Chances of residency after disciplinary probation

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by Tanya19, 05.21.14.

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  1. Tanya19

    Tanya19

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    Hi Guys,

    My boyfriend is finishing his second year in a DO school, preparing his STEP One in the end of May. Everything was fine until this happened. So, he was in a STEP One review class, and the professor was showing them some review questions. He took a picture while the he told him not to in the beginning of the class. Most likely this is part of their school's question bank. He got caught by the professor and got a disciplinary probation on his record. I was really shocked by his school's reaction, I mean, if it's part of the question bank, the professor shouldn't show them in the first place. Plus this is not cheating cause there is no way he can use these slides for besides STEP One. Cause he is done with all the exams in school.
    My boy friend is in deep upset, however, giving his best shot for STEP One now. He is a very hard working person, but has a not-quite-promising transcript, with a few "C"s. I know he tried his best. Switching from a finance career to medicine is not easy.

    Please give us some advice on what he should do now. I do want him to stay in med school, he likes it a lot. But we don't know what are the chances to be matched in the end of 4th year with a mediocre transcript and a probation record. He actually just want to do IM or FM.

    If med school is totally a waste of time and money (he is already in 80k debt now), he might probably switch to something else.
     
    Last edited: 05.21.14
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  3. Serous Demilune

    Serous Demilune 2+ Year Member

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    Even if the school does release this probation to residencies, I doubt most of them will care. People have matched into FM and even IM with much worse.
     
  4. Tanya19

    Tanya19

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    I really hope this is true for a student with a probation. Especially, he does not want competitive specialties. Thanks a lot.
     
  5. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    To be honest, it depends what the school is going to write about it in the dean's letter. As long as the probation doesn't extend his time in medical school, I don't even think there's a box on ERAS he'd have to check to let them know about it.
     
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  6. Tanya19

    Tanya19

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    I might be wrong, but according to some one posted in another post, in the new form of dean's letter, things like probation are not discussed. But there might be a check box for probation in ERAS. And we are not sure if the probation record will show up in transcript or not. Luckily, he doesn't have to re-do the whole second year, or extend his time in med school.
     
  7. Raryn

    Raryn Infernal Internist Gold Donor 7+ Year Member

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    The format of the dean's letter is chosen by your school (or perhaps by the individual dean at your school you choose).

    You can look over https://www.aamc.org/download/269176/data/myeras_print.pdf , https://www.meded.umn.edu/residency/documents/CommonApplicationFormOverview.pdf , or others and see all the questions on ERAS. As far as I can see and as far as I remember there isn't anything specifically asking about disciplinary actions or probation, though there is a question if there's anything that extended your time in medical school. There's also a question that states "Is there anything in your past history that would limit your ability to be licensed or would limit your ability to receive hospital priveleges?", but if you just had a disciplinary infraction during M2 and weren't actually forced to repeat anything, I'd feel comfortable answering that "no."
     
  8. Tanya19

    Tanya19

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    Thx, Raryn for sharing the information. Deep sigh of relief~well, partially. Still have to keep fingers crossed for the Comprehensive step 1 exam next week and the dean's letter.
     
  9. littlejuan

    littlejuan 7+ Year Member

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    If he is that worried he should talk with the Dean, and possibly petition to have the probation removed from his record.
     
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  10. Tanya19

    Tanya19

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    He had brief email communication with his dean yesterday, looks like he is not quite helpful. The dean just told him to focus on step 1 next week. But you have the point, I guess maybe this is something he can do after step 1 exam.
     
  11. payme2

    payme2 7+ Year Member

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    Every school's dean's letter will vary, but on my dean's letter they had these two questions.

    Was this student required to repeat/remediate any coursework during medical education?
    Was this student the Recipient of any adverse actions by the medical school?

    The severity of this really depends on what's written.
    Regardless, if he's a good student and impresses on rotations, he'll be able to match FM or IM somewhere.
     
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  12. payme2

    payme2 7+ Year Member

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    Question:
    He got disciplinary probation for cheating? You make it sound like he got in trouble for taking pictures of study material.
     
  13. Tanya19

    Tanya19

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    That's why we are shocked. That's a picture of a STEP One review session slide in the classroom after all. It's possible that the questions the professor is showing are from question bank which they use to make final exams, but he is done with all exams in school, there is nothing to cheat of. The professor accused him for violating the 'student's honor code'. I don't see where that comes from either. Anyway, it is what it is. We need to try our best make it up now.
     
