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Summary charge AFTER acceptance

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by axe1414, Apr 14, 2004.

  1. axe1414

    axe1414 Junior Member

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    I searched this already but haven't found a similar post. What if you are charged with a summary charge (public drunkenness in my case) AFTER you have been accepted to a medical school. Do you need to inform them?
     
  2. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    i guess i wouldn't bring it up at this point unless they ask.
     
  3. axe1414

    axe1414 Junior Member

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    I forgot to mention, this is for a school that asked if you have been convicted of any crime other than a minor traffic violation in their secondary (so this would apply). That is why I am worried. Thanks.
     
  4. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    oh, doh.

    well it's likely they won't find out at this point right? i don't know what happens when you get something on your record. oh wait, they'll eventually do a background check on you. i have to do that every year for med school. perhaps it's better to confess now.
     
  5. XCanadianRagwee

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    Just a reminder...if they find out somethign about you after you matriculated...they can force you outta there...

    fess up and get it over with. That way you went to them first instead of them coming to you
     
  6. Audioslave

    Audioslave Rockin' Hard
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    From the AAMC:
    "Criminal background checks in admissions. Most schools require state criminal background checks prior to matriculation."
    BUT:
    "However, since the checks are state-specific, in schools where students come from a wide geographical base these checks are largely ineffective. At the moment there is no general consensus among admissions committees on what should be done with information on prior convictions once it is made known to the school."

    This all means that if you're out of state, you might get away with it. You gotta decide for yourself.
     
  7. Yeah, I think they would eventually find out. Residency programs definitely would.

    Tough call. :(
     
  8. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
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    I agree with oldman---at some point, you will likely to be asked to fill out a consent for a background check at your med school (we got it partway thru first year; refusal to give consent was NOT an option). My school asked for all states of lifetime residence as well, so I think my school actually checks out all states you've lived in prior to that date. This will vary by school, of course, but you never know what your school's policy is until they tell you. I don't know if residency programs also do background checks (I assume they do), but I would think the depth of their background checks would be the same as med schools (especially true for academic residency programs).

    OTOH, a ticket for public drunkenness is probably not a charge that is likely to make them revoke your admission or other negative consequences. They are concerned about illicit drug use (which affects Stafford financial aid as well) and person-to-person violence (which may indicate you could potentially harm a patient). I know of a few classmates who had underage drinking tickets in their younger years without any problems in med school. If you're worried about it, contact the school(s) and give them the heads up. That way you can give your explanation of what happened as well.

    I don't think you have to worry, but it would probably give you some peace of mind...better safe than sorry!
     
  9. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    smurfette makes a good point. being able to tell your side of the story (hopefully it's a good one) will be better than if they pull it up from a background check.
     
  10. Spitting Camel

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    Stories like this make me sad :( I often find myself asking "Why would you jeopardize all you have worked for?" I hope things work out for you and you can use this as an experience to grow from. Good Luck. :thumbup:
     
  11. axe1414

    axe1414 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the input everybody. It really sounds a lot worse than it is, and I have pleaded not guilty because I really think it was wrong that I got charged. I went to a bar with my friend to celebrate his getting into medical school. We drank, he went off to talk to some other people he knew, I was tired because I had slept 3 hours the night before studying for a test that day, and so I put my head down and fell asleep. Next thing you know, ambulance and police are there, cop drives me home and slaps me with the charge. It was definitely BS and I explained to him I was ok. Oh well, if I am found not guilty I won't report it, but I probably should if I am found guilty. Like I said, its a summary charge (below misdemeanor) so I don't think it will be that big of a deal. I just wasn't sure if the fact that I am already accepted makes a difference or not.

    Thanks again.
     
  12. axe1414

    axe1414 Junior Member

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    Yeah, I think they would eventually find out. Residency programs definitely would.

    Don't residency programs only ask for felonies?
     
  13. SpiritiualDuck

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    I have an assualt charge from when I was 18. I'm in my late 20's now. I had a lawyer and we had it filed, which I'm not sure what that means, so long ago, but from what I remembered, if I didn't get into any trouble for a year, it would be dropped from my record. So, it's not on my record, I believe. I never mention it. And i was innoncent too. I really was. I didn't start the fight. But what can you do?
     
  14. Newquagmire

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    is public drunkenness really that big of a deal (especially with your story)? i hear med students are a pretty wild drunk crew anyway...
     
  15. Brickhouse

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    Seriously - public drunkeness - hell, that's like grocery shopping for me! Once a week at least....

    To the OP - I wouldn't bring it up - but I'm not familiar with a summary charge....will it clear from your record after a certain period time? And you might listen to current med students about whether med schools do background checks at any point after your acceptance.
     
  16. WatchingWaiting

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    This is extremely minor. In all honesty, the prudish people who have never had a drink in their lives, are virgins until their marriage, etc. are more likely to have problems being good physicians than the people who actually engage in normal behavior and will likely be able to actually relate to their patients' weaknesses instead of stand, pass judgment, and come off as aloof and haughty (being a heroin addict or domestic abuser or something along those lines, obviously, should keep you out of medical school, but the minor in possession and other joke charges that result from being a normal college student who got unlucky really are not net negatives, in my opinion).

