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Apr 16, 2020
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Hello,

I’m a 1st year DO student and I wanted advice on applying to residency considering my history.

I have been arrest twice for possession of MJ. The first arrest was in 2015 (when I was 20) and the second arrest was in mid 2017 (when I was 21). I’m in the class of 2023.

The first arrest has been expunged but not the second. Both charges were dismissed... So I have no convictions.

The first charges showed up in my background Check for med school but not the second; I was cleared.

I want to apply FM/IM. And so far I’ve been very strong academically (Top 10%) and I might get involved in research over the summer. However, these two charges are constantly hovering over my head. Some days I’m completely unproductive because of it.

The ERAS asked if I have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. I can honestly say no to that.

Another question ask if I have anything in my history that will affect licensing and hospital privileges.
....Do I really have to say YES to this? No one is going to deny me licensure for this. So “NO” is an honest answer. I feel like disclosing this puts me at risk for not matching (though this might be my paranoia). I was even thinking reporting the second one (since it does show up on background checks).. but not the first one because it is expunged. And I repeat these are not convictions.

I feel like one arrest six years ago can be overcome... two? Maybe, probably? People have told me yes on these forums.

My question is:
Can I be fired from residency for not disclosing an “expunged arrest” (not even conviction)?

It’s really taxing to have this over my head. To be honest, sometimes I just want to dropout and do dental school (no offense to my dental colleagues)... But I know I can be competent and caring doctor.

I’m stuck lol
PS: I did post about this on a throw away once but my question is different this time. Also I understand this is an Internet forum at the end of the day; I’m just looking for input.
 

GoSpursGo

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Some days I’m completely unproductive because of it.
Please speak with a mental health professional if you are not already doing so. This level of dysfunction related to these anxieties is significant, and I hope you're seeking counseling from someone other than anonymous posters on SDN.

Your anxieties are irrational. If these incidents are as minor as your are making them out to be, nobody is going to care as long as you explain what happened and your record has been clean for 6 years. If people have told you this before and you're still paralyzed worrying about this, all the more reason to seek help.
 
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killerleaf

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I agree with Spurs, you may need a little bit of help with this. Disclose both, and be prepared to explain that you have grown up. Why disclose? Because most state boards are going to do a background check, and they both will pop up. You must be honest with the board, or you don't get permit/license. Also, most institutions also run a pretty good background check, also. You do not want your PD caught off guard. Most will not care, and thank you for being honest.
 
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. @GoSpursGo @killerleaf I think my problem is I sometimes lose perspective of how "minor" these things my appear to other people/potential PD. Sometimes I find myself comparing my situations to getting two DUIs and other times I don't think about it for weeks.

I will reach out to a therapist for this; I have been avoiding this because this is not a topic I enjoy talking about at all.
 

killerleaf

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Please reach out. You will need the skills for residency. :)

But when the time comes, do disclose. You never want your PD to find out the hard way.
 
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NotAProgDirector

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I agree. It's better to just disclose it. Otherwise, once you match you might find that the license application asks more intrusive questions and then you'll be here asking how to tell your PD about this. It's going to have a minimal, if any, affect on your application. Put it in the misdemeanors section -- just describe what happened, that they have been expunged / vacated / whatever. No one will care.
 
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gutonc

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Message me directly. I went through this exact thing. I'm an incoming PGY-1 with an expunged record who just matched into IM this year. I can share with you the advice I got from the administration of my medical school, PDs I talked to on away rotations, and my current hospital's administration/PD. Also please ignore the advice of people who have not been through this process. They are simply guessing.
Instead of just denigrating the people who tried to help (admittedly without personal experience), why don't you provide your (hopefully) useful personal experience for everyone here.

This isn't the first time (nor will it be the last) that a similar question has been asked. And firsthand knowledge can be very helpful.
 
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gutonc

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@gutonc Also, you could learn to respond (in the future) without being so condescending. Hopefully, you don't treat your patients that way.
Your advice was pretty condescending...although I see you've edited that part out. And I'm pretty sure I said your firsthand advice would probably be helpful. Which it turned out to be.

And I don't know if you actually read the responses to the OP in this thread, but they basically said the same thing you said (without the drama)...disclose now. Medicine is much better at giving permission than forgiveness.
 