    Last edited: 05.23.14
  14. drstar842

    drstar842 7+ Year Member

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    "...I mean, if it's part of the question bank, the professor shouldn't show them in the first place"

    I'm only responding to this thread because of the lack of remorse in the OP's comment. Though they are speaking for their significant other, I still felt compelled to respond. I am baffled on why you are, as you called it, "shocked" at your boyfriend's school. Is it really because his school reprimanded him for doing something they asked him not to do? Shortly after your "shocked" comment, you go on to state that the professor shouldn't have been putting slides up with test questions if there was a chance they could have ended up on a future exam. That's like saying, "well, if that person wouldn't have left their door unlocked, I would have never gone in and stole their tv." I, mean, come on. Let's get real here. What's the point of having an honor code if students operate with a "whatever it takes" mentality? No matter how you want to rationalize it, the bottom line is that he was either insubordinate or cheating. Simple as that.

    It sounds like it probably won't be a big deal, but he's going to have a lot of bigger issues down the road in this profession if he is unable to own up to making the wrong decisions. You have to understand that getting a residency position is no different than getting a job in that your boyfriend will be evaluated based upon his record. If this "violation" shows up on his record, you are going to have to assume that a PD will inquire about it. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but a PD will want to understand why someone would knowingly make a decision, like the one your boyfriend did, that could have jeopardized his future. You still may be saying to yourself, "give me a break, it was a freaking picture of a test question." But, in this profession, it is the decisions that we make that change the outcomes in people's lives. That is why a PD might care about that decision should it pop up on his record, regardless of how minuscule you may consider it. And, that is why it's important that your boyfriend understands and takes ownership of this issue so that he will be able to effectively respond to any question from a PD regarding the violation should it ever come up during the interview process.
    I'm sorry for being blunt, but it is what it is.
     
    Last edited: 05.25.14
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  15. drstar842

    drstar842 7+ Year Member

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    And, just to let you know, the dean's letter is supposed to be an objective letter written by the dean that summarizes the medical student's time at said institution. This would include, but not limited to, GPA, honors, awards, comments from faculty that were specifically submitted to be considered for the letter, failures, etc. It is supposed to be an unbiased report in that the dean transforms all of the facts into the format of a personal letter to prospective program directors. The dean's letter is not supposed to include subjective findings, such as their own personal opinions about the student.
     
    Last edited: 05.27.14
  16. Serous Demilune

    Serous Demilune 2+ Year Member

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    This is unbelievably preachy and uptight. Taking a pic is a little different from stealing a TV for ****'s sake. Nobody will care.
     
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  17. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y! SDN Administrator 7+ Year Member

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    Right now he doesn't have any influence on what his school will do about this probation issue; what he CAN influence is how prepared his is and how well he does on Step 1.

    Right now he needs to forget about this probation and focus on what he can change, which is how prepared his is for Step 1, which at the end of the day will likely matter much more for his chances to get the residency he wants than whatever fallout happens from this incident. After Step 1, he can figure out what to do about the probation.
     
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  18. drstar842

    drstar842 7+ Year Member

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    Oh, my bad. Maybe I should have wrote, "the professor shouldn't have left the upcoming exams on his desk if he didn't want someone to take a picture of them." I guess that would have been a better analogy since you had a difficult time of getting my point. And, if you think nobody will care about a record that states a student violated the "honor code," you are out of your mind. This incident can be explained, but it is what it is. This is stamped on his record the same way as if he cheated on a test. It is just a matter of getting to explain your side of the story. That is the reality.
     
  19. drstar842

    drstar842 7+ Year Member

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    By the way, we are talking about the same original post, right? The one that said, "He took a picture while they told him not to in the beginning of the class. Most likely this is part of their school's question bank"

    That comment right there from the OP clearly states they told the students not to take pictures of the questions they would be going over as they may be a part of the school's official test bank. Her boyfriend chose to ignore the warning, took a picture, got caught, and now has an honor code violation. And, you are telling the OP, "no big deal, nobody will care." Right.

    Serous Demilune, you should probably inform the OP that you are still a medical student, and that you personally have absolutely no clue on how the interview process goes other than what you have been told or read about. And, unless you know of any previous students with honor code violations and how that affected their chances of getting into a residency, you should probably let the OP in on that ignorance as well.

    Just saying.
     
    Last edited: 05.25.14
  20. Ronin786

    Ronin786 ASA Member 5+ Year Member

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    More like the professor holds up the exam for everybody to see and scolds them for actually looking...

    I don't see the value of taking a picture in the first place, but lets not pretend this is some egregious violation that's going to turn said person into a horrible physician.

    To the OP, like others have said, focus on Step 1 and deal with this later. That's almost surely going to have a larger impact than this.
     
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  21. drstar842

    drstar842 7+ Year Member

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    It's not going to turn him into a horrible physician. But, it is what it is. He has an honor code violation, whether it is egregious or not.

    I gave my opinion..I'm signing off on this consult.
     
