Can You Get into Med School With a Disciplinary Record?

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OPM 217: Can You Get into Med School With a Disciplinary Record?

Session 217

Our med school hopeful was suspended after getting caught with marijuana. After a rocky start, can they turn things around and get into med school?

This is actually a common question about issues that students have with some academic and other trouble getting into. In fact, this question is probably going to become more and more common as this drug becomes more and more legal in various states.

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Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[01:08] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

I am currently waiting for my UC and CSU transfer acceptances for biochem. I graduated from high school in 2012. I went to the University of Miami freshmen year and did terribly averaging a 1.0-ish in GPA for the year. 

My dad died during my senior year of high school and he was a physician. I then went on to college still grieving and immature. And I completely hung out with friends all day to distract me and I was smoking and missing classes.

The RA found some marijuana in my dorm room and I was then kicked out of the dorm and suspended for the summer session. So I know that is on my records.

I then came back to California and went to Santa Monica College for two years. But I also did not do very well. I did okay in some courses but also did very bad in others. I then took time off school and worked in sales full-time for about two years. 

I went to Harvard College where I had a 3.6 GPA including gen. chem, biology, and finishing organic chemistry now. Though I have not taken a lot of courses together at once, so I know that will not be very impressive. 

After I transfer, I plan to join research on campus. I’d apply to ScribeAmerica. And I also know physicians personally that I can shadow. I would like to honestly ask if medical school is still a reasonable goal?

I told myself about a year ago “maybe I’ll just teach.” But as time passes, I realized I can’t see myself doing any other job. I’m mostly worried about the marijuana history as well as the Ws, Fs, and Ds that plagued me from years ago.

I also have a couple of Ws at Harvard College. My plan is obviously that after I transfer, I need to get absolutely a 4.0 GPA at the university that accepts me. As well as get my foot into research on campus and build a relationship with professors so that I can have good letters of recommendation.

[03:10] Being Caught Smoking Marijuana

It helps that the student was caught at school and only suspended from the summer session and there were no legal issues with it. This is a saving grace.

Legal record or big issues like convictions or arrests for marijuana are going to potentially be a bigger hurdle when it comes to getting your medical license. 

This where some of the drug issues come into play when we’re talking acceptances. The medical school is thinking ahead whether you’re going to be licensed. Because you have to go through the whole licensing process and they’ll go through your record.

'Marijuana is one of the easy ones to say it's probably not a big deal. It's probably going to be very similar to alcohol in the future.' Click To Tweet

A lot of people apply to medical school with some sort of similar infraction on their institutional record of underage drinking. We’re probably going to have the same thing with marijuana for states where it’s still not legal yet. But in other states where it is legal, it’s not going to be an issue.

In the grand scheme of things, marijuana is not going to be an issue.

[04:40] GPA as the Biggest Issue

This student’s biggest issue is the GPA and overcoming that.

Use our calculator to see what those trends look like and if you need to potentially do a master’s, a postbac, or and SMP, to improve your GPA.

And that’s probably where you want to go.

'Can you still get into medical school? Absolutely! This is not something that's going to keep you from becoming a physician.' Click To Tweet

[05:09] Can You Still Get into Medical School?

The marijuana issue is not going to keep you from becoming a physician. You will have to report this on your application as an institutional action. But it’s not going to be an issue. Just own up to it. Talk about what you learned from it.

Listen to Episode 35 of The Premed Years Podcast for more help.

Ultimately, you’re still in the running. There’s really not much you can do that will completely remove you from your ability to get into medical school. Work on your GPA and get those extracurriculars, and everything else.


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