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Boz_med

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This past year I was accused of academic dishonesty. A person I considered a close friend copied my answers during an exam, understandably we were both accused of cheating. At the time I didn't take the situation as serious as it was (I didn't feel guilty) and I understood how my friend could be pushed to cheat (it was a tough time for him during finals week) but of course it doesn't justify his actions.

The part that I regret so much today is that during that time I had to choose between accepting the accusation from which I would receive a grade deduction (from an A- to a C-) and have no mark on my transcript OR speak against my friend at a hearing before a panel and the professor accusing us (my friend was ready accept the blame and vindicate me) . I chose the former option, the thought of speaking against this person and a hearing was pretty frightening and the fact that we are both part of a close friend group made things less simple. I know, very poor decision. but it's done. I now have to live with it.

I was accused of academic dishonesty and I accepted it. At this point, it's either you believe this story or believe that I cheated. In both cases I am still associated with cheating in some way. And on applications I will mark "yes" on the "have you ever had an institutional action against you." Have I sealed my fate? Forget about top-tier or mid-tier or any tier schools, are my hopes of going to medical school gone?

I hate cheating, I hate dishonesty. Character traits of honesty, respect, understanding, and working hard are what I strive to uphold. During my undergrad (I graduated this past May) I was a teaching assistant for gen chem, organic chem, physics, and a psych class. I was the president of a major club on campus for 2 years and the secretary for another major club for 1 year. I also worked as an assistant to a chaplain in the interfaith center all 4 years of undergrad, helping to organize interfaith and faith specific events. I volunteered at a troubled childrens center helping to mentor kids with mental health, behavioral, and family issues for about 100 hours. These are some of the things I have done in college that represent who I am and hopefully show that I am an honest, dependable, and hard working student. Does this help me?

My cGPA is 3.7 (that grade penalty dropped me from a 3.8) and have a 518 MCAT.

Any help would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you.
 
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The best way forward, if you apply imo, is to present your case on the application exactly as how you have done so here. The adcoms will interpret however they will. They can either believe you or they can think you are actually cheated and are trying to bail out.

Applying to med school seems to largely be a game of avoiding red flags, the school doesn't like to gamble when there are safer candidates to accept. I personally don't think it's impossible, I've heard many anecdotal evidence where an applicant with IA or a criminal history got accepted. The problem is that it is much harder because your high gpa and mcat have lost credibility :(
 
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there are two things that aren't helping you:(1) the fact that the IA was so recent -- this past year as opposed to during your freshman year. Not saying that if you're a freshman you can do it, but as adcoms on here have said, it makes it better if there's a few years of impeccable behavior from the incident to application time. (2) It's an academic integrity violation. For some reason, this one is taken much more seriously than many of the others (caught with alcohol while being underage, for example).

Whenever you decide to apply, I would describe the incident being totally open and honest about it and being reflective upon your mistake. Once you've put your best foot forward, it's up to the admissions gods what the outcome will be. You can only make sure to try your best. Stats-wise, you seem like a strong applicant, so I would still try if I were you -- but apply BROADLY.
 

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I don't want to be harsh to you but if you explained it like you just did, I would have to conclude that you had no integrity and were prone to nepotism and favoritism. Auto-reject.
Agree on this one. Don't make excuses for your friend ("he was going through a hard time") or for yourself ("I didn't copy, he did"). Explain what happened and let the adcoms decide. I would still mention that you let him copy off you. I think this detail is important. But don't downplay the situation just because it wasn't you copying him.
 

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If admissions is largely a negative process where adcoms want to reduce risks, I don't know whether your application can be salvaged because of your recent institutional action that's pretty severe (academic dishonesty/cheating is one of the worst things to have on your application).

Hopefully @LizzyM @Goro @gyngyn @Med Ed @gonnif can clarify.
 
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If admissions is largely a negative process where adcoms want to reduce risks, I don't know whether your application can be salvaged because of your recent institutional action that's pretty severe (academic dishonesty/cheating is one of the worst things to have on your application).

Hopefully @LizzyM @Goro @gyngyn @Med Ed @gonnif can clarify.
Out shopping now. Will comment later
 

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"A Cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do" Westpoint Honor Code

You helped him cheat then you chose to remain silent about the truth to preseve friendship and standing within your group. If you are still friends then you got what you wanted. Not sure if you are entitled to anything else especially both cheating and turning down an opportunity to redeem your error

How you could possibly explain this on an application
 

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OP, even if your story is true (and adcoms have no way of knowing this), it shows an extreme lack of moral courage and professional ethics on your part.

