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DUI conviction and medical school application

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by zebraman, May 23, 2005.

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  1. zebraman

    zebraman New Member

    May 23, 2005
    Hey everyone,

    I am currently applying to medical school with a physiological science major with a gpa of 3.92 and have a 34 on my MCAT score (12 11 11). I have lots of clinical experience, research and leadership experience.

    However earlier in the year I was convicted of a DUI. It was really unfair because I was sleeping in the car to sober up before I drove home but a cop saw me and thought something was wrong and one thing led to another and I was convicted of a DUI. I talked to my lawyer and he said it will take 3 years for them take to it off my record.

    Now I know the application only asks for felony records and a DUI is a misdemeanor. But I was wondering once they do a background check and they see a DUI what will they do?

    I really don’t feel its fair for one night to take away the 4 long and hard years of college I put in.

    What do you guys think of my chance of getting into a medical school? Do you know if medical schools care or look for misdemeanors? Any advice of any kind would be nice.
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  3. tigress

    tigress queen of the jungle 10+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2004
    Wow, you were sleeping in the car and they gave you a DUI? I didn't even know they could do that! I mean, you don't have to actually be driving a moving vehicle? I'm sorry I don't have any advice, I just want to say I'm really sorry this happened to you, it sucks! :thumbdown:
  4. kenmc3

    kenmc3 Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Sorry to hear about this. I actually remember this happening on some sitcom I was watching, although I don’t remember which one (maybe Everybody Loves Raymond). I do remember that I thought it was a very stupid law. I think that you will have a decent chance applying to medical school. Be as honest as possible on your applications. All your secondary applications will give you a chance to explain any prior arrests etc. I think that your story wont blow too many whistles and may even paint your as a mature person who took responsibility and decided not to drive. You may want to refrain from applying to the top tier schools; they would probably use this against you since most of their applicants are stellar with no judicial history. But with your MCAT and GPA, I think that you should be able to get into some medical school.
  5. zebraman

    zebraman New Member

    May 23, 2005
    yeah not really fair is it =(
  6. LabMonster

    LabMonster Clinically relevant. 10+ Year Member

    Mar 11, 2005
    I have drawn many legal BALs from people trying to sleep it off in their car - was the car running? sucks

    Anyway, there are other threads about convictions - I started one because of getting busted with pot when I was 19. Don't believe the hype about expungement - it will show up on the record when you get you healthcare provider background check - it showed up on all three of mine.

    My advisor told me to be up front about it, and so I will. It was a long time ago and I've obviously changed.

    You have a more difficult task though - it was recent. If I were you I would seriously look into teaching a class or educating young people about alcohol etc.

    The conundrum is: schools won't find out about it until they do a background check - and I'm not sure when that is - so is it really necessary to mention it at all? I've been looking for someone already in medical school for advice about this and haven't found any decent answers yet.

    Good luck
  7. the other Dr.

    the other Dr. Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jul 11, 2004
    How do you know that they have no judicial history? This might be the case, but you should definitely apply to top tier schools because you have good scores. Many secondaries will ask you if you ever committed a crime or have ever been convicted of a crime and others will ask about misdemeanors. You will have to disclose it and you should explain your situation and what you learned from your mistake. All applicants are not perfect little angels and the Adcoms know this! I had to disclose an MIP on many of my secondaries and it did not affect my admission to several top tier schools. I think the only school that seemed to care was George Washington and they were the "lowest" ranking school I interviewed at. They requested official documentation after my interview of the incident. What a load of BS. Its probably not the best was to distinguish yourself from the pack, but it certainly will, so go with it and write a kickass statement. This will not be what keeps you out of med school unless you make it seem like it was no big deal. PM me if you want more info and good luck!
  8. zebraman

    zebraman New Member

    May 23, 2005
    How likely is it that adcom do background checks?
  9. Newsradiofan

    Newsradiofan Member 5+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Even if they don't do background checks (which they probably won't because they don't have the time), who wants to get kicked out of school because their application was less than truthful. That would be much MUCH worse and a definite career ending event. Where do you go after that?

