Jun 24, 2015
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Hey everyone, looking for some feedback about a massive **** up...

Back in early June, I was in contact with the volunteer coordinator at a local hospital about volunteering there. I was also in the process of completing my primary application. We had an interview scheduled that she explained was largely a formality and told me I could expect to volunteer twice a week soon after. This is where I screwed the pooch. The weakest point of my application was having a dedicated, long term clinical volunteer position, so I had the genius idea of including it on my application as if I had already started and the position was ongoing. I was feeling insecure about my app and thought that having this experience could make or break me. Well, fast forward, and there's a problem with my phone's voicemail and I miss a key communication that prevents me from starting until September now. My fudging of the start date is now a massive lie that will be apparent with one phone call. In total, I falsified about 100 hours.

The guilt, shame, and anxiety is weighing on me to the point that I can't even work on secondaries. I feel terrible, but I'm not sure what I can do. I applied to ~20 schools, which provides plenty of opportunities for an adcom to discover it during a spot check, right? Is this egregious enough to get me blacklisted at every MD program in the States? If I withdraw and reapply next cycle, schools still have access to the primary I submitted this cycle, right? So if they see a discrepancy of April --> September, surely that's a red flag? Will omitting the experience entirely on my re-reapplication raise questions? Did I just **** myself out of ever getting an MD?

Lying's not worth it kids.... :(
 
I

im2raw

Dude, calm down. I bet you both my kidneys no one will ever find out. They are 100% not going to contact your volunteer administrator to verify you volunteered for 100 hours. Every single person that applies has a 100 hour volunteer thing listed in some capacity, it looks normal. If you had put something like 100,000 hours, yeah that's sketch as ****. But dude calm the hell down and start working on secondaries. I guarantee you nothing will happen.
 

NotASerialKiller

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So you wrote down that you started in April? That part is a verifiable lie, and something to be worried about. If it was just volunteer hours you expected to complete after June then no one would care, adcoms don't put much stock in that and know that sometimes things don't pan out. Why on earth did you think that the extra two months of April and May would have shown long-term commitment to anything?

@im2raw is wrong that they'd never check. You're much more likely to not have references contacted, but it's always possible. I wouldn't be betting any organs on it personally. OP just follow the advice of the adcoms here, once they respond.
 
I

im2raw

So you wrote down that you started in April? That part is a verifiable lie, and something to be worried about. If it was just volunteer hours you expected to complete after June then no one would care, adcoms don't put much stock in that and know that sometimes things don't pan out. Why on earth did you think that the extra two months of April and May would have shown long-term commitment to anything?

@im2raw is wrong that they'd never check. You're much more likely to not have references contacted, but it's always possible. I wouldn't be betting any organs on it personally. OP just follow the advice of the adcoms here, once they respond.

It never happens. The only time someone will check is if you put something so preposterous, like you said you interned for Vivek Murthy for an entire summer. No ADCOM is going to call for something that is just basic 100 hours of your everyday run of mill volunteering at a hospital. You people are all so neurotic.
 

Pusheen

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It never happens. The only time someone will check is if you put something so preposterous, like you said you interned for Vivek Murthy for an entire summer. No ADCOM is going to call for something that is just basic 100 hours of your everyday run of mill volunteering at a hospital. You people are all so neurotic.
Even if wasn't checked, I'd be wary of lying anywhere on an app. The risk, although small, is just way too significant. And adcoms here have mentioned that activities are occasionally spot checked.

Another issue is that, let's say OP has an interview in September. Adcom asks how their summer volunteering went and what they learned from it. Awkward.
 
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im2raw

Even if wasn't checked, I'd be wary of lying anywhere on an app. The risk, although small, is just way too significant. And adcoms here have mentioned that activities are occasionally spot checked.

Another issue is that, let's say OP has an interview in September. Adcom asks how their summer volunteering went and what they learned from it. Awkward.
Yah. The only thing that would affect him is being asked about it in interviews and having to come up with a lie. ADCOMs for sure do not spot check run of the mil stuff though. They're not going to waste their time for just basic volunteering at a hospital. They spot check stuff like research publications, or saying you were part of a huge volunteer organization, like the Peace Corp or Teach for America. No one is going to spot check basic hospital volunteering. ADCOMS have so much else to do throughout the day than to be that meticulous.
 

On_The_Way_Up

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Jul 31, 2015
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Lessons learned everyone

1. Don't lie

2. Don't wait until the last minute to volunteer and shadow. Ideally this is done over at least a couple years.

OP you have 2 choices. You could update the application and tell the schools. Or you could hope they don't find out. I would tell them and update the application.
 
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On_The_Way_Up

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Yah. The only thing that would affect him is being asked about it in interviews and having to come up with a lie. ADCOMs for sure do not spot check run of the mil stuff though. They're not going to waste their time for just basic volunteering at a hospital. They spot check stuff like research publications, or saying you were part of a huge volunteer organization, like the Peace Corp or Teach for America. No one is going to spot check basic hospital volunteering. ADCOMS have so much else to do throughout the day than to be that meticulous.