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Hey, thank you for your responses. I have a follow up question. is there a way to disclose these arrest without checking “YES” on any of the following boxes.
1. Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor?
2. Have you been convicted of a felony?
3. Do you have anything in history that will affect licensing and hospital privileges?

This way I can still disclose but not worry about the filters? The arrests need to be disclosed And I’ve made peace with that... but they won’t affect my ability to get licensed or get privileges. So is there anyway to disclose these without putting yes on those boxes?

@GoSpursGo @NotAProgDirector @gutonc
 

GoSpursGo

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Hey, thank you for your responses. I have a follow up question. is there a way to disclose these arrest without checking “YES” on any of the following boxes.
1. Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor?
2. Have you been convicted of a felony?
3. Do you have anything in history that will affect licensing and hospital privileges?

This way I can still disclose but not worry about the filters? The arrests need to be disclosed And I’ve made peace with that... but they won’t affect my ability to get licensed or get privileges. So is there anyway to disclose these without putting yes on those boxes?

@GoSpursGo @NotAProgDirector @gutonc
You answered in your original post that you have never been convicted of anything, so that takes care of 1 and 2. Not so sure about number 3; that might be the place where you’re “supposed” to disclose something like this, and It’s been a while since I applied so I’m not sure where else you might disclose if not there. And I also am not sure that question gets a hard filter from many programs since a number of scared applicants might answer yes to that question for something minor like your situation, so unlike a filter for something like a poor step 1 score or a felony where that’s gonna be a hard pass regardless of the details, that’s one where the answer really matters. Or it could be that some of the other people you tagged would know a better way to disclose.

Again... you really have other things that you should be focusing on in your life than worrying about explaining a nothingburger 3 years from now. You basically re-asked your question in a different form. So I repeat my advice that I hope you’re speaking with someone about your anxiety.
 
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I do have 1 more question on this then I’ll get it a rest (I promise). Is it a “Match Violation” to not disclose this?
 

GoSpursGo

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I do have 1 more question on this then I’ll get it a rest (I promise). Is it a “Match Violation” to not disclose this?
I'm not sure how more clearly people can tell you that your life will be much easier if you disclose this. It may well be an issue that needs to be disclosed when you go for state licensing and you don't want your program caught off guard, so whether or not this is a "match violation" really doesn't matter.

If you must perseverate on this, the answer is that the NRMP has a pretty broad policy that simply says that it's a match violation when "An applicant fails to provide complete, timely, and accurate information to programs." You can read the relatively unhelpful page here: Reporting and Investigation of Violations - The Match, National Resident Matching Program . Whether a program would actually report you to the NRMP just based on failing to disclose these incidents (and the potential result of that investigation) is anyone's guess, but I suggest you don't find out.
 
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CalmAndCollected

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Hey, thank you for your responses. I have a follow up question. is there a way to disclose these arrest without checking “YES” on any of the following boxes.
1. Have you been convicted of a misdemeanor?
2. Have you been convicted of a felony?
3. Do you have anything in history that will affect licensing and hospital privileges?

This way I can still disclose but not worry about the filters? The arrests need to be disclosed And I’ve made peace with that... but they won’t affect my ability to get licensed or get privileges. So is there anyway to disclose these without putting yes on those boxes?

@GoSpursGo @NotAProgDirector @gutonc
Have you talked to a lawyer? What does your medical school tell you about this?

I don't see how you being arrested and having charged cleared would ever affect your licensing or hospital privileges, so the real question would be if not disclosing a dismissed charged would be a reason to terminate you after the match.
 
Apr 16, 2020
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@CalmAndCollected . My school knows about the arrest that is not expunged. I have not talked to lawyer since it it will be a while before I submit ERAS.
I would assume they could terminate me for this; though it doesn't seem at that likely (but I don't really don't know).
 

CalmAndCollected

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@CalmAndCollected . My school knows about the arrest that is not expunged. I have not talked to lawyer since it it will be a while before I submit ERAS.
I would assume they could terminate me for this; though it doesn't seem at that likely (but I don't really don't know).
If not disclosing it doesn’t constitute not “displaying accurate information”, then it would be a match violation to terminate you.
 

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