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Web MD

Doctor of the Internets
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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
 

cal2012

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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.
 
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bucks2010

7+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2010
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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.
 

paul411

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Just don't put them down as references. Also, don't do ******ed things when it comes to money in the future
Important lesson.

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
:thumbup:
 

IlDestriero

Ether Man
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Nov 24, 2007
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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.
 
Jun 9, 2011
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"Don't do ******ed things when it comes to money in the future." You have no idea how stupid I felt after they found out.

Basically, I was not getting credits for the research. It's just a paid student position in the summer in a research lab I've been working in. The PI was heartbroken to let me go because she said she really liked me, but thought I was incredibly dumb for doing that, which I completely agree. No one deserves to be put into a position like what I did to her. That's why I am never going to do it to anyone again. This incident has made me realize how selfish and foolish I can be.

She's one of my LOR, but she's already submitted it before this incident. I'm prepared to answer the IA question on the AMCAS if I have to, but I want to realistically manage my expectations for medical school. If it's no longer possible, I'll have to accept it, but I just don't want to give up on my medical school applications, because I know that she wouldn't want me to.

I've read the LizzyM thread and it was definitely insightful. I'm just kinda freaking out because this is a serious problem and I want to handle it accordingly.
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.
 
Jun 9, 2011
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I guess my real question then is can institutional action be placed because of student employment conduct violation. I guess no one here can answer that since it probably will depend on what the administrators at my school will do.
Yes, call your school and apologize to your PI.
 

Web MD

Doctor of the Internets
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656
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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
 
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ElCapone

Public Enemy #1
7+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2011
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I made an incredibly stupid and unethical mistake and forged my PI's signature for time sheet for payroll.
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:

Forgery can involve the false making of anything handwritten, typewritten, computer generated, printed or engraved from scratch that is intended to defraud. Forgery can also involve significant material alteration of a genuine document. This can include forgery involving false signatures or improperly filling out forms. A document is considered forgery if it looks authentic enough to deceive a reasonable person. It must also have some legal significance in order to be considered unlawful. Forgery also includes the possession of any forged document or forgery device with knowledge of its purpose.

...

Forgery is a serious felony offence... A forgery conviction can result in up to ten years in prison, heavy fines, and more.
Source:http://www.criminal-law-lawyer-source.com/terms/forgery.html

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.
 
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Jan 5, 2010
159
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I made an incredibly stupid and unethical mistake and forged my PI's signature for time sheet for payroll. I was under time constraint to hand it in on time, but in the end there's no excuses for what I've done.

My question is what will happen next? Would this count towards institutional action? I hope I don't have to report it in AMCAS application at that, but if I do, I would just like to know if I should be prepared to write my explanation and what I've learned from it.


Thanks,
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.
 
Jan 5, 2010
159
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Sorry if I wasn't clear. I worked for her for the past 2 and a half years. She's just paying me to continue my research over the summer, so it's not like I don't know her. I know she's not going to change my LOR and I that she genuinely liked me. I'm just disappointed at myself that I had to do this to her.
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.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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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.
 
Jul 1, 2011
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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.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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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.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Do you think it's appropriate to ask my PI to appeal against institutional action if it does happen?
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)
 
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