    Make sure you contact a lawyer-- you should be able to get the thing expunged from your record within a year for sure, and then it's a non-issue.
     
  17. snowbear

    snowbear Senior Member
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    First, wait to see if you are found guilty or not guilty.

    If you are found not guilty don't mention it.

    Even if you were found guilty, I would normally say not to tell them, but because they asked about it in their secondary I would advise you to tell them. If I were you I would send a description of what happened (dates, location, type of conviction, etc.) and your reflection on it to the school. By reflection, I mean "what you have learned from it." I know this sounds stupid because all you did was accidently fall asleep, but make up some BS about how you have discovered how important it is to moderate your alcohol intake and to make careful decisions as to when and where you will drink alcohol. I don't think they will think it's a big deal at all, but by writing about how you have learned from the experience, it will make them more comfortable that drinking won't be a problem with you in the future.

    The reason I think that you should report the conviction (only if you are convicted) is because they made it clear in their application (secondary) that they use this information (all charges except traffic violations) to make decisions for admission. When schools issue acceptances months before matriculation, the acceptances are contigent on the applicant's maintenance of their previous performance (before acceptance). Because a part of your application has changed (assuming you are convicted) since you have received the acceptance, you must report this change just as you would if you failed a class that you told the school that you would complete between when you were accepted and when you matriculate.

    Basically this is just a precautionary measure so that when they do a background check and find this on your record, they will not kick you out of school for not reporting it. Remember that on their secondary, you sign something saying that if any of the information that you reported is false or if you left anything out they reserve the right to expel you from school upon discovery. I don't necessairly believe that they would expel you based on this, but by reporting the conviction you legally protect yourself from being expeled later.

    On the other hand, if you do report this, they could now legally revoke your acceptance. I think it's safe to say that if they would revoke your acceptance now for being honest about this minor conviction, then they would definitely expel you from school (when they did the background check) for the conviction, and for not being honest with the school about the charge before you matriculated. It's a lot better to have a revoked acceptance than to be kicked out of a med school for these reasons: (1) It's going to be near impossible, if not impossible, to apply for med school after you have been kicked out of a med school; (2) you might have some other schools to fall back on right now (other acceptances that did not ask about charges other than a felony)


    Just my opinion, I would definately check this with a lawyer.
     
  18. umass rower

    umass rower Insert clever phrase here
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    Were you convicted of anything? If not, then it falls outside what they ask for. I don't think they can really keep you out if you've only been charged with something.

    Snowbear has some good advice on what to do if you were convicted, so pay attention to the above post.
     
  19. WatchingWaiting

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    I'm not sure we should be doing this kind of analysis, because this issue really is pretty minor. However, there is a difference between them finding out now and finding out when he is a student-- their investment in him, their difficulty in dumping a medical student (they'll have to schedule a hearing; he'll get to present his case, etc.) and the fact that it looks bad to have someone start your program but not finish, protest from his fellow med students (esp. for something minor and if he is even semi-liked), whereas it is very easy now to just drop his acceptance and go down one name on the waitlist.
     
  20. axe1414

    axe1414 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the posts. The only thing is that I am currently holding 2 acceptances -- 1 at a school that asked about crimes other than traffic, and I cannot access the other school's secondary because it was submitted online (and reaccess is not permitted). Because I have to let the school know by May 15th, and my trial date is after that date, I'm not sure if I should let the school that I'm interested in know right now (to make sure I have the other acceptance to fall back on if they revoke my acceptance). The other school (my 2nd choice) is the school whose secondary I cannot access, so I am not sure if I should or should not let them know if the other school revokes. I doubt they will revoke an acceptance for being honest and reporting such a minor crime (And also the circumstances), but its better to be safe like you guys have mentioned than have them find out and be worried about dishonesty, etc.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  21. axe1414

    axe1414 Junior Member

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    Thats the other thing I was thinking about. I'm really torn between what I should do--report and get it out of the way now (assuming I'm convicted) or don't report and have them pursue it later if they think it is an issue. And as for the schools that don't ask you about summary charges or 'minor crimes', there would be no need to report to them right? Because nothing has changed from the time I submitted my secondary.
     
  22. WatchingWaiting

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    If it hasn't even gone to trial, then you shouldn't mention it as there is nothing to explain yet. I don't think you're under any obligation or expectation to do so unless there is a conviction. Also, make sure you have a lawyer-- it's better to burn a couple of thousand dollars and have a clean record. This sounds like a classic case where if you come off with the correct attitude you will be assigned x hours of community service and told the offense will be cleared from your record if you're clean for y months.
     
  23. Spitting Camel

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    OK, bad Karma for that? Whatever... :rolleyes:
     
  24. beriberi

    beriberi Senior Member
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    Uh... I am a fourth year med student and have never authorized a background check for my medical school (and they need to be authorized). My residency doesn't ask for one either....
     