A fairly common interview question is, "If you were to catch your close friend cheating on an exam, would you report him?" I think you can guess what the right answer is. (Hint: You chose the wrong answer.)

Apply very broadly to low- and mid-tier MD programs, as well as DO programs. Don't explain the situation the way you did in this post. I highly recommend hiring a lawyer to go through all of the paperwork related to the incident and help you draft an explanation.
 
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1. When you are planning on cheating, weigh the pros and cons and make sure you don't get caught.
2. You got caught.

Once a cheater always a cheater my friend.

I recommend you still apply to med school.
 
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Goro

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This past year I was accused of academic dishonesty. A person I considered a close friend copied my answers during an exam, understandably we were both accused of cheating. At the time I didn't take the situation as serious as it was (I didn't feel guilty) and I understood how my friend could be pushed to cheat (it was a tough time for him during finals week) but of course it doesn't justify his actions.

The part that I regret so much today is that during that time I had to choose between accepting the accusation from which I would receive a grade deduction (from an A- to a C-) and have no mark on my transcript OR speak against my friend at a hearing before a panel and the professor accusing us (my friend was ready accept the blame and vindicate me) . I chose the former option, the thought of speaking against this person and a hearing was pretty frightening and the fact that we are both part of a close friend group made things less simple. I know, very poor decision. but it's done. I now have to live with it.

I was accused of academic dishonesty and I accepted it. At this point, it's either you believe this story or believe that I cheated. In both cases I am still associated with cheating in some way. And on applications I will mark "yes" on the "have you ever had an institutional action against you." Have I sealed my fate? Forget about top-tier or mid-tier or any tier schools, are my hopes of going to medical school gone?

I hate cheating, I hate dishonesty. Character traits of honesty, respect, understanding, and working hard are what I strive to uphold. During my undergrad (I graduated this past May) I was a teaching assistant for gen chem, organic chem, physics, and a psych class. I was the president of a major club on campus for 2 years and the secretary for another major club for 1 year. I also worked as an assistant to a chaplain in the interfaith center all 4 years of undergrad, helping to organize interfaith and faith specific events. I volunteered at a troubled childrens center helping to mentor kids with mental health, behavioral, and family issues for about 100 hours. These are some of the things I have done in college that represent who I am and hopefully show that I am an honest, dependable, and hard working student. Does this help me?

My cGPA is 3.71 (that grade penalty dropped me from a 3.8) and have a 518 (130/127/131/130) MCAT.

Any help would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you.
I can't sugar coat this; your medical career is over.

The wise gonnif's commentary is extremely damning and 100% spot on.

Note the bold/red? Your actions speak otherwise.

Note the bold/blue? You don't think letting someone cheat is serious? That alone says that a career in Medicine is not for you.

Massive teaching moment for the rest of SDN. @Sculptura, why do you think low/medium tier MD, or DO schools would be more willing to overlook this????
 

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Do not listen to that guys advice.

Your career, or anyone in that spot, is absolutely not over. Did you commit a felony?
Once you get an MD, no one is going to ask you what happened in undergrad. If you can't get into a US program, you might have to go to an offshore program but how that translates to your career being over is beyond me.

My advice to you is to be wise how you move forward; but do continue to move forward. Cheating isn't the end of the world. People have done worse. Just don't do worse.
 

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Do not listen to that guys advice.

Your career, or anyone in that spot, is absolutely not over. Did you commit a felony?
Once you get an MD, no one is going to ask you what happened in undergrad. If you can't get into a US program, you might have to go to an offshore program but how that translates to your career being over is beyond me.

My advice to you is to be wise how you move forward; but do continue to move forward. Cheating isn't the end of the world. People have done worse. Just don't do worse.
While his career certainly isn't over he's hampered his chances by a significant amount.

I'm not one to say if you actually cheated or not or if you deserve the things you'll have to face because of it. Personally I think if that you shouldn't be punished for what seems like an honest, immature mistake. Unfortunately medical school in the United States is already cutthroat and you're now seen as a liability.

You can go offshore yes but at that point I would opt for a different career. Going offshore is an extremely risky investment both in time and money. And don't forget from a financial perspective time and money consequences are often multiplicative.

Do as you wish. But before you do as you wish, also do your due diligence and weigh out your pros/cons.
 
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@Sculptura, why do you think low/medium tier MD, or DO schools would be more willing to overlook this????
They definitely wouldn't overlook it. I just think that some adcoms would weigh it against other aspects of the application -- high GPA/MCAT, strong ECs, LoRs, etc.

