my secondary applications for medical school and completed everything, I had an incident at my university where I violated the contract of a class and emailed what I thought had been a harmless question to everyone in the class, including the instructor and the teaching assistants, for an assignment that was non-collaborative. I got a B in the class and wasn't expelled or suspended, but it was written on a closed record that will only be revealed if I sign a specific form, i.e., if a med school wants to view my academic record and I'm given the form to sign. What I'm wondering is what I should do; I haven't gotten any acceptances yet though I have had interviews, and this incident shouldn't show up anywhere without my permission and would be gone in 3 years. On one hand I want to be honest and not blatantly cover this up, but on the other hand if I disclose this and I am forced to reapply to medical school later, say, in three years when this incident would be shredded, I'd be throwing this on my record when it's gone already. Not to mention, I didn't disclose this when I applied because this hadn't happened yet. Should I update the medical schools? Should I wait and see what happens? Thanks a lot!
 

Janieve

Professional Antagonist
Oct 22, 2009
626
5
0
Varies.
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi,

After I filled out my secondary applications for medical school and completed everything, I had an incident at my university where I violated the contract of a class and emailed what I thought had been a harmless question to everyone in the class, including the instructor and the teaching assistants, for an assignment that was non-collaborative. I got a B in the class and wasn't expelled or suspended, but it was written on a closed record that will only be revealed if I sign a specific form, i.e., if a med school wants to view my academic record and I'm given the form to sign. What I'm wondering is what I should do; I haven't gotten any acceptances yet though I have had interviews, and this incident shouldn't show up anywhere without my permission and would be gone in 3 years. On one hand I want to be honest and not blatantly cover this up, but on the other hand if I disclose this and I am forced to reapply to medical school later, say, in three years when this incident would be shredded, I'd be throwing this on my record when it's gone already. Not to mention, I didn't disclose this when I applied because this hadn't happened yet. Should I update the medical schools? Should I wait and see what happens? Thanks a lot!
Wait, so was this a misunderstanding on your part? Did you meet with your professor or have a meeting with the dean?

It sounds like this whole thing was handled pretty messily. What did they cite you for in the incident report? I'd need to know that before advising you.
 

ShinyDome19

Evil in the making...
7+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2009
472
13
151
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yeah, seriously I dont see how asking a question via e-mail is worthy of Academic Dishonesty...even if you were supposed to do this alone. The professor is just opening himself up to potentially having to deal with a ton of political and administrative BS if you were to contest it...

Since this post just seems so pretty stupid and the fact that there has been a string of these "Academic Dishonesty" posts around lately and OP is on their 1st post...im gonna guess this is just another lame Troll attempt.
 

Rosabell

5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2010
10
0
91
Status
Medical Student
Wait, so was this a misunderstanding on your part? Did you meet with your professor or have a meeting with the dean?

It sounds like this whole thing was handled pretty messily. What did they cite you for in the incident report? I'd need to know that before advising you.
It was a misunderstanding on my part, but it was a very conservative interpretation of the contract. Basically what happened was in the beginning of the semester we signed a contract saying that there will be zero collaboration on certain assignments, which included this one. I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses, but essentially when I emailed the question I did it under the impression that I was just asking for some notes that I missed while in class, and therefore didn't see any problem with it, but the professor told me that by emailing everyone with a question related to the assignment I was soliciting answers from other students, which amounts to cheating. I met with my professor and they wrote me up. It's basically a violation of policies rather than actual cheating, but I guess that's just semantics at this point.
 
Apr 6, 2010
154
3
0
Status
Hi,

After I filled out my secondary applications for medical school and completed everything, I had an incident at my university where I violated the contract of a class and emailed what I thought had been a harmless question to everyone in the class, including the instructor and the teaching assistants, for an assignment that was non-collaborative. I got a B in the class and wasn't expelled or suspended, but it was written on a closed record that will only be revealed if I sign a specific form, i.e., if a med school wants to view my academic record and I'm given the form to sign. What I'm wondering is what I should do; I haven't gotten any acceptances yet though I have had interviews, and this incident shouldn't show up anywhere without my permission and would be gone in 3 years. On one hand I want to be honest and not blatantly cover this up, but on the other hand if I disclose this and I am forced to reapply to medical school later, say, in three years when this incident would be shredded, I'd be throwing this on my record when it's gone already. Not to mention, I didn't disclose this when I applied because this hadn't happened yet. Should I update the medical schools? Should I wait and see what happens? Thanks a lot!
Don't volunteer the information, but take the attitude that you have nothing to hide. If the school requests the dirt, by all means give them permission -- along with a preemptive explanation that you honestly did not think you were cheating (which is why you emailed the entire class, including the professor, instead of just asking a friend for help).

I hate cheaters as much as anyone, but this sort of draconian overreaction only hurts the cause of academic integrity. You would think a professor would have better sense than this.
 