What if he/she is accepted or a preferred candidate after the interview and then they check? It's a big risk. Never lie on your application. Especially for Med school.
 

NotASerialKiller

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Yah. The only thing that would affect him is being asked about it in interviews and having to come up with a lie. ADCOMs for sure do not spot check run of the mil stuff though. They're not going to waste their time for just basic volunteering at a hospital. They spot check stuff like research publications, or saying you were part of a huge volunteer organization, like the Peace Corp or Teach for America. No one is going to spot check basic hospital volunteering. ADCOMS have so much else to do throughout the day than to be that meticulous.
It sounds a lot like you're desperately trying to convince yourself that the "small" lies you put in your application won't ever come back to haunt you. I hope for your sake that that is true. :)
 
I

im2raw

It sounds a lot like you're desperately trying to convince yourself that the "small" lies you put in your application won't ever come back to haunt you. I hope for your sake that that is true. :)
Nah dude that isn't it. I'm glad you like tryna figure out psyches but you people are just so neurotic. Everyone lies every year on these apps regarding hours and actually how involved they were in something. Also, ADCOMs are people too with other jobs instead of just checking apps all day. They teach classes, do research, they're absolutely not going to check such run of mill details. We can argue all we want, but thousands of people go to med school each year lying on their apps and are never caught. It's one thing to lie about serving for the Peace Corp for 5 years, but absolutely no one is going to waste time checking a basic hospital gig. The majority of this forum is just neurotic. You included buddy. And let me know if you want me to take a crack at your psyche seeing as you tried doing mine.
 

ndafife

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I was just thinking to myself that I hadn't seen many overly-dramatic/neurotic application posts yet this cycle...
 
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Pusheen

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Nah dude that isn't it. I'm glad you like tryna figure out psyches but you people are just so neurotic. Everyone lies every year on these apps regarding hours and actually how involved they were in something. Also, ADCOMs are people too with other jobs instead of just checking apps all day. They teach classes, do research, they're absolutely not going to check such run of mill details. We can argue all we want, but thousands of people go to med school each year lying on their apps and are never caught. It's one thing to lie about serving for the Peace Corp for 5 years, but absolutely no one is going to waste time checking a basic hospital gig. The majority of this forum is just neurotic. You included buddy. And let me know if you want me to take a crack at your psyche seeing as you tried doing mine.
You have absolutely no proof for any of this. Just because you and your friends lied on your apps does not mean that everyone does.
Please show me the source of this information?
 
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OP
C
Jun 24, 2015
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4
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Pre-Medical
So you wrote down that you started in April? That part is a verifiable lie, and something to be worried about. If it was just volunteer hours you expected to complete after June then no one would care, adcoms don't put much stock in that and know that sometimes things don't pan out. Why on earth did you think that the extra two months of April and May would have shown long-term commitment to anything?
No idea. Can't even get back into my mindset. For some reason I thought it could make or break me. In retrospect it's just silly. Feelsbad.
 
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DokterMom

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So if I'm understanding this, you put down on your application that you had already started (in April) rather than that you were anticipating to start in June? So a fractionally better (if it were true) but high risk (if you get caught) lie rather than a simple truth.

:diebanana:Don't lie! It's just not worth it...

The difference between two months pre-application and one-month after is negligible. And the 'stuff happens' excuse is real -- it does. But if anyone ever does find out, you're toast.

Start volunteering elsewhere NOW -- somewhere unpleasant where you can start immediately -- so you can cover with a "didn't pan out as planned and since it was so short-term" vague excuse and distraction if you get interviewed.
 
OP
C
Jun 24, 2015
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Pre-Medical
So if I'm understanding this, you put down on your application that you had already started (in April) rather than that you were anticipating to start in June? So a fractionally better (if it were true) but high risk (if you get caught) lie rather than a simple truth.

:diebanana:Don't lie! It's just not worth it...

The difference between two months pre-application and one-month after is negligible. And the 'stuff happens' excuse is real -- it does. But if anyone ever does find out, you're toast.

Start volunteering elsewhere NOW -- somewhere unpleasant where you can start immediately -- so you can cover with a "didn't pan out as planned and since it was so short-term" vague excuse and distraction if you get interviewed.
Thanks mom. I've already picked up a gig at a hospice -- if I do 100 real hours it cancels out right :dead:
 

Mansamusa

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Thanks mom. I've already picked up a gig at a hospice -- if I do 100 real hours it cancels out right :dead:
Did you say that you started in April or June? If June, you can just say on secondaries that you either can't start until Sept or that there was a hiatus until Sept. If you said April there's not much you could to make it look unintentional
 
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wagonwheel23

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Based on what you have said, it sounds like you indicated you would start in June. I don't think that was unethical, but it is a lesson about making assumptions that future events will go exactly as planned.

Just update schools on their secondaries. You will be ok. And honestly, an activity that you began right when you submitted your application likely would have had a negligible affect on your candidacy.
 