There are three basic interpretations of what happened, in order of worst to... least awful:
1) OP intentionally copied someone else's answers, and is now lying about it.
2) OP intentionally let someone else copy his answers.
3) Someone copied OP's answers without OP's consent or knowledge; OP was made aware of this after the fact and failed to take proper action to protect himself.

If adcoms deem #1 to be true, then OP is almost certainly never going to be a doctor; #1 shows a lack of both ethics and academic competence. If OP can convince adcoms that #2 is true, then OP will possibly get in (perhaps after a gap year or two); #2 shows a lack of ethics, but not a lack of academic competence.

If OP can somehow convince adcoms that #3 is true, then he will likely be OK if he applies very broadly. Ideally, to prove #3, the accused cheater would write a formal confession letter explicitly stating that OP was not in cahoots with him, and then university administration would send OP paperwork documenting their receipt of this letter.

Again, OP really, really needs an attorney right about now.
 
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Boz_med

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I made a mistake in the past. It is most certainly hurting me, however I hope it isn't something that will define me forever. Thank you guys so far for the different insights and perspectives. Although I have a heavy heart at the moment with tears ready to pour, this thread has gifted me an opportunity to reflect on how I see myself and the mistakes I made knowingly and unknowingly.
 
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In any kind of professional, legal, or academic sphere you should never admit to something you didn't do. Adolescent friendships come and go. Career-blemishing misconduct is forever.

Is it possible you can convince your friend to write a letter admitting to it, as he did originally, and convince your academic honesty committee to rescind the IA? I imagine whatever you agreed to is binding, though I've never had to deal with one before. If you can resolve this "in house" you won't need to worry about a groveling explanation.
 
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@Boz_med You have written the worst excuse I have ever seen for getting a C- in Organic Chemistry.
I would receive a grade deduction (from an A- to a C-) and have no mark on my transcript...
And on applications I will mark "yes" on the "have you ever had an institutional action against you."
I want to comment that I have never come across an academic dishonesty policy that will give you a C- for cheating. This is because giving students a C- for cheating is equivalent to giving a pass to cheating. This isn't a unique or profound conclusion, as grades are used reflect the effort of the student. Therefore, if the academic system deems the student to be a cheater or a participant in cheating, then they are essentially giving the ok to cheat. This is why I think this hypothetical situation is not real in any shape or form.

More so, with the opening poster accepting the grade reduction in order to have a clean transcript, but then stating they will still mark themselves for an IA? How does that make any sense from a remotely logical perspective? If the OP chose the latter option and then lost the case, then they would rationally have to commit themselves to an IA. But why would someone volunteer to put themselves down as an IA when they already accepted some form of in-house punishment for the school in return for a clean transcript? They wouldn't. Because it's illogical and more importantly, this situation is completely contrived.
 
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thepoopologist

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This past year I was accused of academic dishonesty. A person I considered a close friend copied my answers during an exam, understandably we were both accused of cheating. At the time I didn't take the situation as serious as it was (I didn't feel guilty) and I understood how my friend could be pushed to cheat (it was a tough time for him during finals week) but of course it doesn't justify his actions.

The part that I regret so much today is that during that time I had to choose between accepting the accusation from which I would receive a grade deduction (from an A- to a C-) and have no mark on my transcript OR speak against my friend at a hearing before a panel and the professor accusing us (my friend was ready accept the blame and vindicate me) . I chose the former option, the thought of speaking against this person and a hearing was pretty frightening and the fact that we are both part of a close friend group made things less simple. I know, very poor decision. but it's done. I now have to live with it.

I was accused of academic dishonesty and I accepted it. At this point, it's either you believe this story or believe that I cheated. In both cases I am still associated with cheating in some way. And on applications I will mark "yes" on the "have you ever had an institutional action against you." Have I sealed my fate? Forget about top-tier or mid-tier or any tier schools, are my hopes of going to medical school gone?

I hate cheating, I hate dishonesty. Character traits of honesty, respect, understanding, and working hard are what I strive to uphold. During my undergrad (I graduated this past May) I was a teaching assistant for gen chem, organic chem, physics, and a psych class. I was the president of a major club on campus for 2 years and the secretary for another major club for 1 year. I also worked as an assistant to a chaplain in the interfaith center all 4 years of undergrad, helping to organize interfaith and faith specific events. I volunteered at a troubled childrens center helping to mentor kids with mental health, behavioral, and family issues for about 100 hours. These are some of the things I have done in college that represent who I am and hopefully show that I am an honest, dependable, and hard working student. Does this help me?

My cGPA is 3.71 (that grade penalty dropped me from a 3.8) and have a 518 (130/127/131/130) MCAT.

Any help would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you.


