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Is this within the "rules"?

Discussion in 'Physician Scientists' started by hotstuffdb22, Aug 5, 2002.

  1. Okay, they say this is an admissions "game", so I wanted to know if the following scenario is within the rules of the "game".


    I enrolled in a physical chemistry course over the summer, and of course, while doing 60+ hours of research and publishing a paper, didn't do so well in the class. I ended with something like a B- or B.... haven't found out yet.... However, it seems like I wouldn't have to report this grade until next spring sometime (after an acceptance). I know you have to report all final grades before you enter med school, so does that mean I could wait to report this summer term grade?? What makes sense about sending your schools a gpa update when it is going to lower your overall gpa?? It seems like if they would like the grade, they'll ask for it.... anybody have any info. about when we need to report grades??
     
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  3. none

    none 1K Member
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    Yes, you could wait. You don't have to tell med schools anything unless they ask for it. Some will ask, of course, and then you'll have to tell them. And they won't care.
     
  4. jot

    jot

    tsk tsk - ethics people ethics ;). wwjd? glad you asked - jot would also wait a bit before disclosing the b/b-, no point being an anal pre-med and reporting it immediately ;). i'm takin pchem this fall or something for no reason - should be interesting/masochiastic. goodluck with apps :)
    -jot
     
  5. Bikini Princess

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    i don't think schools will care much about one mediocre grade, if you get a 4.0 next fall maybe you'll want to disclose your grades after all.
     
  6. shamus1

    shamus1 Member
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    Ok, so I got this "anal premed" thing going. I would report the grade. I'm no Randy Cohen, the ethicist who writes in the Sunday NY Times Magazine, but it seems that not doing so would be unethical.

    A B or a B- in this sort of course is not a big negative, so it will not hurt your chances of getting into a program, particularly if it is an anomaly in an otherwise strong record. Beyond this pragmatic consideration however, is the more important issue of personal ethics. The old chestnut that goes "your ethics are judged by what you do when nobody is looking" has some value here. Yeah, it is just a grade in a course that you maybe shouldn't have taken, given your other commitments this summer, but that does not make it ethical to fail to report it. Would you feel the same way about not reporting the grade if you received an A+? Or if you got a first-author paper accepted? What if you went out this weekend to celebrate the completion of all those #@%&#&!! secondary applications, drank too much and were charged with a DUI? Since you already filled out the secondaries, no one would know unless you were asked in an interview if you had any criminal offenses. Would it be ethical to withhold this information?

    In the overall scheme of things, deciding to withhold information about a grade is not a big transgression. The real concern is what might happen down the road when situations with bigger consequences come up, say the DUI thing. Once a person chooses to be unethical in small things, it is easier to be unethical in bigger things. Lapses in judgement in one area of your life may affect your behaviour in completely unrelated areas.

    As a researcher and a physician you will probably face many situations where you have to weigh ethical considerations. Each time you make a questionable choice you will find it easier and more necessary down the line to make another questionable choice. Many of the cases of scientific misconduct reported each year probably started with someone making a bad choice in a small matter(like adjusting the contrast on a gel or filling in a datapoint here or there)due to time pressure, sloppiness, etc. Once this choice was made it often becomes necessary to hide this lapse in judgement with ever more serious evasions and acts, until it a major part of one's attention is focused on covering up the lie.

    I'm not saying that you will damn yourself to eternal perdition by not reporting this grade, however the way that you deal with this situation will tell you a great deal about how you will deal with more the serious challenges that you will certainly face in the future. In a way, you are lucky to be faced with this choice; it gives you an opportunity to find out something about yourself.

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  7. jot

    jot

    i stand corrected - i'll concede to shamus - definately the wiser speaking:)
     
  8. none

    none 1K Member
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    I don't. There is no deceit involved here. This is not a DUI offense that would put others at risk. This is a pchem grade. Schools that are interested, will ask for it. They expect you to be getting new grades. They do not expect you to be getting new criminal offenses. There is no reason to put yourself in a bad light by going out and presenting your B to the world. It will look much better on the secondary forms that require it.
     
  9. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
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    Hotstuffdb22

    I would not report the grade.

    While I think Shamus' decision may stand on firmer ethical ground than mine, I think a little common sense is also in order. A B/B- is nothing to sweat over - and it is P-chem which is FAR more difficult than organic, the typical "weed out course"... 1/2 of it is, after all, quantum mechanics and not merely chasing electons around a benzene ring (my undergrad degree was in chemistry)!

    As was indicated in earlier posts, you must submit final grades prior to your med school matriculation, and, if a B/B- in P-chem means your admissions letter is revoked (which would NOT happen) why would you want to go to that school anyway?

    As far as not telling a grade leading to future unethical events - This is a bit far fetched. Shamus, in lines with the DUI argument, have you ever exceeded the speeding limit (even for a second), jay-walked or parked in a no-parking zone? I am sure that if you had, your logic would necessitate that you immediately call the polic department and given them the appropriate details to mail you a ticket - after all failure to do so would send a person into an ethical down-hill spiral ultimately leading to your obtaining a DUI.

    Not reporting a grade prior to the mandatory time is NOT equal to some of the scientific falsifiying that you make the analogy to. Perhaps a better analogy would be not reporting non-significant findings in a publication, which once enquired about, you WOULD give the appropriate data. The scientific falsifying analogy would be more equivalent to cheating to get the A+, then reporting that to the Adcoms. Clearly, the difference should be apparent.

    In short, report it when required - after all this IS your senior year, and a little senioritis is common if not expected.

    Airborne
     
  10. none

    none 1K Member
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    Ah, attacking an argument by extrapolation and then destroying the attack with further extrapolation. Wonderful.
     
  11. shamus1

    shamus1 Member
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    I plead guilty to the speeding and jaywalking, not to parking in a no parking zone (that's for punks). I've been ticketed for driving without brake lights (the fuse blew) and for making a right turn on a red light (I was driving in a state that does not permit that). No life-long criminal tendencies noted, yet.
     
  12. none

    none 1K Member
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    Did you also send copies of the police report to the medical schools you're applying to? That's much more relevant than whether you plead guilty.
     
  13. shamus1

    shamus1 Member
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    Yeah, but I did not tell them that I shot the cop that ticketed me.
     
  14. Airborne

    Airborne Senior Member
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    Shamus -

    You were right!

    Having not pled guilty to the parking in a no-parking zone did in fact promote ethical instability... and inevitably initiated the moral demise that led to you shooting a cop.

    I recant my earlier position, Shamus is right.

    Hotstuffdb22, if you fail to report a B in P-chem, you too could be on the streets shooting cops.

    Airborne
     
  15. This discussion is great!

    Here is my moral problem:

    Is it okay to use patient/visitor parking at the hospital one works at?

    Since, technically, I am only "visiting" for the summer, I really am not working since I am not 1.0 FTE (full time)

    Shamus... help!!! Should I report this to my med schools or will they find out in the secondaries???
     
  16. shamus1

    shamus1 Member
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    I'd only report it if I ran over an old lady while racing to park illeagally in a handicap zone. Actually, you could probably turn such an experience into a pretty compelling personal statement for the AMCAS.
     
  17. AlternateSome1

    AlternateSome1 Burnt Out
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    wwjd? Jesus didn't get into medical school!
    or...
    wwjd? Who wouldn't want Jack Daniels?


    ~AS1~
     

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