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What a DUI Can Mean to Medical School Applicants

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare – facing criminal charges. Whether a DUI was a result of a night out on the town, or driving under the influence of heavy pain medications, a DUI conviction could be a factor that a medical school admission committee uses when making a decision.

Medical schools across the United States have struggled over how to handle criminal convictions during the admissions process. Though most applicants don’t have convictions for serious felony charges, many still worry when they have a conviction for a DUI, a drug-related offense, or a sex offense.

Worry over criminal backgrounds is only natural considering that medical school applicants plan to eventually enter into doctor-patient relationships and a profession that frowns on questionable moral conduct.

Most medical schools ask applicants to disclose any prior convictions. While some schools only ask about felonies others want to know about anything from a speeding ticket, to a violent felony conviction.

How does a criminal record affect an applicant’s review?

There are two ways that a criminal record affects an applicant’s review during the admissions process: 1) convictions, and 2) the nature of the crime. If a criminal charge gets dismissed, this is very different from a no contest plea or a conviction.

Generally, committees are hesitant to admit a student who may have difficulty getting credentials or state licenses in the future. Thus, they look for convictions that involve crimes that could raise doubts over a student’s ability to eventually practice medicine.

While drug offenses and sexually violent crimes will certainly raise red flags to admissions officers, even a DUI can be problematic depending on the circumstances.

Importance of Disclosing a DUI

If an applicant fails to disclose their DUI, it can lead to the rescinding of an acceptance. Or, if the DUI is discovered later on, the student can be dismissed from the medical school. Withholding a DUI conviction is viewed by schools as a blatant dishonesty.

Applying for medical school is already hard enough, doing so with a DUI on your record makes it even harder. The best way to deal with this issue is to avoid a DUI conviction to begin with.

Don’t risk your future in medicine. Call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to work with one of the top DUI attorneys in Orange County. Board Certified in DUI defense, you can’t go wrong with Attorney Landry!