  25. Kalel

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    I'm not too familiar with what my school's policy on this is, but I can tell you that I happened to be standing in the dean's office when his secretary received a call from a med student. The secretary told the dean that the student was calling because he had just received a DUI, and he wanted to know if he needed to do anything about it. My dean told the secretary no, and that he didn't want to know who the student was was. If I were you, I'd do everything possible to minimize the charge in your case, whether that means going to court or even hiring a lawyer (a lot of lawyers know loopholes to kind of make these things go away with a fee). I honestly don't think that it'll ever be a problem, I think that my temporary medical license application may have only asked for federal convictions (if that, I don't remember); but nevertheless, better safe then sorry. Hope that helps.
     
  26. axe1414

    axe1414 Junior Member

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    Kalel,
    I am going to court over it. However, if I am convicted should I let the school know prior to matriculation? That is all I am worried about. Thanks again.
     
  27. snowbear

    snowbear Senior Member
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    I understand WatchingWaiting's argument about the school's increased loyalty to you once you have become a student and are no longer just an applicant. I actually thought a little about this. The thing about all of our analyses is that they are all pretty much just assumptions. My argument that I detailed earlier in this thread is based on the premise that some assumptions are safer than others becasue their potential consequences arn't as drastic.

    My opinion is that you should play this as safe as possible, because this is your career, and maybe even your dream, that we are talking about. First, find out about that other school's secondary. Do you have a copy of the secondary? Post the Q on SDN if you feel comfortable. I remember a thread that had a list of which secondaries ask about convictions (I am not sure how reliable or how many schools this thread had listed) Make an anonymous call to the school and just ask if any conviction questions were on the secondary last year--pretend that you are planning to apply. Figure it out one way or the other. If they don't ask about it, I don't think you need to tell them.

    If this school doesn't ask, you may consider telling your first choice school that you are charged and have pled not guilty, but that you may be convicted. Write a description like I talked about earlier, emphasizing how you have learned from the incident. Ask them whether they will revoke your acceptance if you are in fact convicted. Whether or not you do this will be a difficult decision, but my opinion is that you should be as safe as possible. If you have the option of ensuring 100% that you will matriculate and will not be kicked out of school for this potential conviction, (if the other school doesn't ask about convictions) I say do it. Your decision, obviously, will depend to a large part on how much you would rather go to your first choice school than the other school.

    If the other school asks about it too, I would write both schools about the situation, see how each of them responds, and then make a decision accordingly. This kinda sux.

    The thing that especially sucks about your situation is that your trial is after May 15th. You may end up disclosing something that you didn't have to, and the worst case scenario is that you may not matriculate at med school this Fall. If you do not inform the schools (that ask about convictions) about the charge, the worst case scenario is that you might enroll and later be kicked out upon discovery (assuming you get convicted). The thing about the latter possibility is that you probably won't be able to attend medical school if that happens. At least in the case of the former, you could reapply next year.

    Good luck with your decision :)
     
  28. Thundrstorm

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    *heads out to get drunk and have sex, since obviously, she can't be a good doctor without doing so, and of course will be judgemental of anyone else's lifestyle* :rolleyes:


    To the OP: I don't have an informed answer, but I probably would say not to report it at this point. Good luck. :thumbup:
     
  29. WatchingWaiting

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    This is admittedly based on a very small sample size, but based on having watched a few highly Christian, low on life experience med student peers conducting histories, I would say that there is some value in having normal life experiences to being able to interact effectively with patients.
     
  30. Kalel

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    Personally, I would not. I think that as long as you were honest on your application, it shouldn't affect your enrollment. I'm not 100% sure about any of this though, you may want to call the school anonymously or have your lawyer find out for you.
     
  31. axe1414

    axe1414 Junior Member

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    Thanks Kalel. Last question: Did you have to authorize a background check at all once you got into med school?
     
  32. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    this is definitely tough. especially since you dont' know what they mikght do if they figure it out later.

    at my school a pharmacy student had stated something about his military record on his application and in the spring of his 4th year, there was something false in it that was discovered. that's when they expelled him.
     
  33. snowbear

    snowbear Senior Member
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    They really expelled him during his 4th year????? Do you have any idea what the false information was about? Gosh that would suck.
     
  34. axe1414

    axe1414 Junior Member

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    Well, that is understandable. However, you have to remember in my case that what I presented in my secondary application (as well as AMCAS) was ALL honest and accurate. Its just that a (possible) change may occur where my answer to one of the questions would change. I am not sure if that warrants a obligation to inform or not. The schools are really not clear about this.
     
  35. snowbear

    snowbear Senior Member
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    Why don't you give the school an anonymous call and just ask? Ask somebody else to do it for you if you arn't comfortable doing it.
     
  36. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    do you have a premed advisor at your school? perhaps you could ask them?

    if the schools have mandatory background checks then it'll come up eventually.

    but then again you are only charged at this time. if you haven't been convicted then it won't be on any record. for now i'd try to find out the policy and wait until after the court hearing.

    in general i think the med schools give out lots of trust. for our tests they leave out the answers for us to pick up on our own.
     
  37. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    the person wrote that he was in the special forces, but he wasn't
     

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