plagiarism and its effect on acceptance

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Wizard of Oz

I was caught for plagiarism.

This is perhaps the most revealing word of the post. :rolleyes:

I wouldn't report it. That's just my view. If you learned from the experience, move on.

Don't worry about honesty or integrity as it relates to your application at this stage. You will redefine these terms many times in your career.
 

GeekDoc

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I would say that this is a very difficult situation. The problem is the stigma associated with plagarism (aka cheating). I know that you may not see it as cheating ("It was complete negligence"), but in the eyes of your future peers as well as admissions officers, it is.

Assuming that you are a competitive applicant, with a solid MCAT and decent GPA, the "academic dishonesty" that is on your permenant record draws all the hardwork you've put in since your sophomore year into question. Many people will readily assume that if you cheated/plagarized once, you probably did again, but were more clever about not getting caught. Based on this, I would venture that the admissions officers would rather choose one of the thousands of other applicants without plagiarism noted on their record, rather than one who has it.

Rather than focus on questioning your chances on an anonymous forum, apply and pray for the best (but expect the worst). Its a crummy situation to be in, but "academic dishonesty" is a big no no to have on an application.

If its not on your record - than its up to the standards you hold yourself to when it comes to reporting it.
 
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OncoCaP

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So about 5 years ago (sophomore year) I was caught for plagiarism. It was complete negligence on my part for not correctly citing and paraphrasing ideas and concepts in my essay. I was a dumb sophomore at the time, who pulled an all nighter to finish the essay. Some sentences werent paraphrased correctly and I did forget to include foot notes, when in fact they were required. (although i did have a "references" page)

...

At one point after graduation, I was told that my disciplinary action file had been destroyed. So, I was debating on not even divulging this information on my med school apps. ...

Will this have any affect on my medical school applications? Has anyone been in my shoes and has successfully been accepted to medical school? What have some of you done in my situation? Should i even consider not including this in my appilcation? (after all my file has been destroyed.. it still doesnt make any sense to me why they would destroy someone's file)

Any additional advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

Here is my personal opinion (as a fellow pre-med who just got in for 2007):
I would skip the excuses from now on; they create a more negative impression than the actual issue in my opinion. If you want to be ethical, report it as required and move right along (the other option is to cheat again). Yes, it will hurt your chances. Will it prevent you from getting in somewhere? Perhaps, but that's not my impression; time is on your side in this case. There are reports of people getting in with drunk driving and criminal records (I'm not trivializing the difficulty -- it's a red flag!). Be sure to apply far & wide and to have a sensible backup plan (graduate school, etc.). You may need to go Caribbean. This situation will be good practice for when you make a medical error and debate whether or not to own up to it.
 

Doctor of Genes

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I hate f***ing cheaters and i hope you get CAUGHT and KICKED out of med school.:mad:
 

HyperDoctor

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Like so many of these questions, I would suggest asking your pre-med advisor.

I know at my undergrad they had an "internal record" with stuff that the pre-med dean (and other deans) could see, so he would know if you had a plagarism or other disciplinary action even if it didnt end up on your external record. However, there were internal only things. It sounds similar to your school.

I would probably recommend requesting a copy of your transcript (which is a good idea anyway for AMCAS stuff) and then, as long as its not on there, not mentioning it. You were on probabtion, and you "passed," ie you did not cheat again. (Or were not caught doing so. But I like to believe you learned your lesson.) This seems similar to getting a warning for speeding - the goal of both being to educate and it seems like you learned your lesson.
 

Droopy Snoopy

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I hate f***ing cheaters and i hope you get CAUGHT and KICKED out of med school.:mad:

Quiet now, the grown-ups are talking.

I would also agree with Oz et al about not reporting it, but mainly because (if you're describing the situation accurately) this was more of a literary formating mistake than copying off your neighbor's paper type-thing. If they really considered it cheating, that stuff would've no doubt stayed on your record. And just because you got caught and think it'll hurt your chances isn't the most "ethical" motivation for disclosing something anyway. We all have things in our past that aren't models of integrity because we're all human. I've driven home after having a few beers, picked up money in the street, smoked weed, gotten speeding tickets, even stole some candy from a curb store when I was 11. Doubt like hell I'll be confessing my sins to a PD one day, though.

Still, I guess check your transcript to be sure. If it comes up during interview don't deer-in-headlights them, just explain the situation and take responsibility. They surely won't think you were trying to hide it that way; after all what are you supposed to do, spend a paragraph on it in your ps? Not worth it.
 

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Still, I guess check your transcript to be sure. If it comes up during interview don't deer-in-headlights them, just explain the situation and take responsibility. They surely won't think you were trying to hide it that way; after all what are you supposed to do, spend a paragraph on it in your ps? Not worth it.

I agree with this completely. But isn't there a portion at the end of the AMCAS where they ask you about being disciplined by your school for anything (it's been a long time, I can't recall exactly)? That's a little more problematic.

