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Necr0sis445

So on a few secondaries where they ask "have you been charged with a misdemeanor" I stated no, and I just found out that my misdemeanor that was taken to court and dismissed still counted as a "charge" but not a "conviction".

I got an underage possession of alcohol a long time ago and I took it to court, got supervision, and the case was dismissed. My attorney said after the procedure that the case was dismissed and I was not convicted. I thought this also meant that there would be no "charge", but I guess I was wrong. I'm currently in the process of getting my record expunge, hopefully before January first before AMCAS does background checks.

The question is, since I contacted all school's who's secondaries ask "Have you been charged" with a misdemeanor and told them that I made a mistake, am I pretty much screwed with these schools, or will they appreciate me reaching out to notify them?
 

Dirk__Diggler

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Na you're fine. I'm shocked that it says "charged" and not "convicted" I've never heard of that on any secondary app ever. Just make sure the charge is expunged from your record and they will have no way of accessing that information anyway.
 

gonnif

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1) how old were you?
2) was you charged/adjudicated as a juvenile?
3) was it done in family court due to your age?
4) are you sure it was misdemeanor and not simply a violation ?
5) If it was dismissed, that usually means the charges were dropped ?

The safest course of action is to tell them all in a single paragraph but frankly from the very sketchy set of facts here, even if this were to show up on a background check, it would be easily explained and likely accepted by a dean looking at it. I am usually risk adverse but this one barely seems to be an issue. You can however send all the schools a note as below

"Due to my own oversight, I neglected to note that when I was age X, I was charged with underage possession of alcohol. However, the case was dismissed and charges were dropped"
 
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gonnif

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Na you're fine. I'm shocked that it says "charged" and not "convicted" I've never heard of that on any secondary app ever. Just make sure the charge is expunged from your record and they will have no way of accessing that information anyway.
Some secondaries will ask if you have ever been arrested. Additionally, I do not trust that fractured court systems through out the US to be properly populate updated data completely. Additionally, in addition to a formal criminal background check, some schools perform additional checks from simple searches to full blown investigations. There are numerous other sources of data that can bring up a charge (say police blotter or small newspaper story) that still can be noticed.
 
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Jul 30, 2016
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Wow, these schools really are looking for any reason to reject. What about arrests for civil disobedience (a la Occupy Wall St. BLM protest)?
 

gonnif

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Wow, these schools really are looking for any reason to reject. What about arrests for civil disobedience (a la Occupy Wall St. BLM protest)?
Not sure where you got that idea.
It isnt really used as some direct litmus test for immediate rejection or not, though with reducing several thousand applications needing to be reduced to several hundred interview invites, it certainly doesnt help. Depends on what you were actually arrested for during civil disobedience. It is usually is trespassing, unlawful assembly, or disturbing the peace, which are usually left as violations.

Some medical schools may ask about arrests, charges, and court actions, as they have actually four things to worry about.

1) The actual issue the student has concerning a charge, arrest, or conviction: What does this say about the applicant? Are there character/behavior issues?
2) Will there be issues with having a such a student on campus and particularly in regard to agreements with hospitals that provide clinical rotations?
3) With so many medical schools now part of large medical centers and hospital systems, will this affect the reputation and brand of the school or hospital?
4) Will this be an issue with LCME with admission process and procedures upon review for re-accreditation?
 
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Not sure where you got that idea.
My surprise is with how broad the question is. I understand that "Do you have a conviction in your record" would be reasonable. But, like medical malpractice lawsuits, can't charges or arrests happen under innocent circumstances, or totally UN-justified circumstances? I just worry casting so wide an vague a net is a way to get applicant to volunteer perfectly innocent information as an additional screening tool (not that you could prove it one way or the other, unless an ADCOM wants to break rank and divulge).

I'm just a pre-med for now, but is it common to ask physicians applying for a job if they have ever been sued for malpractice or accused of unprofessional behavior, or do they only care about what's on your record?

