Sep 5, 2016
4
17
Status
Medical Student
Before I begin, I must clarify that I in no way support drinking and driving. Many people die each year from making the poor decision of getting behind the wheel while impaired. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to get home and are not fit to drive, please call a friend, parent, get an Uber, Lyft, or taxi. It may seem expensive at the time but it is the responsible thing to do.

That being said, I do believe in second chances. I got a DUI and looked all over the internet for guidance. Since it is taboo to talk about this when applying to med school, there were not many encouraging postings. Everyone says that your chances are over and they point out your bad judgement. I'm not here to do that. There are many individuals who would make great physicians but they make bad decisions earlier in their life.

My brief story:

I applied to med school broadly 2 years after the incident and got one interview, did not get in. I retook the MCAT and did a postbacc. Managed to increase my MCAT score significantly and got straight A's in my postbacc. 4 years after the incident I applied EARLY at 16 MD schools, got 9 interviews invites, attended 6, got accepted at 5 schools.

How did I do it?

-Talk to one of your letter of recommendation writers about it. I went to one of my professors and came out clean and told them I understand if they don't want to write me a letter. But they did. Not sure if they wrote something about the incident but it doesn't hurt and you would be surprised at the support a professor can bring to it all if they believe in you.

-In your AMCAS make your statement as short as possible while stating your point. I wrote it in 8 short sentences. First 4 were explaining the incident (date, time, probation requirements), next 4 were explaining how this incident did not affect my academics or work and what I learned from my mistake. You do not want to make this too long. The first time I applied, I wrote two paragraphs on how I learned from the incident and I think that just draws their eyes to it more. Do NOT mention it in your personal statement!

-Don't bring it up at the interview unless they ask you. About 50% of the schools I applied to asked me about it, the others did not mention it. If they do ask you, don't try to make an excuse. Although I felt my situation was not particularly fair, I still admitted guilt at the interviews. Tell them how it is not a reflection of who you are today and that you matured a lot in the few years. Stress that it was not ok and that you completely understand why they would be concerned.

There is still hope. Medical school is everything they say it is and more. I know many people will not reply to this post for fear of being exposed but I wanted this to be on the internet for individuals like myself who have a life-long dream but made a mistake. Don't give up!
 

DokterMom

SDN Gold Donor
Gold Donor
5+ Year Member
Mar 1, 2013
5,268
11,701
Status
Non-Student
Thanks for sharing your story -- There were several things you did that, I think, contributed to your success and that others in your position should emulate.
  • Time. Your first application cycle was two years later -> no go. But four years later, a very different result. You got older and presumably, also wiser.
  • You used your gap time to substantially improve your qualifications, bringing both a much stronger application and a compelling case for improved character, persistence, determination and resilience. So not just older and wiser - also better.
  • You owned your transgression - no excuses - and kept it short and sweet.
  • And you asked for help from people in a position to give it.
Good lessons OP, and best of luck to you in Med School --
 
Jul 8, 2016
5
2
That's awesome to hear, I actually have a DUI and it will be 9 years from the time I apply next year from the incident. In my state it isn't a felony or a misdemeanor but a traffic violation. I asked the admissions office of a school in my state and they said I shouldn't put it on the application but IF I were to be accepted, there is a form asking if any other information would want to be shared before a background and that would be the space to put it.

This situation gives me stress thinking about it but I'm definitely leaning towards putting it originally on the application. I would have to have an acceptance rescinded if I'm lucky to get one. But that's great congrats and I hope I have the same luck as you!


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,708
79,053
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
In my experience, we're willing to overlook a DUI if it occurred when one was 16-19/20, and the candidate has stayed out of trouble since then, and also ownes the problem.

We reject people with multiple DUIs, or recent DUIs.

We also reject people who don't own the transgression ("the cop had it out for me")
 
OP
A
Sep 5, 2016
4
17
Status
Medical Student
Thank you everyone for the kind words.

That's awesome to hear, I actually have a DUI and it will be 9 years from the time I apply next year from the incident. In my state it isn't a felony or a misdemeanor but a traffic violation. I asked the admissions office of a school in my state and they said I shouldn't put it on the application but IF I were to be accepted, there is a form asking if any other information would want to be shared before a background and that would be the space to put it.

This situation gives me stress thinking about it but I'm definitely leaning towards putting it originally on the application. I would have to have an acceptance rescinded if I'm lucky to get one. But that's great congrats and I hope I have the same luck as you!


