Tough Decision... Please Help Me!!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by liketea, May 20, 2002.

  1. liketea

    liketea Junior Member

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    Hi... I need to make a tough decision. Please give me some advices.

    I got into one top-25 school (call it school A) and one third-tier school (call it school B) recently. I need to make a decision on which to go to VERY soon. The problem is I got busted by police in the state that school A is in. It was misdemeanor assault. I swear all of it was a complete misunderstanding. I got dismissed at the court, but the arrest record will stay forever (no expungement in that state).

    Regardless of which school I go to, I'll be subject to background checks prior to rotations. With school A, the background check will turn up my arrest record since the arraignment happened in-state, whereas this will not be an issue at school B. This may screw up my clinical training at School A. It is a fact that only the in-state dismissed cases will show up on background checks. But I can only speculate as to how much this will bite my ass during and after med school if I decide to go to School A.

    My question is: is it worth the uncertainty and the risk to go to the much more prestigious School A, or is the drawback of going with School B greater than any possible ill-effect that my arrest record will have? Please help me decide...
     
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  3. Mr. Z

    Mr. Z Senior Member

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    I'm sure a lot will depend on the nature of the incident. If it was something silly like forgetting to pay a speeding ticket, then no it won't be a problem. If the charges are related to a more serious crime, like selling drugs to children, then I would say yeah, go to the out of state school.
     
  4. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life

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    I would contact the resident SDN lawyer, The Juris Doctor for advice on this. She knows her stuff.

    I have a question though. If a school still allows you to matriculate despite your assault record, why should it hurt you come rotation time?
     
  5. none

    none 1K Member

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    I don't understand...if you weren't convicted of anything, why does the arrest matter at all?
     
  6. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    Why don't you contact the admissions office and talk to them (anonymously if you like) about the situation? Someone at the school in question would be best qualified to answer your questions.
     
  7. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Mr. Z:
    <strong>I'm sure a lot will depend on the nature of the incident. If it was something silly like forgetting to pay a speeding ticket, then no it won't be a problem. If the charges are related to a more serious crime, like selling drugs to children, then I would say yeah, go to the out of state school.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Did you read the post? He said misdemeanor assault! Last time I forgot to pay a speeding ticket, I sure as hell didn't get slapped with a misdemeanor assault charge. Assault is still kinda weak though IMO. You could get charged with assault even if you never touched the other person. If I pull a knife on you, and you're scared and intimidated, that's assault! I don't have to actually try to hurt you to be brought in and charged with a crime. Battery is more serious IMO.
     
  8. liketea

    liketea Junior Member

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    Mr Z, it was misdemeanor assault.

    Papa Smurf, med schools don't ask whether you've been arrested. They only ask about convictions. Remember, I was charged but my case was DISMISSED later. So, the med school didn't know about any of this before it accepted me. However, hospitals could elect to check up on your criminal history, and they could theoretically be turned off by my arrest record and then ask the med school to not send me there for clerkship. I talked to the dean of School A about this. He said this would be the worst-case scenario and he said he's not saying that would happen. But he's not sure what exactly the risks are.
     
  9. liketea

    liketea Junior Member

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    Diogenes -- yeah, I did talk to the dean of school, like I said in the last post. (sorry, I'm kinda slow typing responses) He was sorta wishy-washy and said that ultimately it's my decision and that I should weigh the risks vs. my preference for each school.

    I guess what I'm worried about the most is how attending School A with everyone knowing about my arrest record might potentially have a trickle-down effect on my residency match. Am I reading too much into this?
     
  10. none

    none 1K Member

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    It was an arrest! You were found innocent, weren't you? I just don't get this at all. The police could come in here right now and arrest me for anything...but I'd be innocent until I was found guilty and you never were! It would almost seem illegally discriminatory to use an arrest that never led to a conviction, against you.
     
  11. WaitingImpatiently

    WaitingImpatiently Long Member

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    Wow, when I first read "tough decision," I was rolling my eyes... but your situation really is a toughie, especially when you look ahead toward the future. I wish I had some good advice to give you, but I don't. :( However, I think you should do everything you can to get into the school you really want to go to.
     
  12. Mr. Z

    Mr. Z Senior Member

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    My bad, I didn't read your post closely, sorry.
    Assault is serious, but, very circumstantial.

    If you were not convicted, then you did nothing wrong... so to speak.
     
  13. The Fly

    The Fly Senior Member

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    My inability to offer any useful advice has left me feeling very sheltered. . . :(

    This is a difficult dilemma not to be confused with the typical Duke vs. Harvard 'troubles' that have found their way onto SDN! :)
     
  14. liketea

    liketea Junior Member

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    Thanks everyone for the responses. Not surprisingly, I haven't been able to get a concrete response from anyone that I've talked to, including legal advisors and dean of student affairs at School A. I know that this is ultimately my decision, but it is so hard to know what to think. At this point, if you guys could be bold enough as to offer a "if I were in your shoes, I'd choose this" response, then that'd appreciate it. Aaaaahhhh, this is such a monkey on my shoulder.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by none:
    <strong>It was an arrest! You were found innocent, weren't you? I just don't get this at all. The police could come in here right now and arrest me for anything...but I'd be innocent until I was found guilty and you never were! It would almost seem illegally discriminatory to use an arrest that never led to a conviction, against you.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Man, that's exactly what I'm talking 'bout! At times, I think strong and say "the hell with this. I didn't do **** so why should I pay for it?!" Then other times, I am worried as hell about my career in the future.
     
