Medical Should I report this as an Institutional Action?

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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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I've called my college and several med schools to discuss the issue, but everyone insists on giving me confusing and conflicting information. So here goes: should I disclose this as an IA on AMCAS?

Two years ago, my college's Title IX office issued me and another student a mutual no-contact directive. We had a loud argument and the student's RA reported it. The NCD itself said it was reported I was "involved" in a situation that involved X--"X" being a conduct that "if true" would violate Title IX & the code of conduct--and that because "it was not clear who engaged in the alleged X", they were issuing the mutual NCD.

Spoke to the conduct office at my school and was told this was an informal resolution that was not disciplinary. It does not appear on my transcript, and I was also told that upon me signing a release for a med school to perform a clearance on my file, the only info my school would disclose is any judicial/Title IX/conduct "findings". I have no such "findings" since I have never been accused/investigated/processed for any violation. When I asked if I should report it, they basically told me it was up to my interpretation of the question being asked.

AMCAS defines an IA as "any institutional action by any college or medical school for unacceptable academic performance or conduct violation". My interpretation is this: I was never accused/investigated for/found guilty of a conduct violation, therefore I do not fall under this category. At most, it was reported I was involved in a situation where it is unclear who engaged in X (the conduct violation).

Still feeling confused, I spoke to deans of admissions at 2 med schools, who basically told me this: if there's a paper trail, report it; if not, don't. When speaking about the consequences of me not reporting it and it being found out, they all referred to the AMCAS background check. This confused me further--isn't a med school clearance (i.e. a med school asking your institution about your records) different than the AMCAS BGC? I was under the impression that the AMCAS BGC is strictly a criminal record search, so how would any of this appear on there? Are there any other methods for schools to find these things out even if my college does not disclose it?

In conclusion, I'm feeling more confused than before I started to seek guidance on the matter. I have ZERO intention of hiding it if it really does count as an IA, but I also want to be 100% sure I'm required to report it. Word on the street is that lots of med schools automatically discount applicants with IAs, and I've worked really hard to get to where I am today.

Further info: URM, 3.55 c/sGPA, 520 MCAT, solid ECs.
Some schools require a Dean's Letter which would disclose any disciplinary record in your files. Some med schools might consider that the equivalent of a criminal background check for academic misdeeds.

You wrote, "I have never been accused/investigated/processed for any violation." If you've never even been accused of a violation, then it is hard to say that you have been the subject of an institutional action. If the only thing you have is a statement from the school based on the report of an RA, "stay away from that other student... and that student has been told to stay away from you... now behave yourselves, you two." I'd say that you don't have an IA to report.
 
Oct 14, 2011
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Yes, this is tricky. You better get your university's judicial officer to give you a written letter confirming that this directive does not constitute an institutional action that requires disclosure, citing proper sections of the student handbook. It sounds to me more like a "warning" but you need to know how long that "record" would stay potentially discoverable.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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I highly doubt I'll be able to get such a letter, considering that during our conversations they would finish each sentence with some variation of "but we cannot give you legal counsel on what to disclose" or "but it is up to the student to interpret the wording of the question being asked"... They were, however, clear on the fact that this was an "informal resolution not disciplinary in nature" and that were I to have a "finding" on my conduct/discipline records I would definitely know because I would have been informed at the time. (Never was)

Now, I asked if such a thing could be expunged or rescinded, and they said that it's no longer in effect since I don't attend anymore, but that it cannot be "expunged"... there will always be a record of it I suppose. My question now becomes: If my school won't disclose anything that isn't a "finding", how else would med schools or AMCAS ever get wind of this situation? And further, if they did and an investigation was launched, would I have a solid defense as to the reason I did not disclose (i.e. never accused/investigated/guilty of a conduct violation)?
They were, however, clear on the fact that this was an "informal resolution not disciplinary in nature" and that were I to have a "finding" on my conduct/discipline records I would definitely know because I would have been informed at the time. (Never was)

I'd say that you have done your due diligence and you do not have an IA.
 
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