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Med & Grad School Prospects with Academic Dishonesty Transcript Notation

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Hey everyone,

I'm seeking advice on my prospects for medical school and especially graduate school (e.g. Masters in Sciences). I'm entering my last year of undergrad in Ontario and have ideal prereqs (see below). However in my 3rd year, I made a terrible mistake and a notation reading a grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty was placed on my transcript for a course. This notation sticks for 5 years and the F remains forever. My actions were abominable and I have since been learning from my mistakes and working on myself. Any insight is appreciated on if I have any chance for medical school. In addition, my backup plan is to pursue graduate studies. Thus, how will this affect my application to jobs and graduate schools? Do I have any chance for pursuing a Master's? Thank you for your time.


Cumulative GPA: ~3.85 (Once I retake the course, my F will be replaced with my new mark to calculate GPA as per university policy, so my potential GPA after retake could be ~3.97) - I wonder if this matters considering the transcript notation in my 3rd yr of study. 

MCAT: 520 (129 CARS)

ECs: Paid Summer research (with thesis), 200+ hours hospital volunteering, 100+ hours clinical volunteering, 350+ hours general volunteering, paid medical clinic staff, 5 part-time jobs during undergrad (once acting as an exam invigilator) , executive member for multiple student-run clubs, intramural sports, etc.)  

Thank you for your time.

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Canadian Medical schools don't allow you to retake grades to improve your mark. You will not have a 3.97 for admissions purposes after retaking it, the F stays. 

Other than that the only answer to your question is contacting individual schools/OMSAS. This isn't exactly something that is very common so you'll need to reach out to them and the relative recency of the issue is going to make it tougher. 


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Prefacing my remarks by saying that I really don’t know the answer, I would take the approach of better to be safe than sorry, and I would personally wait out the 5 years so as to not have to confront the issue of academic dishonesty whatsoever. To me, this smacks of cheating or lack of professionalism, and with the highly competitive nature of medical school admissions, adcoms don’t even need to go down the road of examine this issue further by simply eliminating you on the basis that there are more than enough competitive candidates anyhow. This is the approach I would adopt if I were a decision maker, I would consider you self-disqualified out of an abundance of caution.

Why even risk submitting an application now? I know, 5 years sounds like an eternity. The time will fly by, during which you can make yourself an even better candidate. Although it is more likely than not that you will never travel down this road again, you will be exposing the decision makers to the risk of the “what if” scenario. Although applications start fresh each year, any re-application by you after the 5 years might “stick” in the minds of committee members and my advice is to apply with a totally clean slate on your very first occasion. 

In my mind, applying to a professional school where you will become a licensed practitioner puts a greater burden upon the decision maker than is the case where you apply for a Masters Program. I would have thought applying in this direction at this time would result in a more positive outcome for you.

I encourage you not to lose sight of your goal for medical school, rather, to postpone applying in your own nest interests, while making yourself a better applicant by using this extra time to your advantage. Over a lifetime, whether you practiced for 30, 35 or 40 years will not alter your significant contribution to society nor diminish your personal and professional satisfaction and fulfillment. My counsel is to be patient, improve and accomplish your ultimate goal! I wish you every success. :lol:

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