  15. pwrpfgrl

    pwrpfgrl Senior Member

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    I think that if this was in the past, and you don't have any other "questionable" incidents on your record, and assuming you do really well at school A, I would guess that the arrest would not have an awful impact on residency matches. I'm just speculating, but it seems that if you are basically an excellent candidate in all other aspects, it wouldn't make sense for a residency program to look down on you for something that was never proved to have occurred.

    Also, to echo what Mr. Z said - it's not like you were accused of child abuse or sexual assault - I bet that these would carry more wieght than a misdemeanor assault.

    On the other hand, if you go to the lower tier school, you'll still be a doctor when you graduate <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> and if you do really really well, you will probably have your pick of residencies anyway.

    hmmmm, I guess I didn't really help much. this is a really tough decision - i wish you luck in whichever choice you go with.
     
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  17. randomlogik

    randomlogik Senior Member

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    I think that if you did not attend the top tier school you would always wonder what you missed out on there and whether or not you would have actually had any problems there. It is obvious that you prefer this school. I know that this is a really hard decision for you to make, but I think that I would choose to go to the to the top school if I were you. Sometimes these things are worth taking a chance on. Just make sure that you don't have any future incidents. That way they will be more likely to look past this one.
     
  18. Keith

    Keith Senior Member

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    Few schools ask about Misd.s as they don't prevent you from being licensed to practice medicine. I spent 11 years in law enforcement. I understand what happened (you were arrested on Misd. assault, the DA decided not to file charges, and now you're worried about the arrest record in state A)
    Most schools require accepted students to report significant events (varies as to what are significant events between schools) that may affect their candidacy. As long as you have notified school A about the arrest (if required to do so), which apparently you have via your conversation to the dean, I wouldn't worry about it. I would be more worried if you were not going to mention it to school A (if required) and attend school A which could result in a dismissal when they found out about it later. (maybe, if they thought it so terrible, their policy required you to report it, and they thought that you intentionally tried to hide it.)
    Most Misd.s are minor. You'd be surprised to learn just how many current doctors have some sort of arrest record. (DUI, domestic violence, battery, etc) We all make mistakes.
    I don't think the hospital refusing to let you do rotations is a realistic scenario. It's not like you have a history of addiction to narcotics or some serious mental instability. I also think the school accepts some responsibility in accepting you to ensure you are provided with the training you need to graduate and be licensed. Make sure you formally notify the school if they have a policy that requires you to do so. Thereafter, if they decide to allow you to matriculate, I think they have a legal obligation to ensure you receive training, to include rotations.
    I understand your fears, but I think you'll be fine at either school. Just make sure you report it to them if their policy (which varies between schools) requires you to do so.
     
  19. Keith

    Keith Senior Member

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    The short answer,
    If I were you and wanted to go to school A,

    I'd do a formal written notification to the school if their policy required me to do so. After that, if they said the event had no impact on their acceptance decision (you're still accepted there anyway), I'd plan on being an M1 at school A. Good luck!
     
  20. Beckesita

    Beckesita Senior Member

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    I haven't even thought about applying yet so maybe I'm not the best person to be offering advice, but why don't you talk to someone in charge of residencies at various hospitals in the state. Good luck, either school you go to you will still be a great doctor.
     
  21. relatively prime

    relatively prime post happy member

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    I think you should tell school A about the incident. If you go there and they find out about it 2 years later, they will be really pissed that you didn't tell them and might even expel you or something. Just write a letter explaining what happened.
     
  22. liketea

    liketea Junior Member

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    I think I'm really leaning towards School A. Pretty much thought about this all night. Man, if I could get arrested for what I did (which was nothing), then I figure there must lots of other medstudents out there who've been arrested for something stupid. I mean, what's the worst that can happen? I've no conviction and I already told them what happened. They're not gonna kick me out of school just cuz one rotation after another turns me down, like Keith said.

    I've gotta admit I'm scared of going there, but it just isn't right that I've gotta pay a price for nothing by settling for School B. (at least this is what I try to tell myself to psych myself up :rolleyes: )

    Thanks, everyone for your advices. I decided to post because someone recommended it; I can already see that this is a cool website where people help each other.

    Beckesita -- btw, I've contacted a couple of the residency coordinator people at the affiliated hospitals. They haven't gotten back to me since Friday.
     
  23. Doctora Foxy

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    What's a third tier med school? :confused: I'd like to see the list you have. I thought there was a top 50 and then everything else. :confused:
     
  24. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    I've seen some lists group them into tier 1 (top25), tier 2 (26-50), and tier 3 (the rest)
     
  25. Mr. Z

    Mr. Z Senior Member

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    Perhaps this can aide you in your decision...

