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Criminal Background Checks and Drug Testing

Emory medical students undergo Criminal Background Checks (CBCs) before matriculation as facilitated by the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).  Acceptance to Emory School of Medicine is contingent upon the authorization of the CBC, as well as the release of its findings to Emory. The Admissions Committee will review any findings to determine what, if any, action is required. Students may also be required to undergo additional CBCs as part of their clinical activities at Emory University School of Medicine or at other institutions.  Additionally, students may be required to undergo drug testing as part of their preparation for clinical rotations, or if required to do so as an evaluation initiated to evaluate their fitness to participate in their medical education. 

A report of the AAMC-facilitated CBC is provided to Emory School of Medicine prior to a student’s enrollment.  As medical students at Emory University School of Medicine, students are required to report any positive results of drug tests or CBCs.  With respect to CBCs, a positive result is defined as any information regarding possible criminal activity that appears on a criminal background check regardless of the outcome of any related legal proceeding, including information that resulted in verdicts of “not guilty” or in which the student pled “nolo contendere”.    In addition, students are required to report any arrests or positive drug tests that may occur after the student has matriculated at Emory University School of Medicine.  A student’s failure to report any of the required information will be considered as a possible a violation of the School of Medicine Conduct Code. 

All positive drug tests or CBCs will be reported to the Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs, and then referred to a faculty committee for further consideration.  After review of the results of the CBC and/or drug test, the committee may seek additional information from the student, in writing or via interview.

Given the reports and the follow-up information provided, the committee will provide the Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs with one of the following recommendations:

  1. Revocation of the acceptance to Emory University School of Medicine (for students who have been accepted but not yet enrolled)
  2. Referral to a conduct committee for further consideration (for enrolled students)
  3. No further action to be taken (for both enrolled and accepted but not yet enrolled students)

The Executive Associate Dean will consider the report of the faculty committee and relay his or her decision to the student in writing.  Based on the nature of the CBC report, The Executive Associate Dean reserves the right to immediately suspend a student, pending further investigation.  The student may appeal the decision of the Executive Associate Dean to the Dean of the School of Medicine in writing.