If it's not on record, why would you do this? I'd request your transcript and see if it comes with any notation whatsoever, if not, who cares.

If it's on record, and your transcript comes with notification of why your Ochem score is a C- then yes, you're in a more difficult situation.
 

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If it's not on record, why would you do this? I'd request your transcript and see if it comes with any notation whatsoever, if not, who cares.

If it's on record, and your transcript comes with notification of why your Ochem score is a C- then yes, you're in a more difficult situation.
It must be reported whether it appears on the transcript or not:
Institutional Action
You must answer Yes to this question 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 or require you to withdraw. You must answer Yes even if the action does not appear on or has been deleted from your official transcripts due to institutional policy or personal petition.

If you answer Yes, you may use the space provided to explain; this space is 1325 characters or approximately one-quarter of a page in length.
Institutional Action
 

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It must be reported whether it appears on the transcript or not:
Institutional Action
You must answer Yes to this question 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 or require you to withdraw. You must answer Yes even if the action does not appear on or has been deleted from your official transcripts due to institutional policy or personal petition.

If you answer Yes, you may use the space provided to explain; this space is 1325 characters or approximately one-quarter of a page in length.
Institutional Action
Hmm, tough spot then.
 

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This would not fly on my committee...
LOL. Pictured some dude in a white coat slamming his fist on a table. "This transgression will not stand!!"


That being said. Let's be real. OP is obviously trying to cover himself. If you let your friend sit next to you during a final exam and you "knew they were having a tough time during finals week" then you have to be very oblivious to not notice them cheating next to you on a test. OP let his friend copy him, or was intentionally indifferent about it, and just let it happen rather than moving his test or hiding his scantron. They just happened to get caught this time. Real talk.
 

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Yea OP truthfully you use a lot of colorful language here but for whatever reason your posts don't read that you really learned anything from this or get why it was wrong.

I have heard that pre med advisors in such situations recommend some sort of service obligation (military, peace corps,) to obtain and show growth of character. In totality, I don't think your career is definitively over but I do think you'll need some activity of this sort to truly put this behind you. If you'd be happy doing something else, you should probably pursue something else. Good luck to you I'm sorry this has occurred.
 
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gonnif

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My question still remains, how would you possibly explain this in a medical school application in 6-8 sentences at most?
 

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OP: GAME OVER

No way to sugar coat this. You don't stand a chance in any medical school in America. Take your chances off shore but you might have better luck pouring the cost of 4 years of tuition into Lotto tickets.
 

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OP: GAME OVER

No way to sugar coat this. You don't stand a chance in any medical school in America. Take your chances off shore but you might have better luck pouring the cost of 4 years of tuition into Lotto tickets.
Seems a bit harsh lol...

Worst case, what happens if OP just takes the C- and does not mention any institutional action on his app?
 
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Seems a bit harsh lol...

Worst case, what happens if OP just takes the C- and does not mention any institutional action on his app?
It must be reported whether it appears on the transcript or not:
Institutional Action
You must answer Yes to this question 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 or require you to withdraw. You must answer Yes even if the action does not appear on or has been deleted from your official transcripts due to institutional policy or personal petition.

If you answer Yes, you may use the space provided to explain; this space is 1325 characters or approximately one-quarter of a page in length.
Institutional Action
OP has no choice but to disclose the institutional action. I see no way to spin this to make it look good. Lying or omitting it will lead to even worse outcomes.
 
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Seems a bit harsh lol...

Worst case, what happens if OP just takes the C- and does not mention any institutional action on his app?
OP would risk getting kicked out of medical school for lying on his application... or worse, getting his medical degree revoked after accumulating $300K+ of debt and wasting four years.
 
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OP would risk getting kicked out of medical school for lying on his application... or worse, getting his medical degree revoked after accumulating $300K+ of debt and wasting four years.
Quick aside unrelated to OP, it's an open secret people exaggerate their hours on app, imagine if that is grounds for expulsion.
 
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Quick aside unrelated to OP, it's an open secret people exaggerate their hours on app, imagine if that is grounds for expulsion.
We know people do that, and that's why we now ask for contact info for ECs.

Still, there's a reason why my clinical colleagues take professionalism so seriously. They know dishonest doctors start out as dishonest students.

Some of you have to understand what goes through the minds of Adcoms when confronted by people like the OP:

1) Is this someone that we want in our Class?
2) Why accept OP and the risks that they entail when we have some many other applicants who haven't cheated?

BTW, people who cheat tend to project that "everybody cheats".

And as a teaching moment, to imply that a school like Drexel or ACOM might overlook cheating for the sake of high stats while Harvard or Yale never would is insult to all Adcom members, wherever they are.
 
