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yet another background check question...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by 2muchcoffeegirl, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. 2muchcoffeegirl

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    My dilemma is this: I've been accepted into several schools that all require criminal background checks, and failed to mention on my application that I was arrested at a political demonstration several years ago. I received deferred adjudication (the application asked about that as well as convictions) and it was subsequently expunged from my record, so I naively thought I didn't have to include it. I thought expunged = gone, but I heard recently that this isn't always so. I ran a background check on myself and discovered that while there is no remaining criminal record, there is a civil record (strangely) of the fees I payed to the probation office, so if the schools see this record, they'll know I was on probation for something. Have I put myself in an impossible predicament? Will they even look for civil records? I don't know if I should contact the school I choose and try to explain, or just hope that it doesn't come up. If anyone knows anything about this, I'd appreciate some advice - I'm really worried. :(
     
  2. Valvool

    5+ Year Member

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    I was in a similar situation. Something minor from when I was in high school; I got into trouble along with a group of other teenagers. I didn't include it because I thought it had disappeared. Then I learned that some schools use the 'FBI' background check (?) which apparently can unearth anything you ever did at any age no matter the outcome of the judicial process.

    So I called all four schools at which I had interviews. I spoke to a member of the adcom or a relevant dean at all of them. I fessed up. At two of the schools they were very cold toward me. (One of them, I already held an acceptance from.) The other two schools didn't seem fazed. At one of those two schools, I asked to speak to a member of the adcom about a confidential matter, was put on hold, waited a lifetime, and the person answered with, "Okay, honey, tell me what is it? What's wrong?" And I actually began crying as I explained--I was so scared at that point--and the person with whom I spoke said they would speak to some others about it but that they didn't think this matter would decide my fate. (It did not, that school had accepted me already and the acceptance stood.)

    One particular school had a dean of admissions who seemed personally outraged that I had neglected to mention this past indiscretion on my application. But she also seem shocked when, during our phone conversation, she asked if I had acceptances at other schools and I answered yes. I think perhaps she suspected that I was depending on her school and on her school alone for an acceptance, and that my call was a desperate attempt to...I don't know really. In reality I was just trying to be honest.

    In the end, it did not matter. I was able to attend medical school. My acceptances stood.

    I can't really advise you, just give you an outline of my story and how I decided to handle my own situation. Look up the official policies of each school, and go from there.
     
  3. rockydoc

    2+ Year Member

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    my thoughts are that you are going to be fine....every school's CBC policy that i've looked up are very specific towards violent felonies/misdemeanors, drug felonies/misdemeanors, and sexual offenses. also, if they feel that you've deliberately misinformed them, they may get upset. But you sound as if you were sincerely confused about all the stupid legal jargon plus your infraction really isnt relevant to practicing medicine. So you should be fine. If it even shows up at all, you can explain your situation, and your confusion and they will understand. You may want to contact them now with a well written email or letter if that makes you feel better.

    also, check the school's specific policies....b/c some schools dont even look up arrests, only convictions....which it sounds like you may not have. Other schools only look upfingerprinted convictions....which is yet another thing that may exclude your situation. Just look it up. In the end though, it will work out, and you are goin to med school. Congrats!
     
  4. 2muchcoffeegirl

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    Thanks so much for the replies, you guys....I'm leaning towards just explaining the situation to the schools and hoping they understand, whether or not anything comes up on the check. At any rate, I appreciate your thoughts.
     

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