Drug Tests in Med School

ZekeMD

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    This is kind of a strange question. I personally do not do any drugs, but my roommate does all the time. I don't really approve and I've mentioned this to him, but he does it all the time anyway so I've learned to deal with it and try not to be there when he does it. I was wondering if med schools require drug tests prior to matriculation? If they do, would it be possible for drugs to show up in my system from being around people doing it? Any info would be appreciated.
     

    Kalel

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      Many kinds of drug tests are able to pick up minute amounts of the drugs within your body, but the level should be read as negative or the physician who reads the test should be able to account for the level with exposure. If you do smoke/ingest/snort/whatever the drug, and you try to tell your physician that it's in your system just because you were "in the area", the level of drug in your system will probably be too high to be compatible with that explanation.
       
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      premed

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        It depends on the drug. Alot of synthetic drugs leave the body within a few days. However, I do know that marijuana can be detected for a couple weeks and they cannot differentiate between you actually smoking the weed or getting second hand. All this doesn't matter though, because medical schools do not drug test you.
         

        JohnHolmes

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          Private med schools can drug test to their hearts content, but I doubt they will.

          Public med schools are constitutionally forbidden from screenings such as the one you described.

          CCW
           

          JayMiranti

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            the chances of you testing positive are like 0...
            this whole "secondhand" campaign is govt propaganda, dont worry, and they dont test, but even if they do, i know what you mean i wouldnt want to have to possibly test positive cuz of a roomate, but you wont i pomise.
             
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            omores

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              re: background check.

              During orientation, we had to fill out a form with our addresses for the past five or so years. Then they ran it to look for, er, problems that crop up -- I'm guessing criminal convictions, outstanding warrants, etc. I do know of a few fellow students who "flunked" the background check (don't know why), but they're still here. I have a dim memory that they told us this was some kind of North Carolina medical board requirement, but I may be imagining that.

              As far as I know, your credit history never enters into it. According to the woman who gave the financial aid presentation at Case, however, "one or two" schools check your credit history as part of the admissions process. She said that Case was considering doing the same thing, since it (paraphrasing) "can tell us alot about how responsible a student is." This strikes me as a horrible idea, since credit reports are notoriously error-prone, and you'd never get a chance to explain yourself.
               

              JohnHolmes

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                Police: 5-year-old sprinkled marijuana on school lasagna

                MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- A 5-year-old boy took a bag of marijuana to school and was sprinkling it over a friend's lasagna like oregano when a monitor intervened, police said.

                The lasagna was confiscated before the other boy had a chance to eat it Monday in the cafeteria at Gratigny Elementary School.

                Police said it was unclear whether the kindergartner even knew what he was carrying, although he tried to hide the bag when the monitor approached.

                The boy "may have said it was oregano," said Mayco Villafana, spokesman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

                Police and child welfare authorities were investigating the boy's family. "The focus is on the child's environment and what issues could have led to a child having a bag of marijuana in school," Villafana said. Police also were looking into whether an older friend may have asked the boy to hold the bag.

                Also on Monday, authorities in Indianapolis said a 4-year-old boy took crack cocaine that police said was worth up to $10,000 to his preschool class and showed it to classmates, saying it was flour.

                Teachers realized it was cocaine and called authorities.

                "This could have killed these kids," said police Sgt. Roger Tuchek.

                Indianapolis police said Tuesday they were still seeking the boy's parents, Kenneth Lee Green, 24, and Andrea D. Jackson, 23. Jackson was wanted on a warrant for failing to appear in court, court records showed. Green had been convicted of carrying an unlicensed firearm, resisting law enforcement and marijuana possession.
                 

                TRUE

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                  What part of this isn't constitutional? For all practical purposes, if you work in a public hospital, you are a public employee. I know the federal government can (and does) require drug tests for all employees. Lower branches of government might be able to as well. Furthermore, you're job has a direct influence on other's lives. For instance, would you want your airline pilot to be drunk while flying or on drugs? No. That's why the FAA has screening programs...

