What are Different Types of Academic Dishonesty Prevalent Among Medical Students?

Academic dishonesty is lying or cheating to achieve the desired outcome within the context of an educational setting. The most common examples of academic dishonesty are plagiarism and fabrication. Academic dishonesty is also commonly referred to as academic misconduct.

Academic dishonesty can occur at any point during the educational process and may fall under various categories. It is a problem across the globe, however, it has been reported to be a serious problem among medical students. 

This article will discuss common types of academic dishonesty among medical students in greater detail.

  • Plagiarism

Plagiarism refers to the act of using someone else’s words or ideas without quotation and citation. Hence, it is a form of cheating in which a student copies the work of others without proper acknowledgment. This is prevalent among medical students because they often have to complete assignments orally and are not required to put their papers in writing. 

  • Cheating

Cheating refers to actions wherein a medical student falsifies his/her performance on an assessment. Examples include the use of a calculator, referring to someone else’s notes, and making up a new test. 

  • Bribery

Bribery is giving or accepting money or other things from a student in exchange for academic work to be done. Medical students are known for asking for these favors from their professors in order to meet certain standards, such as passing certain exams.

  • Falsifying information

Falsifying information refers to the act of making an illegitimate claim about a student’s status. This can include lying regarding personal or professional life or false information regarding one’s academic standing. 

  • Fabrication

Fabrication refers to the act of making up data or altering data in such a way that it can be used in academic work without violation of ethics. Examples include creating a fictitious clinical scenario, plagiarizing case studies and clinical pictures, and misrepresenting research data. 

  • Research misconduct

Research misconduct is the act of fabricating, falsifying, or altering data used in a research study. This can include both fabrication and falsification, but more commonly refers to falsifying one’s data.

  • Disruption or sabotage

Disruption or sabotage refers to actions undertaken by a student that affect the educational experience of others. Examples include making up false claims about other students and the educational process, creating chaos and disruption in order to serve one’s personal purpose, and destroying or damaging laboratory equipment.

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