Nov 3, 2010
1
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi student doctors,

I'm a long time poster but have registered a new account to ask this question. I think you might understand why upon reading.

Last week I was arrested. I'm being charged with possession of a controlled substance--marijuana. An officer allegedly saw me smoking said substance in public. I have no priors. The likely scenario is that no formal charges are brought (but the arrest and the reason why I was arrested remain on my record for a few years) or that formal charges are brought and a quick agreement to community service/drug testing or something like that is agreed to.

I am currently in the application cycle. I have had one interview and have three more scheduled.

Questions:
1) For those who have been accepted into med school: Are you asked to consent to a criminal background check *after* you've gotten a (conditional) acceptance? Or, do they send you a request to consent to the background check and then later you discover you have been accepted?

2) Does Certephi Screening, AMCAS’s background check company, notify schools of arrests? Technically only convictions (ie, "guilty") are actionable but do they *notify* schools of arrests, too?

3) Apparently medical schools get a record of your criminal background check. I’m concerned about this being the start of my file, which seems a shame. Does anyone have any experience with this/what sort of things go into your permanent file?

It's been a long road getting here and I would hate to see it all go to waste over one mis-step. I appreciate your insights here. And, if anyone has been through something similar, I would really appreciate a PM.
 
Jan 29, 2010
190
3
Status
Pre-Medical
It's been a long road getting here and I would hate to see it all go to waste over one mis-step.
This is more likely the result of a long road of missteps, culminating in getting caught during your most recent one. This event will give you a great opportunity to change.

You seem realistic about the fact that you have damaged your chances of getting into med school. Some mistakes have greater consequences than others. An arrest during your application cycle for possession of a controlled substance would be hard to excuse.

Full disclosure will eliminate the anxiety of background checks, etc., but may also disqualify you for this cycle. Speak to a legal advisor.
 

Dr McSexy

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
951
20
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Hi student doctors,
Questions:
1) For those who have been accepted into med school: Are you asked to consent to a criminal background check *after* you've gotten a (conditional) acceptance? Or, do they send you a request to consent to the background check and then later you discover you have been accepted?
IIRC, you receive the consent form after you've been accepted to at least one school, starting in January.

2) Does Certephi Screening, AMCAS’s background check company, notify schools of arrests? Technically only convictions (ie, "guilty") are actionable but do they *notify* schools of arrests, too?

3) Apparently medical schools get a record of your criminal background check. I’m concerned about this being the start of my file, which seems a shame. Does anyone have any experience with this/what sort of things go into your permanent file?
As far as these two questions, I'm not 100% positive what shows up and what doesn't (i.e. arrests or just charges found guilty of, etc.). Or how long after these events does it take for it to show up on a background check.

You should have received a link at the beginning of the AMCAS cycle, where you can purchase your CBC from certiphi and see what shows up. There's no specific prices, but from what I can recall it typically ranged from $50 - $100 after it's all said and done. You can see if it shows up now if you desire.



It's been a long road getting here and I would hate to see it all go to waste over one mis-step. I appreciate your insights here. And, if anyone has been through something similar, I would really appreciate a PM.
I also would suggest having a look through the confidential forums on here and possibly having this posted there as well. You should receive some more advice from people other than pre-meds.

I think it would be a wise thing to consider legal counsel and possibly looking towards trying to get this expunged if possible or allowed. Depending on the nature of how this shows up on your record it could become an issue especially to those medical schools (many if not majority) who you will have to rotations within a VA hospital.
 
Sep 29, 2009
1,054
25
Cleveland
Status
Medical Student
I think it would be a wise thing to consider legal counsel and possibly looking towards trying to get this expunged if possible or allowed. Depending on the nature of how this shows up on your record it could become an issue especially to those medical schools (many if not majority) who you will have to rotations within a VA hospital.
This. Go to your school's legal advising office (or whatever you have where you are). What state do you live in? Depending on your state's specific laws, it might not even be a misdemeanor to possess a joint. Even if it is, as a college kid with no priors who is applying to medical schools, you might be able to get your record expunged in exchange for community service and/or a fine.