                  Why not in medicine?
                   

                  hakksar

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                    because there is nothing in the Constitution that forbids the practice. In fact with the exception of illegal search and seizure (in criminal proceedings) there is nothing that protects privacy rights. Since the med schools are not going to charge you with a crime there is nothing that forbids them from forcing you to take a drug test. It is the same reason why high school athletes in some school districts have to undergo a drug test to play on the school's sports team
                     

                    raptor5

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                      I hear that if you drink vinegar and tons of water the night before

                      When I was in the NAVY I knew of many of person that would smoke somewhat regularly. I never knew a person that urinated a dilute sample because of overhydrating that was popped. Others had ways of contaminating the sample but I do not know how reliable it was. I do know of one person who took a piss test stoned and was not contacted about it afterwards. The thing in the military was that they picked the people to piss test at random and only tested random samples of those that provided samples.

                      If you smoke pot and can't stay clean for 28 days you have a problem. If you do narcotics occasionally and can not stay clean for 3 days you have a problem. So if you have a problem you should not be going into this profession. I smoked a little in my day and I would not want me practicing medicine on me or anyone else when I was inebriated.

                      There are many people out there who smoke regurly and it does not interfere with their lives one bit (Opinion). They like their life the way it is and good for them. The only problem for them is that it is illegal, which is wrong (another opinion). I do think this is a profession where you should give it all up, if not for yourself then for your patients. Granted you can smoke one night and feel fine in the morning but I am sure (because I am to lazy to find it) there is research out there showing the cognitive effects for a given time after use. Granted these are my views and are probably not shared by others, but this is a forum to voice our thoughts.

                      If there are any medical school officials on this site, I do not do it anymore and will be glad to take a test any day of the week provided you give me a 2-4 week notice. HAHA. Sorry that's not funny.
                       
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                      felipe5

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                        Originally posted by raptor5

                        If there are any medical school officials on this site, I do not do it anymore and will be glad to take a test any day of the week provided you give me a 2-4 week notice. HAHA.

                        hmmmmm, i'd prefer to have at least 4 weeks notice :hardy:
                         

                        japhy

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                          cooper,

                          i don't know why you think a piss test is unconstitutional. there was a big stink a few years ago about requiring high school athletes to piss test. from what i can gather it is not so much the school that is requiring the test as the hospitals that we work in during 3rd and 4th year. they can certainly set requirements, such as taking a piss test, before anyone has contact with patients.

                          while it bothers me, it isn't unconstitutional.
                           

                          felipe5

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                            Originally posted by medic8m
                            When is our country going to get over the big bad evil marijuana myth?

                            A nontoxic schedule I drug??

                            yeah no kidding....When Nixon started the drug scheduling, schedule I drugs were heeded as drugs with NO medicinal use whatsoever........whats up with that???

                            Heroin, MDMA, LSD, and marijuana......which one doesn't belong????
                             

                            medic8m

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                              Tangent:

                              The alcohol industry has a large stack at keeping marijuana illegal. In fact they sponsored an irradication program in Northern Caliofrnia when I went to school there.

                              Marinol(Cannibanoid) is approved for medical use and is used frequently at the hospital I use to work at. It is kinda funny to watch an 80 year old woman get the muchies - but it does work!
                               

                              JohnHolmes

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                                Originally posted by japhy
                                cooper,

                                i don't know why you think a piss test is unconstitutional. there was a big stink a few years ago about requiring high school athletes to piss test. from what i can gather it is not so much the school that is requiring the test as the hospitals that we work in during 3rd and 4th year. they can certainly set requirements, such as taking a piss test, before anyone has contact with patients.

                                while it bothers me, it isn't unconstitutional.

                                I think it comes down to whether the hostpital is a public or private one as well. Maybe it was a private hospital that administeredd the test.

                                There have been some serious issues with the kids and piss testing them for athletics. Here are a few findings by the court that allow them to piss test them:

                                The safety of atheletes is important, and drugs impare their performance.

                                Drug use among teenagers is seen as a gateway.

                                Fewer protections are granted within the public schools system in terms of first, fourth and fifth amendment guarantees.

