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premed23456

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Apr 11, 2012
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I'm finishing up the junior year of my college now at age 21, and some crazy events with abnormal circumstances have occurred in my recent past and I wanted to get an idea from you guys on what my chances are looking like now of getting into med school.. and what I should do to maximize those chances.



I moved here from a different country and have known since I was little (cliche, but true) that I wanted to pursue medicine. So since moving here, I've worked my butt off to become the perfect med school applicant, and if I were to apply now, I would be the perfect applicant; with a near 4.0 college gpa, great grades, awesome leadership activities and also founded a pre-med student org on campus, RA, TA, clinical experience, various scholarships, etc etc. All of that would look perfect except for 2 huge black marks on my record that might break my application entirely.



My life basically turned upside down in late Sept 2010 when I was 20 yrs old and was charged with a DUI. It all resulted from me not realizing my drinking limit and having drunk too much and blacking out. I didn't and would never make the decision to drink and drive consciously, but by the time I became conscious, it was already too late and I was behind the wheel of my car. Long story short, the car hit the median, flipped twice, but I got out in one piece and got charged with a DUI. By no means would I ever try to make an excuse for my poor judgment, so I take full blame, have endless remorse for the situation, and have learned an immeasurable amount from the experience.



Then, later that year I was wrongfully accused of cheating off of someone else's organic chemistry lab report and then convicted in February 2011. The whole process from accusation to conviction was a very convoluted, vague, and downright unfair process that I had to suffer through until the student run jury made the final verdict of guilty. There is a lot I can say about this one, because the situation ripped away part of my identity and slammed me down to the lowest point I have ever been in my life for something that I did not even do. In short, the investigation was one-sided and the trial was not supervised at all by anyone but the students themselves. Nevertheless, I had eye-witnesses, paper and electronic documents, and other evidence to prove that I did not do what they had accused me of, as well as other family organizations and a lawyer who was part of my school's judiciary committee and graduated from the very same school's law school in my support, and I was very confident in walking into that trial that the truth would come to light. The final verdict was unexpected, but through this exhausting time of my life, I learned an enormous deal about life also. Ultimately, I would not take either of these incidents back due to how much they have both taught me, but the only thing that I wish would not happen is for these 2 events to hold me back from my future pursuits, like medical school.

I am due to graduate college in May 2013, and would originally have gone to medical school in 2013 if I were to do it traditionally (which I can't anymore). Now that these events have happened in my life, I am wondering if you all have any advice for someone like me trying to get into medical school to pursue what I have always wanted to. These incidents don't speak one bit for my character, and I have done all that I can to redeem myself from them. I know that time is the healer of all wounds, so I am definitely going to take some time off between college graduation and med school apps, but I just don't know what I should do out of all my options, to maximize chances of being accepted to an American medical school.

I was thinking research (because I don't have any experience right now and I think it would be interesting and keep me within my field of study even during my time off), Peace Core (I love serving and traveling, and this is the perfect combination of both--of course I would only do this if they'd let me, given the DUI), an MPH (I want to ultimately get involved with international medicine and public health, and I would certainly be interested in this), or a post-bac/master's (advised by some of my other mentors, but this is what I want to do least because I think that these are geared more towards students who want to redeem themselves academically, which I don't need to do).

I apologize for the lengthy post, but I'd really value some honest feedback. I understand that these events will make it a million times harder for me to get in, but I've come too far to give up now so giving up is not an option. Please let me know if you have any thoughts at all on what it would take from me to get into medical school. Thanks!!
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Regarding the DUI: considering that you didn't harm another person, if time passes, you take responsibility with an explanation like the one above, and your record stays clean, I think there is a decent chance it won't hold you back. I usually suggest not applying until three years after the incident.

As far as the accusation of cheating:
1) Is there another appeals process where you go before a dean?
2) What notation was put on your permanent record?
3) What was the consequence?
4) Could you get the lawyer and a faculty member who believes in you to write you letters of support after a review of the evidence?

5) I'm not going to get all sunshine and roses with optimism, but as a note of hope quoted from a communication with Tildy:
I want to break the mold and write an encouraging post. I had a huge red flag on my application (cheating), and I was pretty devastated (esp regarding my chances for med school). Searching SDN revealed that most ppl need to take time off after graduation/etc, and that ppl don't go to med school straight out of undergrad. BUT...only 2 yrs after the incident, I applied to med school (explaining in detail everything that had happened, and accepting responsibility), and by the grace of God, I will now attend a top 20 med school. There's hope, and don't let anyone bring you down.