    I just recently had a visit from a high school friend of mine. She was always the type of person who was super competitive at everything, she had to be the best, go to the best schools etc... She graduated first in her class in high school, went to UPenn for undergrad, graduated with honors. Throughout college she was absolutely hell bent on attending a top tier med school. She took the mcat twice and only managed to score a meager 31 <img border="0" alt="[Pity]" title="" src="graemlins/pity.gif" /> I guess at the time you could describe her as distraught and that would be an understatement. Anyway, she ended up at Emory, which is not too shabby if you ask me, though, she felt it was settling. She goes on to do very well at Emory (don't know what her grades were), scores highly on the USMLE, and ends up doing general surgery residency at a good hospital in Atlanta.

    So two weeks ago, she is back for a visit, and when we are out I start grilling her on what is most important to getting a good competitive residency. Finally, I ask her "how important is it where you went to med school?" she looks me right in the eye and says "I know its gonna be weird hearing this from me, but its not very important at all!", she goes on to say that "its more important how you distinguish yourself in med school versus where you go. Somone who graduates in the bottom half of harvard med school with mediocre boards will not be more competitive than someone who graduates at the top of their class, with great recs and strong scores on the boards, from the so called lower tier schools". She told me all the fretting she did over getting into a top program was wasted energy. And if she did it over she wouldn't be concerned where she went to med school, only in how she distinguished herself during the education, be it through research, grades, board scores or all the above.

    The bottom line is, you get out of med school what you put in. If you go to Hopkins and don't work your ass off, come residency time its not going to be easy to land a competitive residency just because you went to "Hopkins". If I'm doing the hiring for the hospital, I'm far more impressed with someone who graduated in the top 5% of their class from MCP than I am from some who graduated in the bottom of their class at Hopkins/Stanford/Harvard or whatever else school you want to through in there.

    So don't base where your going to school on what the US News has a school ranked at, that is ridiculous. And in IMO anyone who wants to entertain the idea that school A makes better doctors than school B, doesn't really understand how education works. How you use your education and what type of doctor you are going to be are relections of what you carry on the inside, and what you give to the outside, not some pompous piece of paper that you frame and hang on your wall to tell the world how great you are.

    Just my .02$
     
  26. gbey

    gbey Junior Member

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    Liketea:

    Just follow KEITH's advise. He is CORRECT. I agree completely with him.

    I Had similar issues not related to medical school-misdeaminor that was later dismissed, was not even an issue with the immigration judge who granted me Greencard. You know why it was not an issue? Because it was dismissed. In other words, no conviction!

    Just celebrate your acceptance,

    Gebe
     
  27. owen_osh

    owen_osh Senior Member

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    If I were in your shoes, I'd go to school A. Even if a problem came up, don't you think the faculty at the school would explain the situation and vouch for your good character? (If not, would you even want to go to a school where the faculty wouldn't support you?)

    On the other hand, I get the sense from your writing that you have a guilty conscience, which suggests to me that you are guilty and deserved to be arrested. If you were wrongly arrested, you should be outraged not worried. Don't be pathetic; please stand up for yourself.

    Out of curiosity, I would enjoy hearing more details of the incident that resulted in your arrest.
     
  28. liketea

    liketea Junior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by owen_osh:
    <strong>If I were in your shoes, I'd go to school A. Even if a problem came up, don't you think the faculty at the school would explain the situation and vouch for your good character? (If not, would you even want to go to a school where the faculty wouldn't support you?)

    On the other hand, I get the sense from your writing that you have a guilty conscience, which suggests to me that you are guilty and deserved to be arrested. If you were wrongly arrested, you should be outraged not worried. Don't be pathetic; please stand up for yourself.

    Out of curiosity, I would enjoy hearing more details of the incident that resulted in your arrest.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Look, I agree with your first paragraph. But why the hell do you say what said in the second part? Don't be so judgemental, dude. So you're saying that you can tell from "my writing" that I was guilty and deserved to be arrested. If I were you, I'd bite my tongue before presuming false s**t. I think you could tell from my past posts that I was pissed and irked that I'm in this mess even though I did nothing. I am also worried as hell about it. So what? Wouldn't you be worried? Have some respect, please.
     
  29. jdm

    jdm Member

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    The other thing I would keep in mind is that if you make decisions now based on trying to keep something secret you never know in what waysshapesandforms you're going to keep trying to keep it secret, and what ways this might continue to impact your life. In other words, the best policy is to say "this is who I am and there is no need for you to think I'm anything other". It can wreak real havoc in your life - psychologically as well as circumstantially - having something that you keep trying to keep under a rock in the back yard.

    It's not that big a slug-thing anyhow.
     
  30. none

    none 1K Member

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    Not that big of a thing? It's a NON-THING. I still don't get why this is an issue and no one seems to be able to volunteer that information. The OP wasn't convicted!!!
     
  31. locitamd

    locitamd Senior Member

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    did you have legal counsel at the time of your arrest? If so, perhaps you can contact him/her to get an opinion, they'll probably be more versed in the implications and repercussions stemming from the arrest. If that option is not open to you, then I'd follow Keith's advice, it sounds spot on.
     

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