Welcome to our first live Q&A session! Today’s question involves whether and how to talk about academic probation in AMCAS and the rest of your application.
Be our guest here and get a mini-coaching session. Ask your questions about the MCAT or grades, or whatever that may be.
[02:08] Explaining Disciplinary Actions
Q: Is there a section on the application that would explain probation? Do you need to mention that on your personal statement? If yes, how do you write it in a way that it looks positive?
A: In AMCAS, there is a spot for disciplinary actions. If you had any sort of disciplinary actions against you as a student, whether you got caught cheating or busted for plagiarism, the best thing to do is to own up to whatever happened. Don’t blame it on other people.'Own up to the mistake and then try to explain what you've learned since then and how you've grown.'Click To Tweet
If you needed to cheat to get through undergrad, the stress of medical school is ten-fold the stress in undergrad. Are you going to revert back to your old cheating ways? Or have you learned and grown since then to help you understand how to cope with your issues better than you did before which caused that disciplinary action?
[05:30] Get Personal
Q: How personal are you allowed to get with the explanation?
A: It’s your story and you want to tell your story. Don’t just say it very generically. Get as personal as you can. Telling that you’ve learned and grown is not enough. Show it. Tell your story and get personal with it.
[06:15] Should Your Include It in Your Personal Statement?
Q: Is the section on probation a different part from the personal statement?
A: Correct. You may want to work this out a bit into the personal statement. But because disciplinary actions have their own spot in the application, there’s really no need to work it into your personal statement.
You’re going to mark Yes to disciplinary actions and then you’ll have a small section there to write about that disciplinary action.
[06:53] Will It Be on Your Transcript?
Q: Should I call my undergrad institution to make sure whether or not my disciplinary action will show on my transcript?
A: If you’ve had a disciplinary action, put it in the application even if it’s not on the transcript.
This is similar to a student who has been arrested and the arrest has been expunged. Even if the conviction has been expunged, the question is have you ever been arrested? The answer is still yes.
[07:50] Doing a Background Check on You
Q: Is it possible that the school will actually call to check on something?
A: They may. But the likelihood of doing that is slim to none because there are so many applications and so many students. There are so many phone calls to make if that’s the case so they probably won’t call. They would leave this up to the students to get that information.
[09:55] Incompletes on the Transcript
Q: Can medical school see Incompletes?
A: If an Incomplete is on your transcript, they can see it. Usually, incompletes are on the transcript as “I.”
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