Cheating is one of the most severe violations in medical school, and the consequences can quickly destroy a bright career. However, sometimes professors devise plans to make plagiarizing students feel worse than liars, embarrassing them through slow, methodical, and extraordinarily boring minutiae that give them false hope.
Allegations of Group Cheating
Grading the final assignment of the semester, a cancer researcher and guest professor at a university's school of medicine noticed a group of students that copied reports from previous years. Students can access online study materials, but plagiarism is forbidden.
"As I was grading the reports, I noticed a small group of students who found reports from previous years online and literally copy+paste those reports, changing only their name," the professor explained, according to Bored Panda.
They received grades just under the threshold for passing for their effort. Given that false sense of hope, the students, already deep into their summer vacations, were being led into the professor's trap.
Armed With the Code of Conduct
According to the school's code of conduct, students are entitled to an appointment with the professor to review their semester grades after publication. Before they're locked as final, students can negotiate for a few more points to push their grades into passing territory.
Once the accused students received the failed grades, they frantically tried to schedule online appointments to review their course work. However, the university's policy strictly states that it must be done in person.
Unaware of their false hope, the students rushed back to campus, spending money rewinding their vacation in planes, trains, and automobiles to hopefully bargain for a few more points and pass the class. However, the students only received an individual, hours-long analysis of terrible writing that wasn't theirs. The professor didn't even accuse them of cheating; he tortured their egos by lecturing them on how stupid they were, leaving them without passing grades, and having to retake the course with the same professor the following semester.
Cheating and Its Real Consequences
While this may be a comical end to dashed fun in the sun, the students got off easy. The reality is that the consequences for cheating plagiarism are often severe.
For example, Penn State College of Medicine states in its academic integrity policy that students are "not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception" in their academic work. Academic dishonesty, such as cheating and plagiarism, can result in disciplinary sanctions, including suspension or expulsion.
Medical students are held to a high standard as the public entrusts them to make life-or-death decisions when they become fully-licensed doctors. Typically, cheating in medical school is grounds for immediate termination, but the costs don't end there.
Sanctions from cheating will cost you valuable medical training time and damage your reputation amongst your care-providing peers. Moreover, all academic violations must be disclosed when applying to other medical schools and residency programs, which will make it difficult to continue practicing patient care elsewhere.
What to Do if You're Accused of Cheating
You may think getting caught cheating in medical school will end your career. However, you can fight back even if your school disciplinary board has imposed sanctions.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento works with future doctors across the U.S. to help them avoid burdensome sanctions for disciplinary actions that can ruin their future. He and his team at the Lento Law Firm are experts in advising students throughout the medical school disciplinary process and helping them protect their future academic and professional careers. Call 888-535-3686 to discuss how the Lento Law Firm can defend you.