Rosabell

5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2010
10
0
91
Status
Medical Student
Don't volunteer the information, but take the attitude that you have nothing to hide. If the school requests the dirt, by all means give them permission -- along with a preemptive explanation that you honestly did not think you were cheating (which is why you emailed the entire class, including the professor, instead of just asking a friend for help).

I hate cheaters as much as anyone, but this sort of draconian overreaction only hurts the cause of academic integrity. You would think a professor would have better sense than this.
Would schools even request this kind of thing? It's supposed to be closed file, and the school needs my permission to disclose this incident. I was told that some schools might not even ask for this, because it's not going to be written on my transcript or anything readily available, not to mention if schools only ask if I've been put on probation or expelled, well I never did. It was basically just the professor wrote up a document reporting that this happened, gave me a 0 for the assignment, and the school put the report in my file.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,256
29,091
281
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Academic Administration
Q: Is this an "institutional action"?
A: It may well be


Q: Are you obligated to report institutional actions that occur after you submit the AMCAS application?
A: Yes.

Q: Would a reasonable Dean of Admissions, upon hearing your story, believe that your email message to fellow students, TAs and instructor constituted cheating that would preclude your matriculation in medical school?

A: I believe that if you wrote a letter describing the situation just as you've done here, that it is very likely that a med school might have mercy on you and permit you to matriculate. Having an insitutional action is not an automatic rejection, there is a judgment call permitted, even for arrests and convictions. Academic dishonesty is usually beyond the pale but since you emailed the instructor you are either the dumbest cheater ever or you are naive (and I say that in a good way) of how the instructor was interpreting his contract with students.
 

Rosabell

5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2010
10
0
91
Status
Medical Student
Q: Is this an "institutional action"?
A: It may well be


Q: Are you obligated to report institutional actions that occur after you submit the AMCAS application?
A: Yes.

Q: Would a reasonable Dean of Admissions, upon hearing your story, believe that your email message to fellow students, TAs and instructor constituted cheating that would preclude your matriculation in medical school?

A: I believe that if you wrote a letter describing the situation just as you've done here, that it is very likely that a med school might have mercy on you and permit you to matriculate. Having an insitutional action is not an automatic rejection, there is a judgment call permitted, even for arrests and convictions. Academic dishonesty is usually beyond the pale but since you emailed the instructor you are either the dumbest cheater ever or you are naive (and I say that in a good way) of how the instructor was interpreting his contract with students.
Thanks Lizzy. This does make me feel better; I was feeling awful about the fact that this happened at all, especially since I got labeled as a cheater despite the fact that I never made the decision to cheat. Would you say, however, that an admissions officer might interpret this incident as a representation of my ability to follow contracts/rules? If so, would including in my letter that I have since learned to carefully judge whether my actions would violate any rules before conducting them help my case? I'm still a little worried because I haven't gotten acceptances, which implies I'm on the brink at best, and this incident might push me over to the negative pile.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,256
29,091
281
Status
Academic Administration
Are you on waitlists or did you not get any interviews this year? Either way, you have to report this any time you apply, there is no statue of limitations, even if it is erased from your file, you must report this as an institutional action.

I don't see it as an "ability to follow rules" situation. You misunderstood what constituted collaboration. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it but you are obligated to tell adcoms about it.
 

Rosabell

5+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2010
10
0
91
Status
Medical Student
Are you on waitlists or did you not get any interviews this year? Either way, you have to report this any time you apply, there is no statue of limitations, even if it is erased from your file, you must report this as an institutional action.

I don't see it as an "ability to follow rules" situation. You misunderstood what constituted collaboration. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it but you are obligated to tell adcoms about it.
Okay. I was just trying to figure out the best way to phrase my letter. Thanks a lot for your help!
 

DrSmooth

Secret Recipe Soda
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2008
325
0
91
Status
Medical Student
Q: Is this an "institutional action"?
A: It may well be


Q: Are you obligated to report institutional actions that occur after you submit the AMCAS application?
A: Yes.

Q: Would a reasonable Dean of Admissions, upon hearing your story, believe that your email message to fellow students, TAs and instructor constituted cheating that would preclude your matriculation in medical school?

A: I believe that if you wrote a letter describing the situation just as you've done here, that it is very likely that a med school might have mercy on you and permit you to matriculate. Having an insitutional action is not an automatic rejection, there is a judgment call permitted, even for arrests and convictions. Academic dishonesty is usually beyond the pale but since you emailed the instructor you are either the dumbest cheater ever or you are naive (and I say that in a good way) of how the instructor was interpreting his contract with students.
:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
A quote that has helped me in life more than any other is this: "The first liar is always right." You ALWAYS want to be the person explaining a situation, especially if it involves you. That way you create the filter through which the listener will ALWAYS interpret future explanations. And this is so trivial that I can't imagine a school even blinking over it.