Do:
- disclose everything
- accept responsibility
- get character witness letters from faculty who knew you well

Don't
- say it was unfair
- put down the college/professor/whomever
- give up
And I will add to the list, to let time pass without further incident.
 

premed23456

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Apr 11, 2012
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Thank you so much for your feedback, it really just made my day. I'm actually in tears right now because this is so encouraging to see after getting told that I permanently screwed up, I should just give up, and that I don't have a shot in hell at med school anymore from the majority of the people whom I've asked. And these people are med school ad com faculty, med students, and current MD/PhD's, so they're pretty credible people. I know that odds are SERIOUSLY against me right now, but I want to go against them and give it the best shot that I can. I'm just refusing to give up.

Anyway, regarding the academic violation, I worked months on my case with a team who I seeked out myself. I managed to find the student-parent group who has been actively trying to reform the honor system that has done their kids a lot of injustice as well as that lawyer I was talking about who worked to reform the system to a fairer one since he's been on it. After I left the school, the upcoming year's honor committee staff (all students) heard about my case and one member reached out to me who along with others, wanted to reform the system and wanted to use my case as an example of the injustice that's done behind the scenes. So I've been pretty involved with the entire judicial system there even since I left that school, and I still do stay in contact with the people whom I've work with on this case.

Here are the answers to your questions:
1) Is there another appeals process where you go before a dean? We went through the appeals process immediately, but the judiciary system is so strict that in order for an appeal to get approved, it would take something like the opposing party coming out and confessing that they did what I was accused of or something. The bar is really high for getting appeals approved, and my 20 page, lengthy, detailed appeal I wrote staying up day and night got denied.
2) What notation was put on your permanent record? The only notation that goes on my transcript is "enrollment discontinued." But of course I'm going to have to disclose everything to any application that asks about prior academic misconduct.
3) What was the consequence? Single sanction- immediate expulsion. One strike and you're out. I had to leave in the middle of my spring semester, all my credits and money went down the drain, my identity with that school was shattered, and I could go on and on about what it did to me emotionally, financially, etc. But basically I was expelled because that's the only sanction they offer.
4) Could you get the lawyer and a faculty member who believes in you to write you letters of support after a review of the evidence? Yes I have many people who were on my side and who I still stay in touch with.

A little more on me after I the academic incident:
After expulsion in spring, I transferred to a research and science-heavy institution and started that fall. I have a near 4.0 gpa, have taken VERY heavy course loads with all A's and one B, am super involved in the community, have won several study abroad scholarships and am studying abroad this summer and was offered an internship through the study abroad program I'll be going through, co-founded a pre-med org at my school which I'm president of, and will be a RA and a Genetics TA next year. Basically I've been giving school and all my commitments my all and have been trying to redeem myself to the fullest to make up for what happened. I'm also going to study very hard and get an awesome MCAT score (I can't afford not to). In the end, I feel like it's more likely for med school ad coms to not care about whose fault those incidents were and wouldn't care to hear my story, so I feel like I should do the most that I can do to prove myself on paper.


Thanks again for the feedback, I realllllly really value it.
 
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Sep 4, 2006
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It sounds like there is evidence to support your claim of innocence. The higher ranked your supportive letter writers are, the more weight those letters will carry.

I wish you well, and I hope you'll come back and let us know what happens. If you are successful, you can give hope to others as the above quoted person has done for you.
 

premed23456

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Apr 11, 2012
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Thanks! I definitely will let you all know about what happens although it'll be some time before I apply to med school. Do you have any suggestions on what would be the most worthwhile doing during my time off?
 

Jamie561

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Sep 2, 2011
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I'm finishing up the junior year of my college now at age 21, and some crazy events with abnormal circumstances have occurred in my recent past and I wanted to get an idea from you guys on what my chances are looking like now of getting into med school.. and what I should do to maximize those chances.



I moved here from a different country and have known since I was little (cliche, but true) that I wanted to pursue medicine. So since moving here, I've worked my butt off to become the perfect med school applicant, and if I were to apply now, I would be the perfect applicant; with a near 4.0 college gpa, great grades, awesome leadership activities and also founded a pre-med student org on campus, RA, TA, clinical experience, various scholarships, etc etc. All of that would look perfect except for 2 huge black marks on my record that might break my application entirely.



My life basically turned upside down in late Sept 2010 when I was 20 yrs old and was charged with a DUI. It all resulted from me not realizing my drinking limit and having drunk too much and blacking out. I didn't and would never make the decision to drink and drive consciously, but by the time I became conscious, it was already too late and I was behind the wheel of my car. Long story short, the car hit the median, flipped twice, but I got out in one piece and got charged with a DUI. By no means would I ever try to make an excuse for my poor judgment, so I take full blame, have endless remorse for the situation, and have learned an immeasurable amount from the experience.



