Applicant Evaluation and Decisions

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Criminal Background Checks (CBCs)

Effective July 1, 2004, Section 37-29-232 of the Mississippi Code requires that students enrolled in a healthcare professional academic program undergo fingerprinting and a Criminal Background Check (CBC) before participation in any clinical rotation in a licensed healthcare facility.

Any preadmission agreement executed by the healthcare program with a student shall be void if there is a disqualifying incident or pattern of unprofessional behavior in the CBC prior to enrollment. Since clinical rotations are an integral part of the education of medical students at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), all applicants accepted to the School of Medicine (SOM) must undergo both the CBCs described below.

AAMC-Facilitated CBC

All successful applicants to the SOM undergo a centralized Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)-facilitated CBC.

Certiphi Screening, Inc. a Vertical Screen® Company, will conduct a CBC based on inspection of local, state, and national records. Upon initial acceptance to our SOM or any other participating medical school, applicants will be provided electronic access to consent that will give permission to initiate the CBC.

When the Certiphi CBC is complete, accepted applicants will be given 10 calendar days to review the report on a secure website. Applicants may release reports immediately or contest inaccuracies prior to releasing the report to the requesting medical school. If the applicant does not respond within 10 calendar days, the report will be released automatically.

Currently, there is no charge to the applicant for this service.

Fingerprint-Based CBC

Independent of the AAMC-facilitated CBC, all accepted applicants must schedule an appointment with UMMC Human Resources prior to enrollment so that a set of digital fingerprints and a photograph can be acquired.

Fingerprints will be submitted to the Mississippi Public Safety Commission and Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation for a criminal background check. If any potentially disqualifying event is reported, Human Resources will mail the medical school applicant a letter (such as Determination of Non-Suitability for Employment in a Healthcare Facility) indicating that a potentially disqualifying event(s) has been reported as well as a copy of the criminal history report. Copies will be sent to the Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions.

If a criminal history exists, an accepted applicant may not matriculate into medical school until the following process has been completed. The Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions will mail the applicant a registered letter indicating that he/she may provide a written explanation for any listed offenses including mitigating circumstances, planned appeals of inaccurate information, documentation supporting adjudications and subsequent actions (such as rehabilitation) taken since the offense, and any other information that may assist the SOM in determining whether or not the potentially disqualifying event should affect an admissions decision.

The steps involved in evaluating a criminal background history are described in the SOM Procedures for Criminal Background Checks.

Subsequent Convictions

Applicants are responsible for notifying the Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions if any further criminal action occurs subsequent to submitting an AMCAS application or the conduct of CBCs described above. This includes being convicted of, plead guilty to, or plead no contest to any misdemeanor or felony crime(s) after the date of application submission of the medical school and prior to medical school matriculation. Communication must be in writing, and it must occur within 30 days of the occurrence of the criminal action.