Recent DWI Charge & My Application Timeline

Hey all,

This is something that I have personally been struggling to figure out.

In July 2020 I was arrested for an OWI (dropped down to OWVI) while driving home from a work tubing trip, where we were drinking while floating down the river, and I exhibited incredibly poor judgement and made a terribly selfish and ignorant mistake at the time by driving myself home. I am not personally a heavy drinker. At the time of the arrest, I would normally at most split a can of hard cider with my wife. It was more of a social peer pressure problem that I have since identified and moved on from while continuing to remain sober and removing myself from the people and situations where I would want participate in social drinking.

I had already graduated from my undergrad program in 2017, and at the time of the arrest I was starting a DIY post bacc, registered as an undergrad but taking masters level classes, and even a couple of med school-ish level classes this winter semester.

My difficulty is understanding how does this arrest change my application timeline? I was planning on applying this current spring cycle (2021) but now I am wondering if I should wait another year? 2, 3, 4 years? Everywhere I look most people say that I need to put time and distance between my charge and application cycle. Would it be way too early to apply in 2022? Not enough time to show change/growth/maturity?

As someone that works in an ER/Level 1 trauma center, I should have known better. I know what I’ve done was a terrible, selfish, and ignorant mistake, and it took me a long time to learn to forgive myself for it. So please, don’t make any comments about how stupid it was to do what I have done.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

I am still in undergraduate but have heard similar situations. Yeah it is a problem that this occurred so next best thing to do is show the medical school what you did to better yourself. Did you participate in any organizations that had to do with helping others after this occurred( or more so did you get help from an organization)? How did you react to this situation happening? These are questions they will be asking; they see you as reckless and they do not want that when someone is treating patients. With the right steps you can redeem this.
Of course if possible get this expunged and removed from your record.

And don’t beat yourself up over this, things happen. Keep up with studying for MCAT, you’ll do great!

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I haven’t really been able to participate in any volunteering organizations that help others that have come from the same situation due to COVID, unfortunately. However, since I’m fully vaccinated maybe things will change soon. I was thinking about volunteering with MADD or something similar. Do you know of any other volunteer agencies that help people get through these situations?
Also, as far as how I handled it, it was rough at first. I had a hard time grasping that this was a mistake I made. I was incredibly sad and upset with myself that I put myself in a situation where I could have hurt someone else. I right away reached out to a lawyer, went through the court process, went to a one-time first offenders counseling session, and was evaluated by a counselor to be screened for any signs of alcohol abuse, to which nothing was found other than this incident. I have had no desire to drink as a coping mechanism.
To cope, I’ve just been diving into schoolwork, spending more time with my wife and friends, whom all know about the situation in its entirety and have been fully supportive, and have actually played a large part in helping me identify and remove the root causes of my problem. Also, I’ve cut back on stress overall by reducing time at work so I’m no longer working +80hr work weeks, and made time for other passions (fly fishing, school, and woodworking) that I’ve been putting aside for the sake of gaining experience and supporting my ER/trauma center through COVID. Most importantly, in order to cope, I was able to finally forgive myself for making this mistake so that way I could continue to keep moving forward and not let this all hold me back.
One upside I have identified is that I’m more compassionate towards those that come through our department with alcohol issues or have been in an alcohol-related car accident. I used to think that these people were morally just some of the worst people out there and were rather difficult to take care of at some points. However, if that were true, then I would have to group myself in with them, and I am not a bad person, and if I’m redeemable from this then so are these patients.

I wish I could get it expunged from my record, however, I don’t think that is something currently possible in Michigan.

I am located out of Texas so unfortunately I don’t know of any other states organizations. However, I would recommend if you don’t find an organization or community volunteer work to consider specialized masters programs. Not just any SMPs, but maybe a school with a direct connection to a medical school. These can last anywhere from 1-2 years(sometimes 3 if you are heavily involved in research studies, etc). From there not only will you be taught alongside medical students, but with some schools they allow you to go directly from the SMP to medical school(sometimes without taking the MCAT) as long as you have reached or exceeded all expectations. This way you might be able to get past admissions offices scrutinizing every little detail(not guaranteed though).
Although this is a longer route to medical school, the students I have met that have done this or something similar have excelled in medical school(postbac programs are great too if you need better GPA and show you can work a rigorous schedule). By doing this you WILL have to take however long off of working jobs to complete these programs(not easy and require lots of time and effort).
And lastly, if you can turn this mistake into a strength that would be ideal. Consider your options such as costs, time spent in school(4-6yrs + residency), stress on family/friends, and how this will affect your health. Rooting for you man! you got this