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
Put it on the application! All the schools I applied to clearly stated that acceptance is contingent on the background check reflecting what you put on your application. You don't want to risk it. I know it's stressful but focus on your strengths. Let them know what you can bring to the table. The DUI is not a reflection of who you are today. Also, I was 21 when I got mine if that gives you any reassurance.
 
Sep 6, 2016
7
0
In my experience, we're willing to overlook a DUI if it occurred when one was 16-19/20, and the candidate has stayed out of trouble since then, and also ownes the problem.

We reject people with multiple DUIs, or recent DUIs.

We also reject people who don't own the transgression ("the cop had it out for me")
What if you are a non trad who made the terrible decision of getting a DUI in mid 20s. It has been 5 years since. Strong application besides that, Lizzy M 73-75. Is there no chance for redemption? I have been having a lopsided cycle so far, Rejected from 5 DO schools with 1 II DO and 1 II MD.
I applied to DO earlier,so should I just assume it is a difficult path for MD schools since I was complete at MD schools 2 weeks ago. I accept full responsibility for my decision that day and have done so in the app.
 
Sep 6, 2016
7
0
Before I begin, I must clarify that I in no way support drinking and driving. Many people die each year from making the poor decision of getting behind the wheel while impaired. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to get home and are not fit to drive, please call a friend, parent, get an Uber, Lyft, or taxi. It may seem expensive at the time but it is the responsible thing to do.

That being said, I do believe in second chances. I got a DUI and looked all over the internet for guidance. Since it is taboo to talk about this when applying to med school, there were not many encouraging postings. Everyone says that your chances are over and they point out your bad judgement. I'm not here to do that. There are many individuals who would make great physicians but they make bad decisions earlier in their life.

My brief story:

I applied to med school broadly 2 years after the incident and got one interview, did not get in. I retook the MCAT and did a postbacc. Managed to increase my MCAT score significantly and got straight A's in my postbacc. 4 years after the incident I applied EARLY at 16 MD schools, got 9 interviews invites, attended 6, got accepted at 5 schools.

How did I do it?

-Talk to one of your letter of recommendation writers about it. I went to one of my professors and came out clean and told them I understand if they don't want to write me a letter. But they did. Not sure if they wrote something about the incident but it doesn't hurt and you would be surprised at the support a professor can bring to it all if they believe in you.

-In your AMCAS make your statement as short as possible while stating your point. I wrote it in 8 short sentences. First 4 were explaining the incident (date, time, probation requirements), next 4 were explaining how this incident did not affect my academics or work and what I learned from my mistake. You do not want to make this too long. The first time I applied, I wrote two paragraphs on how I learned from the incident and I think that just draws their eyes to it more. Do NOT mention it in your personal statement!

-Don't bring it up at the interview unless they ask you. About 50% of the schools I applied to asked me about it, the others did not mention it. If they do ask you, don't try to make an excuse. Although I felt my situation was not particularly fair, I still admitted guilt at the interviews. Tell them how it is not a reflection of who you are today and that you matured a lot in the few years. Stress that it was not ok and that you completely understand why they would be concerned.

There is still hope. Medical school is everything they say it is and more. I know many people will not reply to this post for fear of being exposed but I wanted this to be on the internet for individuals like myself who have a life-long dream but made a mistake. Don't give up!
Thank you for writing this. It gives hope to those who have made mistakes in the past.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,708
79,053
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
The auto-rejects imply something is going on, for sure. It could the later DUI, and perhaps they're figuring that "you should have known better. I'd still expect that you'd be getting more love. Your essays might be poor, or you might have a red flag of a LOR.


What if you are a non trad who made the terrible decision of getting a DUI in mid 20s. It has been 5 years since. Strong application besides that, Lizzy M 73-75. Is there no chance for redemption? I have been having a lopsided cycle so far, Rejected from 5 DO schools with 1 II DO and 1 II MD.
I applied to DO earlier,so should I just assume it is a difficult path for MD schools since I was complete at MD schools 2 weeks ago. I accept full responsibility for my decision that day and have done so in the app.
 
Sep 6, 2016
7
0
Before I begin, I must clarify that I in no way support drinking and driving. Many people die each year from making the poor decision of getting behind the wheel while impaired. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to get home and are not fit to drive, please call a friend, parent, get an Uber, Lyft, or taxi. It may seem expensive at the time but it is the responsible thing to do.

