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Cheating Allegations

WingedOx

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    We don't know whether he did or he didn't, but his future is on the line. It's feasible that this was some freak accident like ElCapone experienced himself. I have written things down incorrectly (as students often do) and arrived at the correct answer before. There is clearly more to the story but based on what we have, there is no proof. I'm not condoning cheating, I'm just keeping things fair. You're willing to destroy someone's life over something you can't be certain of?

    My point is a lawyer is rather unlikely to help the OP at this stage in the game.
     
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    terra330

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      There will always be policies in life that you don't like because you think that they're dumb. Mandatory attendance, for example, seems to be a particularly hot issue around here. However, if it's expected that you turn in homework for a grade or attend every class, then complain all you want, but at the end of the day if you don't do these things then you'll get a lower grade than you wanted. (And you would deserve it, dumb policy or not.)
      Oh I understand that; if it's in the syllabus you have to suck it up and deal with it. But I do also understand frustration with such policies. One of the reasons I loved college over highschool was that for the most part there was no more busy work.
       

      sliceofbread136

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        You've just described what a sizable chunk of medical school is like

        Incorrect. I have had 0 meaningless waste of time assignments in medical school aside from compliance training. Sure I've had to learn plenty of meaningless junk, but that isn't on the same level as undergrad busy work. That stuff made me want to pull my hair out
         

        TBV

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          Incorrect. I have had 0 meaningless waste of time assignments in medical school aside from compliance training. Sure I've had to learn plenty of meaningless junk, but that isn't on the same level as undergrad busy work. That stuff made me want to pull my hair out

          Cultural competency lectures, regional consideration lectures, LBGQTLMNOP lectures, humanism lectures, almost every small group, forcing us to spend 4 hours to practice PEs on standardized patients 2 days before an exam... the list goes on. Med school is an exercise in success in the face of egregious nonsense and time wasting.
           

          WingedOx

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            Cultural competency lectures, regional consideration lectures, LBGQTLMNOP lectures, humanism lectures, almost every small group, forcing us to spend 4 hours to practice PEs on standardized patients 2 days before an exam... the list goes on. Med school is an exercise in success in the face of egregious nonsense and time wasting.

            and that's only the pre-clinical years.
             
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            piii

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              Cultural competency lectures, regional consideration lectures, LBGQTLMNOP lectures, humanism lectures, almost every small group, forcing us to spend 4 hours to practice PEs on standardized patients 2 days before an exam... the list goes on. Med school is an exercise in success in the face of egregious nonsense and time wasting.
              Sounds school-dependent
               

              sliceofbread136

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                Cultural competency lectures, regional consideration lectures, LBGQTLMNOP lectures, humanism lectures, almost every small group, forcing us to spend 4 hours to practice PEs on standardized patients 2 days before an exam... the list goes on. Med school is an exercise in success in the face of egregious nonsense and time wasting.

                Didn't have any of those lectures, although we did have VA crap to do and some suicide prevention stuff. Even so I don't mind waste of time lectures, I can nap during those. Can't sleep while doing busy work homework assignments.

                Practicing physical exams is not a waste of time, necessary skill to have.

                I guess you could say writing notes and stuff is meaningless busywork, but atleast that serves some purpose
                 

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                  JustAPhD

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                    Take home exams???

                    I had a couple over the course of my undergrad. As GrapesofRath said, they were all pretty difficult.
                    Mostly they were research-based. As in, read these papers and structure future experiments that could further the cause. If the experiments worked (lol), what results would you get and why do these results support the findings? Not easy stuff and truly tests your critical thinking skills. Plus, if you worked in groups it was blatantly obvious so no cheating involved.
                     

                    GrapesofRath

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                      I had a couple over the course of my undergrad. As GrapesofRath said, they were all pretty difficult.
                      Mostly they were research-based. As in, read these papers and structure future experiments that could further the cause. If the experiments worked (lol), what results would you get and why do these results support the findings? Not easy stuff and truly tests your critical thinking skills. Plus, if you worked in groups it was blatantly obvious so no cheating involved.

