Jul 27, 2020
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Hey everyone. I need some help regarding institutional actions.
So I am finishing up a master’s program (not SMP) and I had to, unfortunately, retake a course a year ago because my grade dropped below the required 3.0 average. This resulted in me being placed on academic probation. About halfway through that course, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and it completely shook me. The depression from her diagnoses and seeing her go through treatment made school almost impossible for me. However, if I could go back I would have absolutely handled the situation differently. I retook the class the following block, got an A, and was taken off of probation. I reached out to my academic advisor about the situation and she said she does not believe I have to report it. In her own words: "It is just a policy we have, not necessarily any "action" taken towards you as a student, i.e. dismissal, etc, if that makes sense."

When looking at my transcript, the probation is never mentioned. However, I do know med school adcoms can request to view my academic record. It almost seems like my particular university does not keep a record of these types of things unless something really major happened. I did fill out a request with the enrollment services to see if there is any kind of record of this just in case. So my question is, is this something I should disclose on applications, even if there is no official record of it?

Any advice would be helpful.
 
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LizzyM

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Did you get a written notification that you were on probation. I can look at a transcriopt and see that the cummulative GPA fell below 3.0 (for grad school) or 2.0 (for undergrad) and know that this was likely to trigger a notification of probation. That notification is an "institutional action" and it is reportable. It might not sink you but having a GPA < 3.0 in grad school will not do you any favors.
 
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Jul 27, 2020
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Did you get a written notification that you were on probation. I can look at a transcriopt and see that the cummulative GPA fell below 3.0 (for grad school) or 2.0 (for undergrad) and know that this was likely to trigger a notification of probation. That notification is an "institutional action" and it is reportable. It might not sink you but having a GPA < 3.0 in grad school will not do you any favors.
I did get a written notification and then a written notification that I was off of it once I got my gpa above a 3. I kicked myself in the butt for it and am now about to finish with a 3.7. If I request to see my academic record and it is not listed, should I still report it?
 

jhmmd

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Apr 28, 2020
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I did get a written notification and then a written notification that I was off of it once I got my gpa above a 3. I kicked myself in the butt for it and am now about to finish with a 3.7. If I request to see my academic record and it is not listed, should I still report it?
I would report it rather than run around worrying about evidence of a written record. Going off of academic probation doesn't "cancel out" the fact that you were on it in the first place.
Med schools can and have been known to rescind degrees retroactively for falsification of records or other information--don't let this be you.
 
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Goro

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I did get a written notification and then a written notification that I was off of it once I got my gpa above a 3. I kicked myself in the butt for it and am now about to finish with a 3.7. If I request to see my academic record and it is not listed, should I still report it?
Very sorry to hear of your woes.

I don't believe that this is the type of IA you have to report when they talk about IAs. I also don't believe that it will hurt you even if you report it.

Your grades will be obvious from your transcripts.

If you can get a LOR writer to explain the difficulties you went through, then that will help your situation.

This also illustrates why it's important to take a LOA instead of bulldozing your way through when Life clobbers you.
 
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Jul 27, 2020
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I would report it rather than run around worrying about evidence of a written record. Going off of academic probation doesn't "cancel out" the fact that you were on it in the first place.
Med schools can and have been known to rescind degrees retroactively for falsification of records or other information--don't let this be you.
That's what I'm thinking too. I would much rather be honest than have to worry about it.
 
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LizzyM

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It is an IA. Any IA must be reported per AMCAS rules, That is all.

P.S. I do not believe that this will hurt you, particularly if you came back strong and ended with a 3.7.
 
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Mar 18, 2019
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FWIW I was placed on academic probation (during undergrad though), reported it as an IA (which it definitely is), and still have been fortunate to have a successful cycle thus far.
 
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Germanicus Julius Caesar

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I have a similar IA. Undergrad GPA < 2.0 and was put on academic probation. I reported it and filled out the IA box. I don't think it hurt me much or at all due to having such a successful cycle this year. It will absolutely come up in interviews so just be prepared for that.
 
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RumDMC

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If it's solely from your class grade then no, no need to report. It'll be on your transcript. Good friends with the admissions board student rep and that's their advice
 

LizzyM

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If it's solely from your class grade then no, no need to report. It'll be on your transcript. Good friends with the admissions board student rep and that's their advice
That's exactly why it needs to be reported. It is an IA and IAs must be reported. It is easily proven to be an IA and if unreported, it amounts to an omission on the application. One signs a statement that the application is accurate and complete. Why would anyone tell an applicant to knowingly omit something from the application that is reportable and easily proven. Inclulding it will not hurt the applicant. Leaving it out could be fatal.
 
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Apr 28, 2020
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I was in an extremely similar situation and reported it as an IA for the reasons @LizzyM has stated. In AMCAS they also explicitly define an IA, and academic probation is in their definition. You are given space to speak to the IA and explain it's an academic probation and not cheating or anything else, as well as to give any relevant context you wish to give. If it helps, similar to @Germanicus Julius Caesar I'm very happy with the results of my cycle thus far.

Adcoms are humans and they understand that life happens. If you are able to articulate your situation and most importantly show how you've overcome that/grown from that and prove yourself as someone who can succeed in medical school, then (in my experience) someone will take a chance on you. I believe the two most important things you can do in our situation is 1) make sure you can provide that context and explanation clearly and effectively (you only get so many characters) and 2) expectation management. Recognizing the situation we're in is different than if bad things never happened to us and shifting your school list and cycle expectations accordingly. I believe in you! If you ever need words of encouragement from someone who was in a similar situation, PM me!
 
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