That being said, I do believe in second chances. I got a DUI and looked all over the internet for guidance. Since it is taboo to talk about this when applying to med school, there were not many encouraging postings. Everyone says that your chances are over and they point out your bad judgement. I'm not here to do that. There are many individuals who would make great physicians but they make bad decisions earlier in their life.

My brief story:

I applied to med school broadly 2 years after the incident and got one interview, did not get in. I retook the MCAT and did a postbacc. Managed to increase my MCAT score significantly and got straight A's in my postbacc. 4 years after the incident I applied EARLY at 16 MD schools, got 9 interviews invites, attended 6, got accepted at 5 schools.

How did I do it?

-Talk to one of your letter of recommendation writers about it. I went to one of my professors and came out clean and told them I understand if they don't want to write me a letter. But they did. Not sure if they wrote something about the incident but it doesn't hurt and you would be surprised at the support a professor can bring to it all if they believe in you.

-In your AMCAS make your statement as short as possible while stating your point. I wrote it in 8 short sentences. First 4 were explaining the incident (date, time, probation requirements), next 4 were explaining how this incident did not affect my academics or work and what I learned from my mistake. You do not want to make this too long. The first time I applied, I wrote two paragraphs on how I learned from the incident and I think that just draws their eyes to it more. Do NOT mention it in your personal statement!

-Don't bring it up at the interview unless they ask you. About 50% of the schools I applied to asked me about it, the others did not mention it. If they do ask you, don't try to make an excuse. Although I felt my situation was not particularly fair, I still admitted guilt at the interviews. Tell them how it is not a reflection of who you are today and that you matured a lot in the few years. Stress that it was not ok and that you completely understand why they would be concerned.

There is still hope. Medical school is everything they say it is and more. I know many people will not reply to this post for fear of being exposed but I wanted this to be on the internet for individuals like myself who have a life-long dream but made a mistake. Don't give up!
Do you reccomend mentioning it on the "would you like the comittee to know anything" or criminal background "explain" part of secondaries? How should that be addressed?
 
Last edited:
Sep 6, 2016
7
0
The auto-rejects imply something is going on, for sure. It could the later DUI, and perhaps they're figuring that "you should have known better. I'd still expect that you'd be getting more love. Your essays might be poor, or you might have a red flag of a LOR.
I was await for decision in 30 days* which I take to be a rejection, for schools that have no secondary prompts like lecom and rejected pre-secondary for Kansas. I dont have a DO letter maybe that might be contributing? Whats odd is that I have received two II's from MD schools at this point. My PS is the same, the DO essays may have been under developed since I applied there first. Just more confused than anything.
 
OP
A
Sep 5, 2016
4
17
Status
Medical Student
Do you reccomend mentioning it on the "would you like the comittee to know anything" or criminal background "explain" part of secondaries? How should that be addressed?
I focused on writing about how I would contribute to diversity in the sections where they asked if we wanted the committee to know anything else. Focus on your strengths.

When they asked about my criminal record in secondaries, I just copied and pasted the short description on my AMCAS application and shortened it a bit.

I got interviews at the schools I did this at. Good luck!
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,110
22,391
Status
Medical Student
Glad you learned from it and succeeded. Curious why you thought your situation was unfair though. Did you not drive drunk?
 
Mar 6, 2015
123
20
Status
Pre-Medical
Before I begin, I must clarify that I in no way support drinking and driving. Many people die each year from making the poor decision of getting behind the wheel while impaired. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to get home and are not fit to drive, please call a friend, parent, get an Uber, Lyft, or taxi. It may seem expensive at the time but it is the responsible thing to do.

That being said, I do believe in second chances. I got a DUI and looked all over the internet for guidance. Since it is taboo to talk about this when applying to med school, there were not many encouraging postings. Everyone says that your chances are over and they point out your bad judgement. I'm not here to do that. There are many individuals who would make great physicians but they make bad decisions earlier in their life.

My brief story:

I applied to med school broadly 2 years after the incident and got one interview, did not get in. I retook the MCAT and did a postbacc. Managed to increase my MCAT score significantly and got straight A's in my postbacc. 4 years after the incident I applied EARLY at 16 MD schools, got 9 interviews invites, attended 6, got accepted at 5 schools.

How did I do it?

-Talk to one of your letter of recommendation writers about it. I went to one of my professors and came out clean and told them I understand if they don't want to write me a letter. But they did. Not sure if they wrote something about the incident but it doesn't hurt and you would be surprised at the support a professor can bring to it all if they believe in you.

