I messed up. I’m about to be suspended. Should I even apply to medical school?

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BC_89

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This is my first time posting on SDN so I’m not sure if I’m posting in the right place...

CONTEXT: I’m in tears as I’m writing this. Last year I bought a pipe and some hemp (LEGAL WHERE I LIVE) to help with my severe depression, but never ended up using it. My depression has since gotten better, but I kept the pipes in my apartment on campus. Fast forward to this year, and public safety officers found my pipe in my room (they were searching because I set off a fire alarm because I burnt pancakes, but that’s a different story). Anyway, I’m about to be suspended because the pipe is a code of conduct violation.

My question is this: should I even bother applying to med school at this point? The suspension will screw up my record and I don’t have the best gpa. Is there anyway I can redeem this?
You're correct that you simply cannot write off this suspension for future applications. SDN is not a platform for legal or health advocacy.

That said, you’d be strongly advised to meet with a primary care physician who may write a reference to a behavioral health specialist. Take care of the “you now” so you can excel as the “future you.” That’s your priority.

As for remediation for GPA, you’d need to be specific with what you have and if you’ve taken the MCAT. Here’s a link that is very popular for premeds on reinvention:

Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention

As for the suspension and potential charge(s), I’m not at liberty to say what adcoms will think. This is better suited for them to answer:

@Goro / @LizzyM
 

LizzyM

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You had a hemp pipe in your room to use with hemp which is legal in your state. However, the possession of the pipe was a code of conduct violation and you've received an institutional action for this incident. (You may also have an institutional action for having a hot plate or whatever you were using to cook pancakes and that will need to be reported, too.) I'd suggest leaving out of your explanation on your application that you had depression (particularly if self-diagnosed) and just say that you had a pipe in your room which was legal to own in your state but a violation of the school conduct code (I see this as equivalent to having beer on campus if you are over 21 but the school rules prohibit beer in dorm rooms.)

Add to this a suboptimal GPA and it might be advisable to sit out a few cycles and apply when these conduct violations are years behind you and your GPA has been repaired. Do it right and you'll only have to do it once. (It being applying to medical school.) Don't rush.
 

Goro

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You had a hemp pipe in your room to use with hemp which is legal in your state. However, the possession of the pipe was a code of conduct violation and you've received an institutional action for this incident. (You may also have an institutional action for having a hot plate or whatever you were using to cook pancakes and that will need to be reported, too.) I'd suggest leaving out of your explanation on your application that you had depression (particularly if self-diagnosed) and just say that you had a pipe in your room which was legal to own in your state but a violation of the school conduct code (I see this as equivalent to having beer on campus if you are over 21 but the school rules prohibit beer in dorm rooms.)

Add to this a suboptimal GPA and it might be advisable to sit out a few cycles and apply when these conduct violations are years behind you and your GPA has been repaired. Do it right and you'll only have to do it once. (It being applying to medical school.) Don't rush.
I agree 100% with my learned colleague.
 

LizzyM

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This makes sense. The pancakes were not an issue (I have a stove in my apartment), but I am now aware the the pipe was/is an issue. On a side note, do you think it would be beneficial to get a masters degree to balance out my gpa? I could do this during my gap year(s)

A masters cannot balance out a low undergrad GPA. The assumption (accurate in many instances) is that grad schools suffer profound grade inflation. It may be better to take some time to work, mature, perhaps take some upper level undergrad natural science courses as a post-bac. Do take a look at Goro's tips (linked above). The exception is, of course, the Special Masters Program which should be attempted only if you are sure you could be in the top 25% of a talented medical school class and can earn the grades to prove it. If you do well, doors will open; if you do poorly, you will have proven that you can't handle the rigors of medical school coursework.
 
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