Then, later that year I was wrongfully accused of cheating off of someone else's organic chemistry lab report and then convicted in February 2011. The whole process from accusation to conviction was a very convoluted, vague, and downright unfair process that I had to suffer through until the student run jury made the final verdict of guilty. There is a lot I can say about this one, because the situation ripped away part of my identity and slammed me down to the lowest point I have ever been in my life for something that I did not even do. In short, the investigation was one-sided and the trial was not supervised at all by anyone but the students themselves. Nevertheless, I had eye-witnesses, paper and electronic documents, and other evidence to prove that I did not do what they had accused me of, as well as other family organizations and a lawyer who was part of my school's judiciary committee and graduated from the very same school's law school in my support, and I was very confident in walking into that trial that the truth would come to light. The final verdict was unexpected, but through this exhausting time of my life, I learned an enormous deal about life also. Ultimately, I would not take either of these incidents back due to how much they have both taught me, but the only thing that I wish would not happen is for these 2 events to hold me back from my future pursuits, like medical school.

I am due to graduate college in May 2013, and would originally have gone to medical school in 2013 if I were to do it traditionally (which I can't anymore). Now that these events have happened in my life, I am wondering if you all have any advice for someone like me trying to get into medical school to pursue what I have always wanted to. These incidents don't speak one bit for my character, and I have done all that I can to redeem myself from them. I know that time is the healer of all wounds, so I am definitely going to take some time off between college graduation and med school apps, but I just don't know what I should do out of all my options, to maximize chances of being accepted to an American medical school.

I was thinking research (because I don't have any experience right now and I think it would be interesting and keep me within my field of study even during my time off), Peace Core (I love serving and traveling, and this is the perfect combination of both--of course I would only do this if they'd let me, given the DUI), an MPH (I want to ultimately get involved with international medicine and public health, and I would certainly be interested in this), or a post-bac/master's (advised by some of my other mentors, but this is what I want to do least because I think that these are geared more towards students who want to redeem themselves academically, which I don't need to do).

I apologize for the lengthy post, but I'd really value some honest feedback. I understand that these events will make it a million times harder for me to get in, but I've come too far to give up now so giving up is not an option. Please let me know if you have any thoughts at all on what it would take from me to get into medical school. Thanks!!

So if your life turned upside down twice, are you back right side up again? Sorry, couldnt resist.

A question though - it seems very fishy that a school would take administrative action of this gravity after an investigation conducted solely by students (is this true?). This seems extremely unlikely to me.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

premed23456

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5+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2012
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Believe it or not, that's how it goes at that school.. I don't think I should throw names of schools out there so I'm not going to do that; however, if the all-student jury finds that there is proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" that an act of lying, cheating, or stealing was committed, then the accused is convicted, followed by immediate expulsion as the one and only sanction. No letter grade drops, no failing the class, none of that. And yeah the entire system is all student-run from the beginning to the end. The accusation, investigation, trial, verdict, everything. I went to the vice president of the school several times to try to get her to do something about this but all she did was shrug it off and say something along the lines of "there's nothing I can do about it, it's out of my jurisdiction because it's all student-run. You're going to have to take it up with them."

And yes! I guess my life is right-side up again! Haha I didn't even think of it like that but that's pretty funny.
 

Sephiroth

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Oct 15, 2011
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Any other thoughts anyone?
tell us what school it is so people can know to avoid this place?

I wonder if these kinda of things (i.e. school conduct/honor code and proceedings) are available on their websites. After hearing enough stories about unscrupulous conduct violation proceedings, it seems like it would be prudent for a graduating hs student to look up a school's standard protocol for dealing with such matters should they occur on the off chance it would affect you.
 
Jun 11, 2010
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The DUI is a bit too fresh to let it go un-noticed by an AdCom...I can understand youthful stupidity, but guys like you do kill entire families.

The cheating incident is a tough break, but if it's there on your transcripts, it wil be very hard to get into medical school. Last year I interviewed someone who cheated on an exam and had to reject him. We get so many good applicants, I can't risk someone who's done something THAT stupid.

So, you may have to bite the bullet and get some time to separate out your events and a future application. In the meantime, get into an endeavor that shows your integrity...and never, ever drink and drive again!


I'm finishing up the junior year of my college now at age 21, and some crazy events with abnormal circumstances have occurred in my recent past and I wanted to get an idea from you guys on what my chances are looking like now of getting into med school.. and what I should do to maximize those chances.

Thanks!!
 

premed23456

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5+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2012
43
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  1. Pre-Medical
Yeah I totally understand the adcoms' points of views on these 2 incidents; I just hope that they're able to see through what happened should they give me a fair chance to explain every detail of what went on. Like I said, the transcript doesn't outright say "dismissed due to honor infraction" or something like that, but it says "enrollment discontinued." Nevertheless, I'll have to explain everything to them when the question of whether or not I have been involved in prior academic violations comes up.

I'll definitely let time pass and continue to do work as hard as I can to prepare myself to redeem myself and prove myself to the adcoms when time comes for med school apps.
 
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