From the ethical standpoint: When you are punished for a violation with the understanding that it will be taken off your record after a period of time, that punishment is designed to ensure that you will not repeat your mistake and to give you an opportunity for a second chance. I do not see anything unethical about not revealing a portion of your record that has been expunged. If the violation was serious enough that it remained on your record, then of course you have the responsibility to reveal it. But not revealing a charge that has been "wiped clean" is perfectly acceptable, because that was the intention of the punishment in the first place.
 
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You might also consider asking the person who will write your letter from undergrad about the situation. (S)He probably already has access to the relevant information (as others above have noted). If that person thinks that you're ok to not mention it because it's been expunged or it was just a warning, then you're good to leave if off both pragmatically and ethically IMO.

If that person thinks you should mention it, there's at least a chance it shows up in the letters that med schools get. If that's the case, I would go to the admissions committees at the school's you're applying to with a letter saying, "This is what happened, this is what I learned from it" and I'd also throw in a "I don't think you'd have anyway of knowing this if I didn't tell you, but I feel ethically bound to disclose it to you. I think integrity is important, etc." That way you introduce the situation yourself (rather than having them find out through a letter from your school) and can portray the situation in the best possible light for you, especially since it sounds like it was just an honest mistake.

FWIW, I would have much less sympathy if I thought the mistake was due to anything more than being a dumb, young undergrad, so if the situation is different than what you described, the advice may change.
 

Timmythemic22

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Don't say the "pre-allo" people weren't serious just because you didn't like their answers. The reality is you did an incredibly stupid, dishonest thing that will in fact likely mar your candidacy for medical school to some extent. Accept this fact and move on. By creating some kind of magical division between cheating and plagiarism, it only seems like you're trying to validate your actions in case they ever occur again.
 
D

da8s0859q

haha . . . MLA, I can't remember the last time I had to use MLA style in a paper's citations. 11th grade? Maybe?

:laugh: I've been an APA guide ***** for the stuff I've had to do lately.

OP: no condemnation, no insults, no speculation from me. Advise that you request a copy of your official transcript to see if you're dinged for AD or not, and take it from there. Honesty and integrity need not suggest that you have to mention this.

$.02 from a non-"omg, you cheated i hope you burn in hell and get a pineapple shoved up your ass like hitler in little nikky" premedder.
 

anon-y-mouse

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This is perhaps the most revealing word of the post. :rolleyes:

I wouldn't report it. That's just my view. If you learned from the experience, move on.

Don't worry about honesty or integrity as it relates to your application at this stage. You will redefine these terms many times in your career.

Best advice here. Check your transcripts, like someone said. That's all they'll receive from the school. Don't do a premed committee letter, many people get in with individual letters and are fine. Don't apply to WashU where they ask for a "Dean's Certification" letter. Move on and don't look back.
 

dynx

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Its been some years so correct me if Im wrong but isn't there a section on the AMCAS app. where it specifically asks if you have had any institutional actions taken against you? If you have, and you say "no" then you are a liar and I would not suggest this course even if it is not on your transcripts. If I am mistaken and the question is never asked then I don't think you have any responsibility to volunteer the information.
 

OncoCaP

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Its been some years so correct me if Im wrong but isn't there a section on the AMCAS app. where it specifically asks if you have had any institutional actions taken against you? If you have, and you say "no" then you are a liar and I would not suggest this course even if it is not on your transcripts. If I am mistaken and the question is never asked then I don't think you have any responsibility to volunteer the information.

Bingo. I think the wording is something like "have you ever been the recipient of institutional action by any college or medical school for unacceptable performance or conduct violation...." Of course, lying and cheating is a lifestyle option that works well for many people. It's not my preference, but it has produced many a prosperous member of society.
 

koma

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Bingo. I think the wording is something like "have you ever been the recipient of institutional action by any college or medical school for unacceptable performance or conduct violation...." QUOTE]


I interpret this statement as "do you know for 100% that there was an institutional action against you"? You don't know anything for 100%, so you go to your college dean/registrar/whatever and say "hello i am applying to medical school and for documentation purposes i would like to know whether there has ever been an institutional action against me?" If they say "yes, it's documented" then record it. If they say "no, not according to your file" then don't mention it. I wouldn't mention anything that is not documented because i think you need to have proof for something this important (regardless of what 'your feelings of truth and honesty' on the issue are). 'Institutional action' is a vague concept. Especially in medicine everything rests on documentation. If they eraced/destroyed documentation, you're under no moral obligation to mention it, and no one can fault you for doing so. If it ever comes up, you can say, I contacted my school officials and they reported no action against me (you can even request a formal written statement if this concerns you).
 

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If they eraced/destroyed documentation, you're under no moral obligation to mention it, and no one can fault you for doing so. If it ever comes up, you can say, I contacted my school officials and they reported no action against me (you can even request a formal written statement if this concerns you).

I tend to agree.

Although that may be because I did the same thing on my app.
 
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