                      I had a professor or two that blatantly encouraged group work on his take home tests. His mentality was "go ahead, work with whomever you want, you'll still miss a ton of points". By and large looking at the class averages, he was right.

                      Another professor who gave take home exams was like "If people want to work together and give others answers go ahead. You're just screwing yourself because you are graded how you do relative to the curve".
                       

                      TBV

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                        Didn't have any of those lectures, although we did have VA crap to do and some suicide prevention stuff. Even so I don't mind waste of time lectures, I can nap during those. Can't sleep while doing busy work homework assignments.

                        Practicing physical exams is not a waste of time, necessary skill to have.

                        I guess you could say writing notes and stuff is meaningless busywork, but atleast that serves some purpose

                        Practicing a PE when you are 8 months away from using it... and wont practice it again formally for 8 months... and two days before an exam is absolutely a waste of time.
                         

                        el_duderino

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                          Practicing a PE when you are 8 months away from using it... and wont practice it again formally for 8 months... and two days before an exam is absolutely a waste of time.

                          8 months? I dunno about your school, but in first year we were practicing H&Ps every couple of months max, and now in 2nd year we're doing it every couple of weeks, if not more often.
                           
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                          billeboi31

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                            Much of the final outcome will depend on OP owning the issue and changing a really bad attitude. I wonder what OP did in the first place to make the professor take particular notice of everything OP did in the class. What professor has time to be this involved and/or vindictive. As we have all said-there is way more to this story.

                            If OP indeed cheated can we please raise a glass to the professor for digging and finding as tiny a gold nugget as 1.08 vs. 1.09 copied from a solutions manual on 1 part of 1 question?
                             
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                            el_duderino

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                              If OP indeed cheated can we please raise a glass to the professor for digging and finding as tiny a gold nugget as 1.08 vs. 1.09 copied from a solutions manual on 1 part of 1 question?

                              Obviously that wasn't the only factor. It is pretty incriminating though... the calculation at the end only works out if 1.09 is used as a factor, not 1.08.
                               
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                              TBV

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                                8 months? I dunno about your school, but in first year we were practicing H&Ps every couple of months max, and now in 2nd year we're doing it every couple of weeks, if not more often.

                                Our clinical class director has a masters degree in education and it's her first year. I literally have had more qualified high school teachers. But yeah as far as I can tell we are just supposed to learn on ourselves, SOs, and such before third year.
                                 

                                el_duderino

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                                  Our clinical class director has a masters degree in education and it's her first year. I literally have had more qualified high school teachers. But yeah as far as I can tell we are just supposed to learn on ourselves, SOs, and such before third year.

                                  This a US MD program?
                                   
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                                  Goro

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                                    I agree with my learned colleague up to a point, at least at the level of medical education. People have different learning styles and being in class can be a waste of time for some; they simply learn better on their own. Others have to come to class and have to hear things. But we have noticed a trend that our worst students tend to not come to class.

                                    Unless the professor explicitly says that s/he doesn't care if you come to class or not, I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you care about your grades, you actually SHOW UP for the class most of the time, and preferably don't sit in the very back row. As someone who has taught before, I am offended when people don't show up, or do show up but then don't pay attention; and it annoys me when those same people then come to me later with questions on topics that were clearly (IMO) explained during the class. If they then go on score well on tests, it doesn't actually help.

                                    I'm suggesting that the professor probably did have it in for the OP to some degree, but that this also is a direct result of the OP's choices. Nothing says "I don't give a duck" quite like skipping the professor's class and disregarding his/her explicit instructions about not using the solution manual to solve problem sets.

                                    Education is NOT like going to Walmart and buying a garden hose. You are not buying a degree, you're earning it. Or rather, you're buying the privilege of earning the degree. Just because you pay tuition doesn't mean that you have a right to a degree of any sort.

