1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Download free Tapatalk for iPhone or Tapatalk for Android for your phone and follow the SDN forums with push notifications.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Ethics violation

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by brodaiga, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I am applying to Med School this year, and know there is a question on the AMCAS about academic violation. During my first semester at college (High Ranking School), I made an bad error of judgment and have since been paying the price. I was going through an emotional crisis that semester, and missed a class where the prof announced an upcoming test. I didn't know about the exam and was sick the week of the exam and missed it. To make the story short, the excuse I recieved from my doctor had the wrong date for my illness, and I changed the letter to make the date match. I could have withdrawn from the class, but not knowing there was such a thing, I had a black mark along with an F put on my record. I felt I couldn't stay at this school anymore and transferred to my state school.

    Well, now I'll be a graduating senior at the state school (Bio major/chem minor), have managed to mantain a 4.0 offsetting the F along with loads of ECs that show me to be an ethical person, along with good LORs. (Taking the MCAT next week, wish me luck!)

    To get to my question, has anyone had any experience with this situation or know somebody who has in terms of how ADCOMS will view such a thing?

    P.S. It was and still is extremely discouraging realizing that this dumb event which I take responsibility for could result in myself not being accepted to Med School despite all the hard work I have done in the last 3 years to try offset my foolish decision as a freshman. Ugh, what can I do, this is life.

    :(
     
  2. Note: SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Brickhouse

    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2003
    Messages:
    4,173
    Likes Received:
    9
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I'm confused - did they figure out that you had changed the date? And if so, why didn't you just say your doctor had made the error so you changed it, no big deal, and if they wanted they could call the doctors office to make sure you were telling the truth?
    And what is the black mark? Something med schools will see? If not, you can explain the F as you just have, and it will just seem like random bad luck and won't effect you chances overall.

    I had a disciplinary note in my file for "cheating" - of course I didn't cheat but the story's is too long to go into, but it was probational and only stayed in my file a year, so I never even mentioned it to the med schools, and it wasn't a big deal.

    Anyway, my point is, I think you'll be ok.
     
  4. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    thanks for the quick response. When I changed the date and got confronted I was nervous and lied about some things..getting me in trouble with a permanent "F" put into my "personal performance record" and a suspension for the next semester. On the Transcript, all it says is "F", but I do not think I want to take the chance of not mentioning for fear of being caught...

    Any comments are appreciated
     
  5. beriberi

    beriberi Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Though you don't want to, you need to contact Good College and ask to see a copy of your file. If it there was official disciplinary action, then you will need to fess up, because it may come out and black mark your application. It there is no official notation of it, then I think it is safe to say you can practice explaining why you have an F at Good College. People who don't write you letters of recommend are not going to communicate with the medical school; other people should not be commenting on things not in the official file.
     
  6. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I'm going to ask to look at my file, but i think it was official since the honor's council decided this, and the dean signed the recommended punishment.
     
  7. Spitting Camel

    Spitting Camel Anteater for Life!
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,847
    Likes Received:
    1
    AMCAS asks for all transcripts from all colleges attended. If it is on the transcript and they see you haven't reported it, you are in trouble. ALSO, the med school you matriculate at will ask for a copy of all transcripts, so they will see it regardless. Just deal with it and report it.
     
  8. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    All it says on my transcript is F and nothing else. But I've been dealing with it for the past three years. Most likely I will be reporting it...i was wondering if this was a death sentence to my application
     
  9. Spitting Camel

    Spitting Camel Anteater for Life!
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Messages:
    1,847
    Likes Received:
    1
    If it doesn't say it on your transcript, then you were never charged with it...

    Correct me if I'm wrong, guys...
     
  10. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    10
    I have a similar situation. I'm a nontraditional student. I completed my first degree in '96, and seem to remember (way back when) that I was close to spending a semester on academic probation. The problem is, I'm not sure if I did or not!

    I've checked out by (unofficial) transcript online, and it has no mention of anything, but I don't want to risk any non-disclosure. Here's what I'm going to do:

    I'm simply going to call my old school and ask if there is any type of action on my record. I'll explain that I (honestly) can't remember if I was ever on academic probation or not. If they say yes, I'll obviously include it on AMCAS.

    Come to think of it. I'll request this info in writing. That way if there is any mix-up later, I'll have it in writing that my Univeristy told me that there was no problem.
     