Maybe I am wrong (I know I am naive) but if an arrest leads to nothing, should it still be used to make conclusion about one's character or fitness for professional school? How vague a question can be allowed? Why not limit it to questions about charges that would be relevant to licensing, professional conduct, not a fishing expedition. FYI my dad is a civil rights attorney so I am perhaps a bit biased on this topic.
 

Ismet

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My surprise is with how broad the question is. I understand that "Do you have a conviction in your record" would be reasonable. But, like medical malpractice lawsuits, can't charges or arrests happen under innocent circumstances, or totally UN-justified circumstances? I just worry casting so wide an vague a net is a way to get applicant to volunteer perfectly innocent information as an additional screening tool (not that you could prove it one way or the other, unless an ADCOM wants to break rank and divulge).

I'm just a pre-med for now, but is it common to ask physicians applying for a job if they have ever been sued for malpractice or accused of unprofessional behavior, or do they only care about what's on your record?

Maybe I am wrong (I know I am naive) but if an arrest leads to nothing, should it still be used to make conclusion about one's character or fitness for professional school? How vague a question can be allowed? Why not limit it to questions about charges that would be relevant to licensing, professional conduct, not a fishing expedition. FYI my dad is a civil rights attorney so I am perhaps a bit biased on this topic.
Yes, when you apply for your license to practice as a physician, you are asked a multitude of questions about various charges or convictions. If you answer "yes" to anything, you have to submit a written statement explaining it, often having to include the court documents as well. It's not like a "yes" automatically bans you from licensure, the written statement will be reviewed and it will go from there.

Admissions committees don't screen out everyone who answers "yes" to a charge/misdemeanor/felony/etc. That's why there is a chance to explain the circumstances. Those get read. And we certainly admitted people who had things like underage drinking, caught with marijuana, etc. It's not the end of the world. However, if there's a pattern to it (i.e. multiple instances of underage drinking and getting caught) that shows poor judgment and not something that is desirable in a physician. Still, it's evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
 
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jqueb29

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Wow, these schools really are looking for any reason to reject. What about arrests for civil disobedience (a la Occupy Wall St. BLM protest)?
Civil disobedience = these groups are almost always blocking major roads with their "protests" = they are often blocking urgent access to hospitals = automatic rejection
 

Goro

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Too broad and gross a generalization. I had interviewed people who had been arrested for civil disobedience.

We tend to shy away from those who are zealots about their advocacy.

Civil disobedience = these groups are almost always blocking major roads with their "protests" = they are often blocking urgent access to hospitals = automatic rejection
 

Goro

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Medical schools are not the same as courts of law. There is no right to go to medical school. It's a privilege that has to be earned.

We select against people who make bad choices. An arrest has to be taken in context and doesn't always mean the candidate makes bad choices all the time. To reiterate, we always have to ask is this the person we want to have in our class?

Maybe I am wrong (I know I am naive) but if an arrest leads to nothing, should it still be used to make conclusion about one's character or fitness for professional school? How vague a question can be allowed? Why not limit it to questions about charges that would be relevant to licensing, professional conduct, not a fishing expedition. FYI my dad is a civil rights attorney so I am perhaps a bit biased on this topic.[/QUOTE]
 
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Jul 30, 2016
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Medical schools are not the same as courts of law. There is no right to go to medical school. It's a privilege that has to be earned.

We select against people who make bad choices. An arrest has to be taken in context and doesn't always mean the candidate makes bad choices all the time. To reiterate, we always have to ask is this the person we want to have in our class?

Maybe I am wrong (I know I am naive) but if an arrest leads to nothing, should it still be used to make conclusion about one's character or fitness for professional school? How vague a question can be allowed? Why not limit it to questions about charges that would be relevant to licensing, professional conduct, not a fishing expedition. FYI my dad is a civil rights attorney so I am perhaps a bit biased on this topic.
[/QUOTE]
Thanks all! This info has cleared it up immensely. So long as it's not taken as a + or a - until the details have been hashed out, that seems fair.