                                    That said, see above for mandatory lecture attendance. One of the reasons I don't not like recommending LECOM is that adult learners can figure out their best mode of learning. And with video recording of lectures these days, there's even less reason for mandatory lecture attendance.

                                    Labs are different animals entirely.

                                    Mandatory attendance is a load of sh!t. Let's not get this twisted you are not doing me a favor lecturing, you are providing a service and one that I am paying for. If I pay for a service and elect not to utilize it that's on me and provided the learning objectives have been met (exams & assignments) you should get the grade you deserve regardless.
                                     
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                                    efle

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                                      He doesn't need a lawyer, he needs a priest.
                                      I do wonder about that stuff. Does a school care? I could imagine threat of a lawsuit for wrongly costing OP their career would not be ignored, good chance they'd lose big time $ if the evidence was only on the level OP has shown us, a duplicated typo.
                                       

                                      raiderette

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                                        A lawyer can help at any stage, with almost everything. They help create a convincing and clear argument (even if they can't present it for you), and can preserve future paths of action. Also shows an element of seriousness.
                                        A lawyer cannot solve these problems. In most cases they will not even be able to speak in a hearing. It is a private matter.
                                         

                                        efle

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                                          A lawyer cannot solve these problems. In most cases they will not even be able to speak in a hearing. It is a private matter.
                                          Well I think it's not that they'd help OP at the hearing, it's that they'd help build a nice threat of successfully suing to remove the IA + damages should they return a guilty verdict
                                           

                                          Mad Jack

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                                            Unless the professor explicitly says that s/he doesn't care if you come to class or not, I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you care about your grades, you actually SHOW UP for the class most of the time, and preferably don't sit in the very back row. As someone who has taught before, I am offended when people don't show up, or do show up but then don't pay attention; and it annoys me when those same people then come to me later with questions on topics that were clearly (IMO) explained during the class. If they then go on score well on tests, it doesn't actually help.

                                            I'm suggesting that the professor probably did have it in for the OP to some degree, but that this also is a direct result of the OP's choices. Nothing says "I don't give a duck" quite like skipping the professor's class and disregarding his/her explicit instructions about not using the solution manual to solve problem sets.

                                            Time for a "big slice of humble pie with grovel sauce."
                                            I went to every lecture in undergrad, and basically none of them were required. It's a good way to do well and understand the material as well as possible.

                                            I've only gone to a handful of non-required lectures in medical school, however. It's funny how different the two worlds are.
                                             
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                                            GrapesofRath

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                                              I do wonder about that stuff. Does a school care? I could imagine threat of a lawsuit for wrongly costing OP their career would not be ignored, good chance they'd lose big time $ if the evidence was only on the level OP has shown us, a duplicated typo.

                                              Well the thing is we only hear about cases that draw attention and cause drama so in many ways we are prone to rhinking a lot more complaints against schools and those type of entities draw enough traction to actually cause a school problems than actually exist in reality. In reality rhe vast majority of such complaints probably never amount to much

                                              On the other hand here is an interesting article that highlights the opposite or what I'm saying. A professor I TA for showed me this and a lot of the ideas he talked about in here are why he by and large just ignores cheating and is under the mindset cheating will come back to the cheater sooner or later and bite them in the ass and that he's not going to worry about it. On the other hand I have another professor I've TAed for who's on the opposite spectrum; she turns in at least 2-3 people into the dean a semester in a 100 person class for cheating. She's very vigilant about it. Interesting to see how different theses perspectives can be


                                              Here's the article im talking about
                                              http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcam...obe-cheating-again—and-faces-a-backlash/32351
                                               

                                              efle

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                                                Well the thing is we only hear about cases that draw attention and cause drama so in many ways we are prone to rhinking a lot more complaints against schools and those type of entities draw enough traction to actually cause a school problems than actually exist in reality. In reality rhe vast majority of such complaints probably never amount to much