    Be up front, speak from the heart, hope that the person reading your application is not close minded.
  10. nabeel76

    nabeel76 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    That sucks! I feel for you. Believe it or not I know several people that got busted this way. I believe the law, in Virginia, at least is that if you have the keys in the ignition it does not matter if you are driving or not - you will get a DUI. Next time toss the keys in the back and jump in the passenger seat to play it safe. Better yet, just cab it. It sucks to learn the hard way.

    Are you sure that a DUI is not a felony? I am almost positive that a DUI, in Virginia at least, is a felony charge. I got pulled over and locked up for one in VA when I was 20 years old, but never got charged with it in court. It got reduced to a reckless driving.

    On the bright side your stats are impressive, and if in fact it is not a felony - than don't even mention it. They only ask if you have any felonies on your record, and if this isn't one than why would you even mention it. On the other hand if it is a felony than list it. I think you will get interviews with your stats regardless, and you can then explain your situation at the interviews. At least you weren't driving and were attempting to sober up. We've all been there, just haven't got caught :D
  11. zebraman

    zebraman New Member

    May 23, 2005

    I am sure it is not a felony. So I will not list it on the aamcas application; however, do you know what percent of the secondarys ask if you have ever been arrest? I am sure they will do background checks once they decide to accept you into the school. =(
  12. DianaLynne

    DianaLynne Catwoman! 5+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I'd say only admit it if and when there is a question that asks about it specifically. Unless of course, that that bad experience led you to some kind of epiphany that changed your life. And I must echo what some other folks have put on here, the med schools may or may not do a background check, but they all know that folks make mistakes. Good luck, I hope that it isn't an issue for you.
  13. beefballs

    beefballs MIDWEST 10+ Year Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    I know two other peole that got busted this way, only address it if it coems up specifically, then be honest about the situation, is the scenario on the ticket or anywhere else that would indicate you weren't physically driving?
  14. i77ac

    i77ac Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 14, 2003
    Sunny California
    I'm entering MS1 and have been told by schools that all schools do a background check before school begins. So you might get away with it in the application process, but they will catch you if you''re hiding something, and probably jeopardize your acceptance.
  15. nabeel76

    nabeel76 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    Do they ask you if you have been arrested as well as if you have any felonies? Maybe they mean felony arrests? Unless you were actually sentenced during your arraignment to jail time, I don't think this would be considered arrested. This is more or less a drunk tank and your not in population. Verify this though, cause I could be wrong! I am just speaking from my personal experiences - In my situation, I was pulled over and arrested for a DUI, but got charged with a reckless driving. I have had applications that ask if I have any felonies or arrests and I put no. I have had security clearance background checks, and full background checks from the last 3 companies that I have worked at and this has never come up. So, that leads me to believe that maybe the arrests only come up if it came down in the form of a sentence, rather than a detox night. I am not too familiar with the law so take all of this with a grain of salt and ask around, you wouldn't want to unnessarily mention anything that you don't have to.

  16. xanthines

    xanthines decaying organic matter Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2002
    If you are sure the DUI is a misdemeanor and not a felony, then omit from the the question regarding felonies. It would be inappropriate to do otherwise. However, your misdemeanor WILL show up on a criminal background check if they do one. What no one knows is how this will affect your accpetance status.

    I would try to place a discreet call to the admissions office and try and get some answers without revealing your identity. Maybe give them a first name or something. Explain the situation and ask if anything will come of it. You may be asked/required to explain your actions.

    As an aside, I believe a DUI can be either a misdemeanor or felony in the same state, depending on the circumstances. Also DUI convictions/trials are related to but separate from DMV procedures. Just being arrested and not convicted can result in suspension (usu a short time) of your liscense in some states.


    Oh yea, I'm not a lawyer so the above may not be accurate. Feel free to correct any of this.

  17. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    This is your future. Don't get advice here, contact an attorney and/or the school (anonymously).

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