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Honestly, I think that is a pretty big problem. I would be surprised if any schools would consider someone who admitted to cheating. Which 99% of the time is a good thing... we don't want dishonest doctors. I get what you were trying to do.. but it wasn't right and, IT WASN'T HONEST... so technically you are guilty of academic dishonesty.

I hope it works out for you and you get in somewhere because I know you didn't do this because you are a horrible person or meant to break the rules, but it doesn't bode well for you
 

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Unfortunately I dont think this is going to end well for you. Try applying but dont get your hopes too high. This shows that you value what someone else thinks of you and popularity over doing what is right. While most people on the admissions committee would in all honesty probably act that way themselves given the chance, they want to pick people who are upstanding citizens. and everyone "thinks" they are morally infailabel until faced with the situation- i.e.) Milgrim experiment.
 
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We know people do that, and that's why we now ask for contact info for ECs.

Still, there's a reason why my clinical colleagues take professionalism so seriously. They know dishonest doctors start out as dishonest students.

Some of you have to understand what goes through the minds of Adcoms when confronted by people like the OP:

1) Is this someone that we want in our Class?
2) Why accept OP and the risks that they entail when we have some many other applicants who haven't cheated?

BTW, people who cheat tend to project that "everybody cheats".

And as a teaching moment, to imply that a school like Drexel or ACOM might overlook cheating for the sake of high stats while Harvard or Yale never would is insult to all Adcom members, wherever they are.
So what can OP do now? Grad school or any other professional program is probably out of the picture...
 

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So what can OP do now? Grad school or any other professional program is probably out of the picture...
If IA is not on transcript, there might be some profession that doesn't require him to disclose such information. In terms of premedical students finding an alternative and still fulfilling career some suggestions I can think of are:

Consulting (pharmacuticals, biomedical science field)
Perfusionist
Physician Assistant
Clinical Lab Scientist
Histotechnology
Industry research/lab
 

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So what can OP do now? Grad school or any other professional program is probably out of the picture...
Honestly, it wouldn't be a terrible idea for OP to apply to SGU or Ross. He has a history of academic excellence, so he'd probably have a very good shot at being part of the 40-50% of the class that finishes in four years and matches.

OP would also have a strong shot at getting into podiatry school. (I am aware of several cases of pre-pods on SDN getting interviewed/accepted despite having serious academic dishonesty-related histories.)
 

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If IA is not on transcript, there might be some profession that doesn't require him to disclose such information. In terms of premedical students finding an alternative and still fulfilling career some suggestions I can think of are:

Consulting (pharmacuticals, biomedical science field)
Perfusionist
Physician Assistant
Clinical Lab Scientist
Histotechnology
Industry research/lab
Physician assistant is most likely out of the question.
 

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Honestly, it wouldn't be a terrible idea for OP to apply to SGU or Ross. He has a history of academic excellence, so he'd probably have a very good shot at being part of the 40-50% of the class that finishes in four years and matches.

OP would also have a strong shot at getting into podiatry school. (I am aware of several cases of pre-pods on SDN getting interviewed/accepted despite having serious academic dishonesty-related histories.)
:wow:
 
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2) Why accept OP and the risks that they entail when we have some many other applicants who haven't cheated?
Oh yeah, those "other" students who "haven't cheated" are saints.
 

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Didn't your professors teach you to label your axes? ;)

Anyway, I think that this is one of the rare cases in which going to a Caribbean program would be somewhat justified -- as a last resort, at least.
 
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aformerstudent

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Didn't your professors teach you to label your axes? ;)

Anyway, I think that this is one of the rare cases in which going to a Caribbean program would be somewhat justified -- as a last resort, at least.
This guy right here knows how it works.
 

Goro

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Didn't your professors teach you to label your axes? ;)

Anyway, I think that this is one of the rare cases in which going to a Caribbean program would be somewhat justified -- as a last resort, at least.
IAs and legal issues are some of the reasons why people go to the Carib. PDs are aware of this. Advice given by dropouts, flunk-outs and refugees from these programs are best taken with large quantities of NaCl, BTW.
 
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aformerstudent

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IAs and legal issues are some of the reasons why people go to the Carib. PDs are aware of this. Advice given by dropouts, flunk-outs and refugees from these programs are best taken with large quantities of NaCl, BTW.
This dude is clueless. This comment is offensive to anyone who DID make it out of the Caribbean.

You're actually posting on a public forum that people go to the Caribbean because of IA's and legal issues? Do you have proof of that? You know those schools can sue you right?
 
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