                                                On the other hand here is an interesting article that highlights the opposite or what I'm saying. A professor I TA for showed me this and a lot of the ideas he talked about in here are why he by and large just ignores cheating and is under the mindset cheating will come back to the cheater sooner or later and bite them in the ass and that he's not going to worry about it. On the other hand I have another professor I've TAed for who's on the opposite spectrum; she turns in at least 2-3 people into the dean a semester in a 100 person class for cheating. She's very vigilant about it. Interesting to see how different theses perspectives can be


                                                Here's the article im talking about
                                                http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcam...obe-cheating-again—and-faces-a-backlash/32351
                                                Man do I take issue with that first attitude. Even if he's right and karma eventually gets back to cheaters, that could be years down the road after they've wasted a medical school slot and with much higher stakes than being busted in a college class. But universities do set profs up to be apathetic - they should be able to immediately hand off suspected cheating to an impartial committee not deal with it themselves. Plus they should not be paid based on their student evals, which already punish profs for giving reasonable grade distributions instead of straight A's or large and challenging assignments instead of simpler or easier tests.

                                                Pretty funny that cheating was at like 20+% though. I think I come off as very jaded and cynical on this topic but seriously, academic integrity policies are just not a strong deterrent. Talking to my friends about this stuff (who generally don't know my opinion) most people would take advantage of low risk cheating opportunities like having access to pics of the exam ahead of time.
                                                 
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                                                DokterMom

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                                                  That article is depressing... And the whole "Karma will catch up with them eventually" attitude is worrisome to me as it's simply a Just-World Fallacy that sounds all harmless on the front end but is also commonly (as Wikipedia notes) "used to rationalize people's misfortune on the grounds that they "deserve" it.

                                                  I've seen far too much of this to believe in Karma anymore... If good people do nothing, what pressure will there be to do better?
                                                   
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                                                  GrapesofRath

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                                                    Man do I take issue with that first attitude. Even if he's right and karma eventually gets back to cheaters, that could be years down the road after they've wasted a medical school slot and with much higher stakes than being busted in a college class. But universities do set profs up to be apathetic - they should be able to immediately hand off suspected cheating to an impartial committee not deal with it themselves. Plus they should not be paid based on their student evals, which already punish profs for giving reasonable grade distributions instead of straight A's or large and challenging assignments instead of simpler or easier tests.

                                                    Pretty funny that cheating was at like 20+% though. I think I come off as very jaded and cynical on this topic but seriously, academic integrity policies are just not a strong deterrent. Talking to my friends about this stuff (who generally don't know my opinion) most people would take advantage of low risk cheating opportunities like having access to pics of the exam ahead of time.

                                                    The thing is in some ways they are too strong of a deterrent for the policies to be utilized effectively. I served on my schools judiciary committee jr and sr yr. I didnt have a major role at all(I was at the bottom of the food chain being a UG) but I got to see how these policies were implemented and more importantly I got solid insight into how professors viewed these incidents and decided to pursue them.

                                                    Ultimately the best way I can summarize what I gleamed from my time on the committee and doing my own research into the issue is many professors at the end of the day just arent comfortable making decisions that single handedly ruin students careers. Whether you agree with or not, many professors just arent comfortable with it. There is no in between for academic IAs and my sense is talking to some professors is there would be more willingness to pursue academic dishonesty if there was some in between. With the system in place at my school, its basically if you report it to the dean its a slam dunk IA that ruins those UGs careers. Professors I know have said they wish there was an in between ie a student gets disciplined say "loses financial aid but doesnt have an IA" or "has to drop out of school for a semester" or "has to sign a contract if they cheat again they get expelled and still have to pay tuition for that year" but without them having that IA to destroy their future. Again this is just from what I've gleamed. Obviously I dont agree with all of it, but professors arent always huge fans of hte idea of some committee often full of young adults deciding a UGs entire life like this. So they take it into their own hands ie "do I think this IA is worth ruining someone's life over?" In many cases, they don't. A couple professors in particular have told me when you compare somethings that people get into med school with such as DUIs or vandalism I dont see "copying a solution guide for HW" or "using your friends participation clicker while there in the bathroom" "or working together on HW" or "seeing someone with wandering eyes on an exam" as worse than those or worth ruining a career over. Again, it's their personal choice but the way the system is set up that they feel like they want to be the ones making the choices, not a judiciary committee. Whether you agree with or not, that seems to be what I and others who were involved in this picked up on over the years.