-In your AMCAS make your statement as short as possible while stating your point. I wrote it in 8 short sentences. First 4 were explaining the incident (date, time, probation requirements), next 4 were explaining how this incident did not affect my academics or work and what I learned from my mistake. You do not want to make this too long. The first time I applied, I wrote two paragraphs on how I learned from the incident and I think that just draws their eyes to it more. Do NOT mention it in your personal statement!

-Don't bring it up at the interview unless they ask you. About 50% of the schools I applied to asked me about it, the others did not mention it. If they do ask you, don't try to make an excuse. Although I felt my situation was not particularly fair, I still admitted guilt at the interviews. Tell them how it is not a reflection of who you are today and that you matured a lot in the few years. Stress that it was not ok and that you completely understand why they would be concerned.

There is still hope. Medical school is everything they say it is and more. I know many people will not reply to this post for fear of being exposed but I wanted this to be on the internet for individuals like myself who have a life-long dream but made a mistake. Don't give up!

I agree with everything you said and want to share my story as well. I too made a mistake and chose to drive after having consumed alcohol. This happened 2 years ago. I was really upset thinking I would never be given a chance at medical school because of it. I am applying this cycle and have thankfully received 4 interviews. I have been honest and take full responsibility for it. I have been asked about it at all of my open file interviews. I believe when a person genuinely regrets their mistake and has genuinely learned from it that people can see this. I am not writing this to condone breaking the law but because I still feel so badly about my mistake and I am fighting to not let it define me and I aim to instill hope into people who have made similar mistakes so that they will stay on a positive path and not let any negative emotions keep them down. What is done is done and nobody can change that but you can move forward. And to those who have or are thinking about driving after consuming alcohol, please take my advice and do NOT. Call a friend, family, uber or taxi. It really is not worth it and you can not only hurt yourself but other people as well. Please learn from our mistakes.
 
Mar 6, 2015
123
20
Status
Pre-Medical
If the DUI is from 5 years ago and u have not gotten into trouble since then I honestly don't think it will hold u back. However, for some reason the way you said I "accept" instead of "take" full responsibility for that day , gives me the notion that you don't 100% think it was your fault. I take full 100% responsibility for mine and I believe this shows , because when it's genuine, it's genuine. So I honestly don't think a dui from 5 years ago will hold a person like that back but if a person is blaming others or hasn't truly learned then this will probably show through and could very well hold them back. I'm not trying to judge u at all and maybe it was just a typo but be aware of what you are conveying and if you honestly don't think it was your fault, try to gain some more perspective. Hope that helps.
 

TR Grant

2+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2016
19
7
Hello,

I was charged with a DWAI about a week ago which is a traffic infraction in New York. I have already sent out 23 apps. I have an interview with LECOM today. I plan on fully disclosing everything at all interviews and owning the mistake. I’m a nurse of five years, no previous history or speeding tickets. 3.86 gpa and 504 MCAT. I’m 26 and with a recent offense, I am extremely nervous. Any opinions? Is my career as a potential doctor over?
Thanks,
TG
 

sb247

Doer of things
7+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2012
20,317
30,962
Galt's Gulch
forums.studentdoctor.net
Hello,

I was charged with a DWAI about a week ago which is a traffic infraction in New York. I have already sent out 23 apps. I have an interview with LECOM today. I plan on fully disclosing everything at all interviews and owning the mistake. I’m a nurse of five years, no previous history or speeding tickets. 3.86 gpa and 504 MCAT. I’m 26 and with a recent offense, I am extremely nervous. Any opinions? Is my career as a potential doctor over?
Thanks,
TG
stop drinking, if I found out you weren't sober I would throw the app out
 

bioboy23

2+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2017
655
933
Status
Pre-Medical
I personally know somebody who got a DUI a year before his application cycle. He is now a third-year at one of the original 5 DO schools. Don't know any specifics but his stats were just below average. It's not good, but I guess it is possible.
 

libertyyne

2+ Year Member
Mar 5, 2015
9,610
16,958
Status
Medical Student
Hello,

I was charged with a DWAI about a week ago which is a traffic infraction in New York. I have already sent out 23 apps. I have an interview with LECOM today. I plan on fully disclosing everything at all interviews and owning the mistake. I’m a nurse of five years, no previous history or speeding tickets. 3.86 gpa and 504 MCAT. I’m 26 and with a recent offense, I am extremely nervous. Any opinions? Is my career as a potential doctor over?
Thanks,
TG
Do not disclose anything until you have been convicted. Get a lawyer.