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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by homer2005, Jul 25, 2011.
Unless you were researching and getting credits for it, the PI/people involved are on your pre-health committee or LOR writers, I would assume it's just like getting fired from any other job. Just don't put them down as references. Also, don't do ******ed things when it comes to money in the future
Hm...ok, this is an interesting situation (someone send out the
lizzym signal?) that I think we need more info on to comment.
From what I've read on and heard from AMCAS, for this to be an institutional action, your school itself has to have brought formal action against you. So, if your PI found out and just let you go right there, and you never heard anything from your school, I don't think that that would be an IA. Of course, either way you'll have to decide how to handle this on your AMCAS--if you discuss this experience as one of your activities, you'll need to put down a contact, and schools may find out about this anyway.
Basically, it doesn't sound exactly like an IA from your description, but you're probably gonna need a solid explanation for this.
even if you don't have to report it on AMCAS you should be prepared to explain yourself at some point, if not in secondaries, then in interviews.
I'm pretty certain you don't want her LOR. She may attempt to retract it, or update it. It's best if she has absolutely no involvement in your future plans. I don't know what's involved with that, but if I were her, I'd no longer offer you my support for admission.
Call your school and find out if there was an IA against you. If you ONLY got fired, then don't sweat it (consider yourself lucky). I wouldn't put that in my work/activities section because they will ask you questions about your stint at your lab and they could contact your PI. Just put it in the past, learn from it, and forget about it.
If there was an IA against you, then it's a whole different story. This might be one of those "unforgivable sins". I'm really not sure.
Yes, call your school and apologize to your PI.
What she says and what she does privately are two totally separate things. It's a summer gig, and you didn't even make it all summer - no one fell in love with you unless you two were banging. You've already put her in an awkward position (maybe in more ways than one?), don't do it again by asking her to petition the school for you
You're lucky your institution did not pursue legal action against you. Being convicted of forgery carries stiff criminal penalties.
EDIT: Just in case Saggy calls "Source?" on me:
OP, I didn't do this to rub salt in your wounds but to help you understand how grave of a mistake you committed. You would have been sentenced to the same degree as a convenience store robber. Don't EVER take forgery lightly.
At least at my school, undergrads have their timesheets checked and verified, this is usually just a formality, you should not have forged a signature on such an easy thing. But setting that aside I wouldn't worry about it, this is as a job. If you got credits you can explain the class portion of the research, but this is a technicality of a position, not an academic or AMCAS violation.
Typically research bosses / professors are going to like you, they 99% of the time do not agree with administrative cases, but in my experience try to follow the rules, so that the administration treats them well. Secretaries, administrative bosses like the rules followed, and the professor wants to be in good relations with them. I am sure even if you got fired on a technicality, if you were doing good work, your advisor is still gonna love you, but maybe did not like the little tid bit of dishonesty. It depends on how close you are to your advisor. If it was my advisor they would have been angry for what I did, but it wouldn't effect how they felt about me outside of school or in the lab.
Don't worry I wouldn't pull that card on you. I just like giving CodeBlu a hard time.
First: I doubt that the OP had the "intent to defraud" and so is unlikely to be guilty of "forgery". I want to believe that the OP only claimed the pay for hours worked but feared not getting paid on time without the PI's signature.
The AAMC says, "Institutional Action: Medical schools need to know if you were ever the recipient of any institutional action resulting from unacceptable academic performance or a conduct violation, even if such action did not interrupt your enrollment, require you to withdraw, or does not appear on your official transcripts due to institutional policy or personal petition. "
So, was this an institutional action resulting from a conduct violation? Were you an employee or a student? I think that this is a gray area in that if you were fired from a job for falsifying a time card, you would not be asking about "institutional action" as this is generally understood to be related to academic institutions (although that is ambiguous, too). If this is considered "student misconduct" then you have a different situation.
Some schools, like Harvard, require a LOR from every PI you've ever done research with. Not sending a LOR from a PI you've been working with for 2 years may essentially preclude you from an interview.
If you can, get a normal committee letter that doesn't include your PI. In that way, not sending a letter from your PI may not raise as many eyebrows.
If the PI has already submitted a LOR, then it is unlikely that this situation is included in the letter. Therefore, the situation will not come to light by way of the letter unless the PI closes with "if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [phone number]" and someone feels the need to call. I would not expect somone to call unless there were other things that made a adcom member or Dean concerned.
Furthermore, if the PI really likes the OP, the PI might not say anything about the circumstances of the OP's leaving. It was a lapse in judgment by a inexperienced newbie and while it had serious consequences, I would not believe it to be an indicator of moral laxness unless there were other hints that the OP is less than honest in his dealings with others.
As you are the person against whom the action is taken, you are the one who has the right to an appeal. If the PI wishes to come to your defense, that's fine but institutional actions generally carry some appeal process. In some cases, one might waive the right to an appeal and accept a lesser punishment that might be given if one were to go through the regular process (this is similar to pleading to a lesser charge rather than going to trial, being found guilty, appealing the guilty verdict, etc in the criminal justice system)