                                                    I do agree with your last point that I think if you put a fair number of pre-meds in a pressure situation and they were handed a pic of an exam beforehand that was taken illegally, they would glance at it and use it to their advantage. Likewise, there was a thread a few weeks ago about how someone was emailed a copy of an exam they got from a professors desk. I think there are a solid number pre-meds(including honest, noble and good natured ones who would make good doctors) who if they got that email wouldnt turn in their friends. They might not look at it and engage in an email convo like that poster did, but they wouldnt turn them in. If in fact their friends got caught and the email was found, they would be on grounds for an IA if they hadnt turned them in. So these things can be a tricky situation and there are different degrees of an IA. I would look at someone getting their acceptance revoked for "not turning in friends who stole an exam but they themselves didnt use that stolen exam in anyway or were at all involved in it" differently from someone getting an acceptance revoked for plagarizing or stealing an exam.
                                                     
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                                                    efle

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                                                      I don't really understand that level of sympathy for cheaters. They know the risks before doing it. The policies are harsh for a reason - cheating is a betrayal of your biggest duty as a student and left unchecked & widespread destroys the integrity of grades. And any guilt they had over costing this person their med school seat should be dispelled by knowing someone else now gets it, and that someone else is less likely to behave unethically. Honestly I don't think I'd be able to feel good without reporting it, you know you're giving someone a reward they likely didn't earn at the cost of someone else getting it.

                                                      I don't expect anyone to report their friends though. That's human nature. But you can anonymously report something like that is occurring with the names removed, which allows the prof to use a new exam and protect test integrity without anyone getting an IA over it.
                                                       
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                                                      GrapesofRath

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                                                        I don't expect anyone to report their friends though. That's human nature. But you can anonymously report something like that is occurring with the names removed, which allows the prof to use a new exam and protect test integrity without anyone getting an IA over it.

                                                        Meh but over a large scandal I could see how someone is paranoid about reporting their friends and worrying that those names of their friends would get out even if they try to be anonymous. IF you are a professor and someone sends you an anonymous tip that "hey someone took a photo of your exam and is leaking it out" do you expect the professor to just be like "Ok thanks I'll just make a new one" or for them to be like "I better find who the hell did this"? Regardless of the answer I can certainly see why someone wouldnt be sure which way their professor would react and hence be hesitant to report their friends. It suddenly becomes a major hassle and stressor for you as soon as you report it in this case.

                                                        Note though for something as simple as "I saw a bunch of kids working together in the back on a test' an anymous tip to the professor works alot better and I think that's rather reasonable.
                                                         

                                                        lalex

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                                                          I went to every lecture in undergrad, and basically none of them were required. It's a good way to do well and understand the material as well as possible.

                                                          I've only gone to a handful of non-required lectures in medical school, however. It's funny how different the two worlds are.
                                                          How are they different? You clearly just realized later during your education how useless some teachers can be.
                                                           

                                                          Mad Jack

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                                                            How are they different? You clearly just realized later during your education how useless some teachers can be.
                                                            Actually I can watch lectures at double speed, so I don't go to their lecture because I can follow it twice as quickly with a fast video player, then use the extra time to read up on their notes, references, or other sources of my own choosing.
                                                             
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                                                            Mad Jack

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                                                              This is standard for undergrad too
                                                              The vast majority of undergrad colleges in my state did not record lectures. The only people that I know that had that sort of tech support went to top 20s or similarly equipped universities. I'd bet that out of the over 4,000 universities in the united states, less than 100 have all lectures recorded. Probably far less.
                                                               
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