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Criminal Background Checks


       The University of Maryland School of Medicine is committed to protecting the safety, health and well-being of all students, faculty, staff and patients. It is the policy of the School of Medicine to establish, ensure and maintain a safe clinical environment for students, faculty, staff and patients.

       The University of Maryland School of Medicine also outlines technical standards required for matriculation and continuation in undergraduate medical education directed toward being graduated with the M.D. degree, and with the expectation that a student will be able to progress in training to become a licensed physician.1

       Clinical and other training sites increasingly require that all students who rotate at their institution or program complete a background check prior to the beginning of those rotations. In order to comply and facilitate this requirement, part of the required process of entering medical school requires all students complete their registration through Castle Branch. Under no condition will a student be allowed to begin medical school without first completing their registration with Castle Branch and releasing to UMSOM the results of the background check.

II.     SCOPE.

         It shall be a violation of SOM policy for any enrolled medical student to engage in unlawful activity. An enrolled medical student’s arrest, charge, or conviction for any offense may constitute a violation of SOM policy.

III.    Criminal Background Check

The School shall have the right to require enrolled medical students to participate in criminal background check (CBC):

  • Just prior to matriculation
  • With the Baltimore VA Medical Center program before the start of clerkships
  • Prior to progression into certain clinical settings

 1 University of Maryland School of Medicine Office of Admissions

Technical Standards: Essential Requirements for Admission

Prior to matriculation, all incoming students will receive an Evite from Castlebranch in their SOM Email. Students should click on the link provided and complete the required information such as name, address, date of birth, social security number (necessary for criminal background checks) and an email address. The student will then be asked to read and approve the agreement and grant permission to Castle Branch to share information with the appropriate parties at UMSoM.

Successfully passing the CBC protocol is required before a student may begin the Service Learning Program. It is strongly advised that students register prior to August 1st.

        Enrolled medical students shall sign a consent form allowing the results of the CBC to be released to the School’s Conduct Committee and Advancement Committee. The results disclosed to the School shall be limited to “pass” or “fail”, where “pass” indicates no reasonable concern for an active problem and “fail” indicates the reasonable conclusion that an active problem is present. Any accepted medical student who does not participate in the CBC process, or who refuses to submit the required consent, will not be permitted to participate in Introduction to Clinical Medicine clinical activities or Service Learning which are a requirement for graduation.

        All enrolled medical students shall be relieved from patient care and clinical service pending the results of a positive CBC.

        All information relating to a CBC shall be and remain confidential, to the extent permitted by law. An enrolled medical student’s academic file shall include only the pass/fail result from the CBC.

        The Associate Dean for Student Affairs shall dispense of all positive CBCs in accordance with Section IV of this policy.


         Any enrolled medical student who violates this policy shall be reported to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs shall direct the student to the Conduct Committee who will make recommendations to the Advancement Committee.

The Advancement Committee will recommend a course of action to the Dean. This could include an independent third-party provider selected by the Conduct Committee for evaluation and/or treatment. The student shall fully participate in the recommended evaluation or treatment plan determined and administered by the third party provider, or its designee, as a condition of continued enrollment in the School.

         A student’s cooperation and compliance with the third party provider and evaluation or treatment plan shall be monitored by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. A student’s failure to cooperate or fully participate in the evaluation or treatment plan may be reported by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to the Advancement Committee for disciplinary action.

         Any matter reported to the Advancement Committee shall be processed in accordance with the Committee’s guidelines for disciplinary matters. Such guidelines may include the right of the School to dismiss an enrolled medical student who has violated this policy.

         Students are encouraged to self-identify to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs when they have a legal charge, arrest or conviction after matriculation. Students who self-identify may be granted a leave of absence to resolve the situation without prejudice to their academic standing. In such cases, confidentiality will be maintained, to the extent permitted by law, by the School of Medicine administration. Such students may also be referred to the Conduct Committee as outlined above.


         Composition of Conduct Committee = 3 faculty members, 1 of whom must be an addictions specialist. This is an ad hoc committee composed of faculty who have volunteered to participate on appeals/conduct committees.