Conduct Violations

Good judgment, honesty, and integrity are essential qualities of prospective health care professionals. For that reason the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) includes the following questions on their application.  Similar questions may be found on other applications.

Institutional Action

"You must answer Yes to this question if you were ever the recipient of any institutional action by any college for unacceptable academic performance or conduct violation, even if such action did not interrupt your enrollment or require you to withdraw. You must answer Yes even if the action does not appear on or has been deleted or expunged from your official transcripts due to institutional policy or personal petition. "

By use of the term “any institutional action” it is understood that medical schools intend for you to report academic actions that result in an academic dismissal or expulsion, or disciplinary actions that result in faculty-student resolution, mediation, referral to health/safety education programs, required educational activity or community service, disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion.  Thus, violations such as cheating, plagiarism, alcohol-related illness/injury, illegal substance abuse, conduct violations etc. are all reportable.

It is always better to report and explain an incident than to fail to report it and risk a school learning of the offense (at the time of application or later) and concluding that your failure to report it is a sign of dishonesty rather than non-intentional omission. Medical schools can withdraw their acceptance and medical students can be refused certification.

Please be aware that poor judgment may seriously affect your admission to a health professions school.  While it is best not to have any infractions to report, minor infractions may not be detrimental, depending upon the seriousness of the infraction. But health professions schools will want to know that you take responsibility for your mistakes and that you have learned from your lapse in judgment.  On your application, you will need to explain what happened, what the resolution was, if you took responsibility for the issue and how you have learned from the experience.  If a medical school asks for confirmation or explanation, contact the Office of Student Conduct at Duke

 

Misdemeanor Conviction

"Have you ever been convicted of, or pleaded guilty or no contest to, a Misdemeanor crime, excluding 1) any offense for which you were adjudicated as a juvenile, 2) any convictions which have been expunged or sealed by a court, or 3) any misdemeanor convictions for which any probation has been completed and the case dismissed by the court (in states where applicable)?"

You need NOT disclose any instance where you:

  • were arrested, but not charged;
  • were arrested and charged, but the charges were dropped;
  • were arrested and charged, but found not guilty by a judge or jury;
  • were arrested and found guilty by a judge or jury, but the conviction was overturned on appeal; or
  • received an executive pardon.

 

Felony Convictions

“Have you ever been convicted of, or pleaded guilty or no contest to, a Felony crime, excluding 1) any offense for which you were adjudicated as a juvenile, or 2) convictions which have been expunged or sealed by a court (in states where applicable)?”

You need NOT disclose any instance where you:

  • were arrested but not charged;
  • were arrested and charged, but the charges were dropped;
  • were arrested and charged, but found not guilty by a judge or jury;
  • were arrested and found guilty by a judge or jury, but the conviction was overturned on appeal; or
  • received an executive pardon.