May 30, 2016
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Nah dude that isn't it. I'm glad you like tryna figure out psyches but you people are just so neurotic. Everyone lies every year on these apps regarding hours and actually how involved they were in something. Also, ADCOMs are people too with other jobs instead of just checking apps all day. They teach classes, do research, they're absolutely not going to check such run of mill details. We can argue all we want, but thousands of people go to med school each year lying on their apps and are never caught. It's one thing to lie about serving for the Peace Corp for 5 years, but absolutely no one is going to waste time checking a basic hospital gig. The majority of this forum is just neurotic. You included buddy. And let me know if you want me to take a crack at your psyche seeing as you tried doing mine.
The idea is that lying is wrong. OP seems apologetic. It's an honest mistake. If I was OP, I'd try to contact the hospital and tell them about what has happened. If they call in to check and the hospital says something along the lines of, "He was supposed to start then, but because of ___ he had to start later. He is currently volunteering and doing a great job though." he'll be fine. I've also heard update letters are a thing.

You might get away with it, but if you think that lying is wrong, and you'd like to rectify this, it can be done. Do not worry.
 
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Goro

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What you are inaccurately ascribing to Adcom members is the responsibility of the Admissions Dean and his/her staff, who get paid to do the stuff of what you call "run of the mill details". Why do you think apps ask for contact info?????

Nah dude that isn't it. I'm glad you like tryna figure out psyches but you people are just so neurotic. Everyone lies every year on these apps regarding hours and actually how involved they were in something. Also, ADCOMs are people too with other jobs instead of just checking apps all day. They teach classes, do research, they're absolutely not going to check such run of mill details. We can argue all we want, but thousands of people go to med school each year lying on their apps and are never caught. It's one thing to lie about serving for the Peace Corp for 5 years, but absolutely no one is going to waste time checking a basic hospital gig. The majority of this forum is just neurotic. You included buddy. And let me know if you want me to take a crack at your psyche seeing as you tried doing mine.
 

FutureOncologist

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What it sounds like is you lied about the date and fudged hours you assumed you had. I'm a little fuzzy on the details about when you were supposed to start (is it April or mid-June?) This is different than volunteering for 3 summers at a hospital and estimating "around 200 accumulated hours." Are you going to have the exact time to the minute? Heck no. HOWEVER, you blatantly assumed you were given this position and you put it down. Not sure what you could get out of starting a few months beforehand, but I can tell you not that much. In fact, if this is the first clinical volunteering gig you have ever on your AMCAS, then I'd assume you're checking a box if I saw your app as an adcom. But that's just me.

Make the correction on your AMCAS, as others have stated. Don't let this haunt you OP. You're better than that.
 
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candbgirl

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And this story is a perfect example of why ADCOMS on SDN almost always say they give little credence to future activities listed on primary applications. Life happens, the road is paved with good intentions etc.. The only real issue is why you lied about your starting date and pretended that you had already started when you hadn't even interviewed.


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im2raw

What you are inaccurately ascribing to Adcom members is the responsibility of the Admissions Dean and his/her staff, who get paid to do the stuff of what you call "run of the mill details". Why do you think apps ask for contact info?????
But they don't do this though. Fine, you don't want me anecdotal stories from my friends, my dad's best friend is an ADCOM at UC Davis. I've spoken to him. They only check ECs if it's something that sounds outlandish, you said you worked with a prominent person or organization or check up your research paper you said was published. They will never waste their time checking if you did some volunteering at a hospital. The contact info was enacted so that it would act as a placebo and deter people from lying just because they asked for the contact info. That in it of itself would have made people who were initially going to lie or exaggerate think twice. But it's not followed up on. I can't believe you people are really this neurotic.
 

mcatjelly

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But they don't do this though. Fine, you don't want me anecdotal stories from my friends, my dad's best friend is an ADCOM at UC Davis. I've spoken to him. They only check ECs if it's something that sounds outlandish, you said you worked with a prominent person or organization or check up your research paper you said was published. They will never waste their time checking if you did some volunteering at a hospital. The contact info was enacted so that it would act as a placebo and deter people from lying just because they asked for the contact info. That in it of itself would have made people who were initially going to lie or exaggerate think twice. But it's not followed up on. I can't believe you people are really this neurotic.
But Goro is also an adcom...
 

Goro

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Adcom members are not the same as the staff of the Admissions Dean. But if you wish to take solace that UCD = all other medical schools, run with it.


But they don't do this though. Fine, you don't want me anecdotal stories from my friends, my dad's best friend is an ADCOM at UC Davis. I've spoken to him. They only check ECs if it's something that sounds outlandish, you said you worked with a prominent person or organization or check up your research paper you said was published. They will never waste their time checking if you did some volunteering at a hospital. The contact info was enacted so that it would act as a placebo and deter people from lying just because they asked for the contact info. That in it of itself would have made people who were initially going to lie or exaggerate think twice. But it's not followed up on. I can't believe you people are really this neurotic.
 
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I agree with most people, just call them and correct the issue with the schools. This was an honest mistake.

Also, there is a difference between fudging hours and saying you volunteered 50 hours instead of 30. A red flag would be lying about being a international volunteer 2 years and then making extensive claims about it in your essays.


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