Medical Can I still get in with institutional action?

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May 10, 2013
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Hello I have a question about how to address an IA in my application. I got a letter of warning from my dean in my sophomore year for sharing homework answers with a friend. I got a letter of warning put in an internal school file and a 0 on the assignment but I passed the class with an A because the prof who was teaching it didn't think it warranted an F. My dean and an app advisor told me to not report this because it isn't on my transcript or conduct record but I think this is still an IA and then I would be lying on my app and I don't think I could handle the guilt and fear of being caught. I want to show that I have moved on/redeemed myself from the situation so does anyone have advice on how to address this in my application? Should I mention that I still passed the class, is that important? I was thinking of writing a brief explanation of the incident and then talking about what I did in the last 2 years to build myself back up, is that ok? Also should I delay applying a couple years to put more time between myself and the incident (its been 2 years)? Please let me know what you think, I have been really stressed about this and would appreciate any feedback.
Well the AAMC has a good definition of what an IA means. And in this instance, your college took action. SO I would say it would be important to address it. Just be honest as you did here, state what happened, state what you've done to prevent it from happening again. Don't dwell on it too much. If the rest of your record is good you should be okay.

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I would say address it, own it, and move on. With good ECs showing community service you can likely redeem yourself, but not saying anything and then it popping up somewhere will ruin you.
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IMO, if your dean is telling you not report it AND you're 100% sure it doesn't show up in any documentation, it may not need to be reported.
I also agree with this. Listen to your dean. If there is no record of this, there is no reason to fall on your sword. This is also so minor that if there is a record of it somewhere you should be able to explain it as you have here and say you were told not to report it—which is true.
My dean did say there is no reason to report it because he has never had any graduate level program request for this information but I think the letter is still maintained in an internal college file separate from my conduct record. I think this may show up in a dean's letter which I heard is sometimes requested after matriculation?

I'm worried that somehow the medical schools I apply to can access a record of this. Do you know if they ask for a dean's letter or certificate? If they do I'm sure my dean has to mention this incident or else he would be lying.
Again, my advice is that you listen to your dean who has a better understanding of the information that is transmitted with your application. I understand your concern, but at a certain point you either believe him or you don’t.
Do not retake your MCAT.

You don't need to do an SMP unless your science GPA is below 3.20, so your GPA as listed is not "low".

You should network and connect with admissions staff about your situation and your fit.
Okay thank you. My advisor told me that I basically have no chance to get into med school with an IA and a 3.6 so I've been really worried. I'll definitely reach out to admissions staff about this.
With a single IA you can still get in. It just takes work and proof that you've turned around.
Again, another example of bad advice from advisors. It's absolutely possible to get in depends on the circumstances surrounding the IA, the rest of your app, and what you have done since the IA.
Also could I ask your opinion on if I should do National Health Corps, clinical work(EMT/scribe/CNA) plus some volunteering, or do a postbacc/SMP. I know my GPA is not amazing but I'm not sure if I need to take more classes to raise it or just focus on getting more clinical experience.
What's your overall GPA trend? I tend to think that while your stats are unbalanced, you probably don't NEED additional classes, but if you have a downward trend then you could consider it.
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