                                The results of the test were not handed over or connected to law enforcement in anyway shape or form.

                                Schools are STILL forbidden from administering random drugs tests to the random students selected from the general student population. It is restricted to random sampling of the above mentioned group.

                                CCW
                                 

                                JohnHolmes

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                                  Unreasonable search and seizure.

                                  The court has found time and time again that randomly drug testing adult populations is a violation of the fourth amendment. It does NOT apply directly to criminal proceedings, but rather any organization affiliated or acting as an agent of the government. This applies to schools.

                                  CCW
                                   

                                  hakksar

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                                    Random yes, to get a job no. Getting into and matriculating in a medical school is much like getting a job (this applies to Govt jobs too, DEA and FBI agents undergo drug screens before employment). There is no requirement that they accept you and could use a positive drug test as a reason to not accept you just as the DEA or FBI could use a positive drug test not to hire you. However, I think it would be unconstittutional to charge you with a crime with that drug test.
                                     

                                    JohnHolmes

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                                      That would seem more reasonable. Or if they use the positive drug test as probable cause to obtain a warrant for a search of your vehicle/home would also seem to violate constitutional safeguards. The question then becomes, if it is allowed (and I believe that law enforcement is an exception to that rule I stated) then are continued random drug tests permitted. In the military they are, and I've taken quite a few of them. I don't mind taking them, most people don't, its the principle. I'm sure if you work for a private group such as Kaiser, they could piss test you every hour on the hour with impunity.

                                      CCW
                                       

                                      hakksar

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                                        I agree with that, they might require one when you go to get your license or something, but I think random drug tests would be pushing the line (Private employers or military Docs notwithstanding). I don't know, part of me thinks that it is an invasion of privacy but another part of me thinks that drug testing doctors might be necessary to protect patient safety (I am not talking Marijuana here but rather Opiod abuse). I am not sure how the court would rule if the case was framed in a protection of society vs privacy rights viewpoint.
                                         

                                        medic8m

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                                          Originally posted by hakksar
                                          I agree with that, they might require one when you go to get your license or something, but I think random drug tests would be pushing the line (Private employers or military Docs notwithstanding). I don't know, part of me thinks that it is an invasion of privacy but another part of me thinks that drug testing doctors might be necessary to protect patient safety (I am not talking Marijuana here but rather Opiod abuse). I am not sure how the court would rule if the case was framed in a protection of society vs privacy rights viewpoint.

                                          This is a good point. I'm reminded of a local anesthesiologist found dead in a suite (OD). Also of a nurse who was caught with a peripheral IV in her ankle. She had been injecting during her shift. It does happen more frequently then I thought. Nurses must submit urine for tox screen in many private hospitals. Of course, nurses probably have greater access to substances with a high abuse potential.

                                          My personal opinion is that staff should be forced to drug test on the spot ONLY if there is a suspicion of being intoxicated. This would be similar to being pulled over for swerving and taking a breathalyzer. It would have the intended consequences without trampling on everyone's privacy (away from work).
                                           

                                          japhy

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                                            In context of public employer drug testing, search is justified at its inception where "reasonable grounds exist for suspecting that search will turn up evidnece of work-related drug use." Thus, Department of Justice would be enjoined from implementing mandatory random drug testing by urinanalysis of certain department employees since testing would violate Fourth Amendment to United States Constitution inasmuch as proposed testing would not be justified at its inception due to fact that it was highly unlikely--in light of department's concession that illegal drug use was not problem in department-- that testing of otherwise trusted and apparently law-abiding employees would turn up evidence of work-related drug use.

                                            Cooper, the hospital was a public hospital not private. Further, it seems to be the law in most states that drug testing does not violate the 4th amendment. However, a better claim can be made that it violates due process.

                                            While I don't think many schools drug test at matriculation, I do not think it is unreasonable to have anyone with patient contact submit to a drug test. They told us 6 months ahead of time the date and time of the test. If you can't stay clean with that kind of warning, you have a drug problem. Further, I know that my school would not kick you out if you tested positive, but they would require counseling or drug treatment.
                                             
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