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Can a Felon Become a Doctor?

Can a Felon Become a Doctor

The burning question for anyone with a criminal record is whether they can pursue their careers of choice. A conviction alters the life of an individual in many ways. The conviction may have happened before a felon had a professional career.

This may leave them hanging and not knowing how to go about it. The road to becoming a doctor is not easy, either. Having a felony may make it even harder. Some felonies also bar individuals from gaining licenses.

In essence, however, having a felony does not stop anyone from applying for college in their field of choice. But, most colleges ask applicants if they have a criminal record. Some felonies can affect admission to some programs.

Is it Possible for a Felon to Become a Doctor?

A doctor is among the most respected and desirable careers. Apart from being a useful member of society, doctors are associated with saving lives. It is rewarding both financially and mentally, among other benefits.

It is not entirely impossible to become a doctor with a felony. But, the felony committed and where your state plays a huge role in your medical career. This article aims at educating you on whether you can become a doctor with a felony. It will also explain how a felony can affect your chances of becoming a doctor.

can felon become a doctor

We shall be covering the issues listed below.

1 Qualifications needed to become a doctor.

2 Admission to medical school with a felony.

3 Acquiring a medical license with a felony

4 Practicing Medicine and employment

5 Clearing your record.

6 Other Certifications that can help you.

Qualifications Needed to Become a Doctor

Becoming a medical doctor is not easy, even for individuals without a record. The academic requirements are high. It would be best if you had a college degree with a high GPA score. A degree in a science-related field is the best choice if you to become a doctor. The exact academic qualifications depend on the actual medical career you choose.

Admission to Medical School with a Felony

To be admitted to medical school, the entry standards for felons vary from one school to another. Some schools carry out full background checks than others. These checks aim to determine your fitness to practice medicine. Doctors are morally and legally obliged to protect the purity of life. Some felonies may have gone against that.

Being truthful about your criminal history is important during application. The background checks will reveal the level of the felony or misdemeanor. Having proof that you are trying to be a better member of society is important. Take into account rehabilitation certification, therapy, training and volunteer jobs.

can felon become a doctor

Medical schools might not accept some felonies if they were violent or sexual crimes. Apart from the necessary academic qualifications, admission boards also require other personal qualities. Self-starters, driven, sympathetic, and of good standing in society stand a better chance of admission.

You will need to write a short essay about why you should be accepted into medical school. It is a chance to show the admission board that you deserve a second chance in life.

Acquiring Medical Licenses with a Felony

After medical school, you need relevant licensing to enable you to practice. The laws governing the process are different in each state. Even with the proper academic and professional qualification, it can be difficult to get licensed with a felony. Every medical school graduate is required to complete a residency program to test and perfect their skills.

After the residency, you need to apply for a practice license trough the medical licensing board in your state. The board conducts an examination to determine suitability. The type of felony may affect your chances of receiving a license. It is important to confirm with the board before attending medical school to avoid disappointment.

Practicing Medicine and Employment

The good news is that you are free to practice as a doctor once you have been licensed. In terms of employment, it depends on the policy of the employer. While some hospitals and organizations may be lenient, some will have strict criminal restrictions. Some felonies are taken as a danger to society and therefore keep you from getting hired.

These are some felonies that may make it hard to find work.

  • Child abuse
  • Violent crimes
  • Sexual offenses
  • Drug-related crimes

The medical career is all about taking care of others, and a doctor with these felonies may make employers wary of employing them. Disclosing your criminal past beforehand is important and showing that you are now reformed.

can the felon become doctor

After securing employment, the crimes below will make you lose your license.

1 DUI and DWI

2 Health care and Insurance fraud

3 Felonies such as rape, murder and assault.

4 Financial crimes

5 Medical malpractice

6 Fraud and forgery

7 Misdemeanors

Clearing your Record

There are various options in every state for clearing criminal records for selected crimes. When a state clears you, it can cover your record. The record can no longer appear in any background check. Another option is to have the record expunged. With expunging, the state completely removes your record from public records. Almost as if it never happened except in law.

Some felons also receive pardons. The state might pardon your felony if it sees enough change, and if you are no longer a danger to society. The state will forgive you, which makes you a normal citizen with no legal baggage.

can the felon become the doctors

Other Certifications That may Help a Felon

Being able to prove that you have mended your ways is the best way to find admission to study to become a doctor. It also helps during licensing and employment. Some certificates that can boost your applications are:

  • Good Conduct certificate
  • Rehabilitation
  • Certificate of innocence

These certifications are issued by order of the court. Not every offence can receive the certification. Felonies considered as serious do not receive clearing.


Becoming a doctor is among the most wanted careers. But, being a doctor is more of a calling than a job. To excel as a doctor, you need compassion and an actual need to save lives. Even though it is an excellent career choice, the process is long. Felonies may get in the way at some point. But it would help if you did not stop until you have exhausted all means to help you achieve it.

A felony does not stop you from becoming a doctor. Go ahead and chase your dream.

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