  11. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    10
    If you end up determining that this is on your record, approach the need to disclose it as another opportunity to point out the positive things in your application. Yes, you made a mistake. Yes, it was stupid. Also, it was a long time ago. You've obviously learned from it and your performance shows that.

    If you have to own up, do it - and then explain how you've changed for the better!
     
  12. juddson

    juddson 3K Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,049
    Likes Received:
    3
    Does AMCAS have a specific question about accademic dishonesty? If it does, you have to report it whether it is listed on your transcript or not. On the other hand, if they don't ask for this information, why would you tell them?

    I'm assuming you were 18 at the time. You know what else you could do" you might ask your school if it is possible to have the record expunged. They may do this. They may have a policy for this.

    Finally, realise that if this is handled correctly, I do NOT think it will keep you out of med school. I really don't. I think (if AMCAS asks the question) the question is asked to evaluate what you have done about it and what you have done since. Unless you went on a rampage and killed a family of three, I think the med schools want to know where you are and where you are going, not where you have been.

    Judd
     
  13. premedmadness

    premedmadness Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi,

    I had a bad quarter freshman year and was placed on academic probation. When i got to the disciplinary action part on the AMCAS i debated whether or not to say i was on academic probation. it was NOT in my file, OR on my transcripts. the dean's office at my school did not define academic probation as disciplinary action--- they said disciplinary action is cheating on tests and bla bla. but my premed counselor said that academic probation IS disciplinary action. so whatever, i went with the "full disclosure" policy and just went ahead and put it on my AMCAS, even though they prob wouldn't have found out about it from my transcripts, file, or whatever.

    the plus side of reporting it on your AMCAS is that you will prob breathe a sigh of relief and just avoid being paranoid throughout the whole process. in my opinion it is worth it to just come out and say whatever happened, that way you're not stressing the whole time.

    on the other hand, based on what some other posters said in response to you, if it's not on your record and nobody will know, then why draw negative attention to yourself? you can, in a way, "get away" with it. but i don't think it's worth stressing over it, and you obviously have a conscience for even thinking to post it here on SDN.

    and also, i think if you did write about it on your AMCAS in the least dramatic way you can put it, it can make you look like a person who has really matured and experienced a lot and learned from your mistakes. there are SO many ways that you can turn this into a positive experience. i say just make it as short as possible. let me see if i can come up with something:

    "in my freshman year at XXX college, i received an "F" in chemistry after missing the final exam, partly due to illness. i was not completely honest with my professor in explaining my absence and attempting to make up the exam. as a result, i received disciplinary action from the university. this experience has taught me the importance of responsibility for my actions, academic planning, and academic integrity."

    something short like that. don't make excuses, just own up to it.

    just my opinion!!!!

    good luck and i can empathize with you, i think we have all been through something like this.
     
  14. mrcool

    mrcool Junior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well it seems to me that the best case scenario is that you have an F on your transcript and no other notation. If this is the case, then you are still going to have to explain at interviews why you got an F and susequently transferred from Good School to your state school. Unless you want to come up with some elaborate lie (bad idea) then you will have to come clean. my suggestion is to pose it is the best possible light from the start, as some of the above posters say and try to make it into a positive, highlighting what youve learned and how youve changed.
     
  15. brodaiga

    brodaiga Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    thanks for all the helpful responses, I i'll try to turn it into a positive experience...
     
  16. ptanpit1

    ptanpit1 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey, I go to Hopkins undergrad and we have a procedure for this. Hope it helps.

    Our preprof office sends a committee letter to med schools and part of the committee letter includes the Dean's letter. Essentially, the dean's letter includes every academic violation that ever occurs. My preprof advisor says that if it doesn't appear in your dean's letter, then don't mention it. However, cases of cheating always gets included in the dean's letter. Traffic tickets don't. This seems significant enough to be either on a Dean's letter, on a transcript, or basically really obvious from the F grade.

    In addition, you are obligated to inform med schools of cases of academic misconduct, even if they are just pending.

    If you get accepted to your dream school and they later find out you were involved in a violation of academic ethics, they have the right to withdraw your acceptance at any time (even after matriculation) and even after they confer an M.D. degree. This is because you agree to provide information that accurately represents you, and neglecting to inform a school about academic misconduct is not being in good faith.

    It happens on the undergrad level and, trust me, medical schools are more strict.