  22. Substance

    Substance 5+ Year Member

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    That professor sounds so butthurt. I bet he's a PhD who tried to get into med but failed to, and is holding a grudge against medical students.

    I guess you've learned the first lesson as a medical student or resident: do what you're told.

    It's not fair, and it's not right, but since there is so much at stake for medical students (a very highly respected well-paid professional designation) any weak-minded moron who happens to be a "teacher" at the school or hospital can make unreasonable demands.

    I'd fight it, personally. "Honor code"? Where is this documented? Find out.
     
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  23. atomi

    atomi Member 10+ Year Member

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    This x1000. While the vast majority of PhD instructors actually want to educate medical students and are happy with their career choice, there are no doubt a handful of others who resent their higher earning clinically-oriented peers and get their kicks by bullying med students and screwing with their careers. I have seen this happen before. They have a grudge and exercise it against the only medical professionals they can: med students. The new reformed team-based learning curriculums led by PhDs and "education doctors" are sometimes curiously designed to treat med students like grade schoolers and humiliate them.
     
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  24. captaincrunch

    captaincrunch Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Just a thought, but I wonder if the real problem is that the board review was a little suspicious and that is why they don't want photographic evidence. The various boards (including the USMLE) have rules against current test-takers recalling questions for future test-takers. If the professor had compiled a list of old test questions and topics from prior students, he would not want any paper trail or evidence of this lecture. This might explain why he would go out of his way to say "no pictures" when most medical school lectures are recorded and PowerPoint presentations made readily available.
     
  25. rokshana

    rokshana Member 10+ Year Member

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    There was a paper in JAMA many moons ago (in the 90s or so) that showed that med students with disciplinary actions and infractions against them were more likely to have disciplinary action taken against them by medical boards…

    wrong…but nonetheless….student was told not to a pix and he decided that rule didn't apply to him…what other rules does he or will he think doesn't apply to him? its the slippery slope not just the act…his med school evidently deems it an honor code violation…hopefully he actually learns from the episode and works to keep his record clean…being a mediocre student AND one with disciplinary actions? gonna be hard to explain that come interview season...
     
  26. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! SDN Advisor SDN Moderator 10+ Year Member

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    CaptCrunch beat me to the punch. Although I know nothing about the situation other than what's on this thread, the most likely explanation is that these "practice" questions were stolen from the test. That's why the prof doesn't want any evidence of them leaking out. Otherwise, what prof in their right mind would put their exam questions up for practice?

    Overall, though, I agree with the school. The student was told not to take pix of the questions, and that they would not be handed out. Perhaps the prof was trying to support the students who actually came to class. In any case, he/she was told not to take pix, and then did. Even if you feel that it's a ridiculous rule, it was made clear right at the beginning.

    If these are COMLEX questions, the student could turn them into the COMLEX and claim whistleblower protections. State that the whole reason they took the pix was to prove the wrongdoing....
     
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  27. Substance

    Substance 5+ Year Member

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    How much does the student have to gain by whistleblowing? I understand that staff who whistleblow against billing fraud have a very large reward to gain. I would assume that the reward for whistleblowing on test questions is not nearly as large .
     
  28. rokshana

    rokshana Member 10+ Year Member

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    i think it was more to allow for a reason to violate the rule of not taking pix.
     
  29. evilbooyaa

    evilbooyaa 5+ Year Member

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    Just as an aside - you have the definitions of subjective and objective reversed in this post.

    Subjective findings would be someone's own personal opinions about the student, while objective would be an unbiased report.

    In regards to the OP - It is likely the professor is doing something shady along the lines of showing NBME/COMLEX questions/topics or practice questions. That being said, the guy should focus on doing well on Step 1 and taking action to try to fix this problem (discussing with the dean about possibly getting it removed since it was a relatively minor offense, after ensuring the picture is deleted and not shared on facebook or something) only ONCE he has taken Step 1.

    I don't really get the outrage though. Couldn't the student have simply written down everything that was on the slide and nobody would be the wiser? Unless there were no note-taking allowed either, but I've never heard of that being a thing.

    All of this being said, taking a picture of something a professor explicitly said NOT to take a picture of is a pretty dumb move. However, if he is interested in FM or IM, OP's SO will likely be fine matching somewhere.
     
  30. Tanya19

    Tanya19

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    Didn't realize my 'forgotten' post has got so popular over the long weekend. I made this post last week to cheer my boy friend up, and show him there is still plenty of hope in the future matching, not as a complaint to the judgement (nor to argue how analogous is it to stealing a TV). Fair or not, it is what it is. He has learnt more than a lesson. All suggestions here are appreciated. Bottom line, we will try our best to fight to the end!
     
    Last edited: 05.27.14
  31. drstar842

    drstar842 7+ Year Member

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    Thx..fixed.
     

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