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When do Medical Schools Drug Test?

Medical students go through intensive training to become professional doctors. However, while in medical school some students might want to relax with recreational drugs. This is however forbidden but some students still take the risks. While most medical schools drug test, the question is when do medical schools drug test? In this article, we will look at the different tests conducted among medical students.

Do medical schools drug test?

Most medical schools request a panel that includes tests for different controlled substances including

  • Amphetamines/methamphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Cocaine
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone
  • Opiates-Expanded
  • PCP
  • Propoxyphene
  • Marijuana

While students find ways to mask these substances in their system, it’s not recommended.

What Happens If You Failed a Drug Test in Medical School?

When you fail a drug test in medical school, the school handles the issue itself. While some schools handle it softly, others become very strict. The outcome will usually depend on the disciplinary council. Here are factors that can influence any decision:

  • Type of drug
  • Quantity of drugs consumed
  • A student’s history

Another factor could be the time in which the student takes the drug. Students caught consuming drugs during pre-clinical years, could go free. On the other hand, students who consume drugs in during clinical rotations may lose their scholarships. Understandably, medical schools must prevent any negligence toward hospital patients.

Why Do Medical Schools Drug Test?

While some schools must legally abide by state law, others independently decide. For those respecting state laws, reasons for testing can include:

  • Preservation of a school/college/University’s image
  • Protection from patients from the failure of duty of care

So, in answering the question of when medical schools drug test, we can say it depends on varying reasons. For instance, if there is a fall in grades of a particular student, the school may conduct a drug test.

The Importance of Student Drug Testing

Drug testing for students entering clinical rotation or residency programs is very important. It’s like testing regular employees working in a clinical setting. It helps detect students who may be impaired by illegal drug use in class. Since this student possess a risk to patients, dismissal will be the only option for the school. By drug testing students for illegal drugs, clinical sites are protecting patients and students.

Student drug testing is common in most advanced medical schools. Programs with student drug testing requirements can help students start their clinical training on the right track. Apart from patient safety, there are many reasons why medical schools require student drug screening. Many of the reasons for testing are for safety purposes, and they include:

  • To stop misuse or theft of prescription medications
  • To prevent lawsuits that result from a drug-impaired student
  • To detect drug abuse early among students
  • To offer support for students consuming drugs

What happens if a student tests positive?

Testing positive for drugs doesn’t necessarily result at the end of a student’s medical carrier. Students who test positive for drugs face several challenges including:

  • Student counseling
  • Disciplinary action and possible dismissal of the student

There’s high unpredictability in how clinical sites approach a positive test result. students must understand how clinical site policies differ.

Bottom line

So, when do medical schools drug test? It’s quite unpredictable and there’s no definite answer. Medical students who are unclear about a school’s drug testing policy should operate under caution. Avoid using illicit substances like cannabis even if it’s legal in some states.