    Your best bet is to come clean and explain it in your Personal Statement and comments. Many schools will be forgiving if they understand the circumstances involved and know that you are knowing a sincere effort on your part. I mean, you were just 18 and it was stupid anyway.

    Another thing: if you tell them in your application, there would be reason whatsoever that, in the future, they could "discover this" and then try to kick you out. Like, if they know and they still accept you, then yo? won't hve to worry about it again.

    Good luck man.
     
  17. snowbear

    snowbear Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with the posters saying that you should be completely honest. Definitely turn the explanation into a lesson that you have used to become a stronger student. Use the incident to your advantage, talk about how the situation forced you to realize the importance of academic integrity or how you became a stronger student because of it. Don't really see this as BS, because I am sure that it has been a motivation for you to acheive what you have acheived academically.

    Be honest about it because you definitely don't want it coming back to haunt you. You said that you have been "paying the price" for it, and by fully disclosing the incident in your applications to med school, you are definitely taking steps to resolve the situation, especially by forgiving yourself and helping yourself to move on. I think the adcoms will see your disclosure as being mature and responsible for your actions. If it isn't in your records and doesn't wind up in your application, then I think they will really appreciate your honesty. On the other hand, if you don't disclose the incident and they find out about it after you have been accepted, it will look as if you haven't grown from the situation and they may wonder if you have in fact realized the importance of academic integrity. Also, if you don't disclose it, you may leave it unresolved at a personal level.

    I think your explanation of the incident is crucial in having a successful application. One of my big concerns as I was reading your story (pretend I am an adcom) was that after you got the "F" you decided to switch schools, especially from a "good" school to a state school (not to say that state schools are inferior, ("Go Bruins!") but just that it might be interpreted as such). If you don't explain this carefully, it may look as if you were trying to run away from your problems. I think that adcoms realize that we have all made mistakes, especially because that is how we grow as humans, but I think one trait they are looking for is resillence. From what I have heard about med school, it sounds like a lot of med students go through some really tough times, and I think that the adcoms probably want to admit students that will be strong in the face of hardship. There's this quote that AmyB has in her sig that I just love, that reminds me of this, so check it out.

    One way that you could really convince the adcom that you have grown from the incident is to incorporate it into your personal statement, so that you have some space to talk about it. If it's already going to be in your application, you may as well MAKE SURE that the adcom understands that you are a stronger person because of the incident. By putting it in your personal statement and spending some space explaining it, you are making sure that the adcoms aren't left assuming things, which may be for the worse; If you don't explain it adequately the adcom may have some questions and they may assume the worse. (I am not sure how long the explanation for academic probation can be--if it can be long, then it might just be fine to talk about it here). Maybe talk about an ethical situation that arised later in your studies in which you used the lesson you learned from your freshman year to make the right decision. This would be a way to show instead of tell that the incident has made you a stronger student and person.

    Hope this helps. If you have any Qs just ask.
     
  18. vhawk

    vhawk 2K Member
    Physician Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    11,462
    Likes Received:
    5,114
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I have a question about a different kind of conduct violation. My school has a policy about alchohol in the dorms, and when I was a sophomore, I got caught with alcohol. My punishment was like 50 dollars and this online course about the evils of drinking. However, I am almost positive this isnt on my transcript anywhere. Do i still wanna mention it? It looks bad, implying I'm like an alcoholic or something, but it is still a form of conduct violation. What do you think?
     
  19. exmike

    exmike NOR * CAL
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    4,206
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    I wish I had known about this before. I reported my academic probation to AMCAS, but when I asked the academic dean about it, he said they had no record of it!

    The bright side is that 1) I got to explain my academic problems on my AMCAS in the "institutional action" section w/o putting it in my PS, so in essence I got space for 2 essays, and 2) It hasn't hurt my app one bit. In fact many schools either ignored it or commented about my experience positively!

    In the long run, honesty almost always pays off. They KNOW you can get away with lying about it, so when you tell them about it, it shows something about your character.
     
  20. SailCrazy

    SailCrazy I gotta have more cowbell
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,922
    Likes Received:
    10
    If you aren't sure, you can always call your school and ask what it on your record.

    Check out the AAMC instruction book, page 53 (in bold)

    http://www.aamc.org/students/amcas/2005instructionbook.pdf
     

Share This Page