quoted: Aftermath of sexual assault of a medical student

Tildy

12 yrs old, feels like 84
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Apr 4, 2007
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Helpful suggestions only for the OP....

Sorry this is quite long. I know I"ve made my share of mistakes throughout all of this... but I'm hoping that maybe something can be done.

So it's not quite cut and dry. After reading other stories I'm not quite sure why I wasn't put on a decelerated track to accommodate my situation. The only thing I can really think of is that they didn't quite believe me....my opinion..but I'll relay my story as truthfully as I can and get your opinion.

So I started med school 2 years ago. And I didn't exactly start strong... but we're systems based so it's not a huge deal. But my performance kept suffering mostly because my mom started to get sick and I had to keep going home and checking on her. Eventually, things got really bad and I was depressed about school and my mother so I took a leave..around mid-february. So basically, my first transcript is a bunch of Withdrawals since we didn't finish anything at the time.

So I was basically super mopey and depressed. Went home and stayed in my room. The 'rents decided I needed a change of pace and shipped me off to see my brother- who was a second year at the time. My mother also came too, to make sure everything was ok. So things were fine and I started to volunteer and do other random things. I figured I might as well start studying stuff again since I'd have to start all over. I talked it over with the fam and we kind of thought it would be a good idea to get a tutor...who better than my brother's highly qualified professor...ha. So we had a few sessions things were great. The very last session the mother****er decided to sexually assault me. The only thing that saved me at the time was the phone ringing...otherwise I think things would have been much worse. At any rate I sat rooted to seat, couldn't move, couldn't think. And then the phone rings. He leaves. My brother was somewhere in that building... but I had no idea where...and nobody was around... i was more scared of what he would do if I ran into him in the stairwell or elevator...at least I knew my brother was going to come and get me in his office. So i stayed put. He came back...tried to have a conversation with me....I was utterly numb. Completely...numb.
So eventually, my brother came to get me. I went back to his apartment. Told them (my brother and mother) what happened. They freaked out. Nobody really knew what to do since..well..it was my brother's school and the consequences of all of that. So they wouldn't let me go submit a police report until a week later. We also met with the dean of my brother's school who basically said that the only way he would do anything would be if there was a case against the professor.

So the family didn't know what to do...all I wanted to do was to go home(as in my parent's house) but the family thought it would be a bad idea...so they kept me in that god forsaken place for the next month...until I sort of lost it.
They finally sent me home and basically told me I was fine and that I didn't need any therapy or a psychiatrist (no joke). I ended up seeing one for a month or two in june-august before classes started. I assumed it helped and I started school again.

My grades this time were fine...they weren't stellar but I was passing. Now comes teh exam that was on the exact topic that the professor was tutoring me in right before he assaulted me. I subsequently freaked out and completely bombed the exam. I then put everything into this last exam since I was in danger of failing the class...which would've resulted in my dismissal. I didn't tell them then because I didn't want to make it an issue... I was afraid they would dismiss me anyway by virtue of my 'poor' performance. They told me I needed to pass the exam. So I almost made it. I was within 2% Spoke to the course director cried my eyes out...to no avail.

So I had to go before the promotions board who upheld the dismissal (because they aren't allowed to stray from their guidelines) but they encouraged me to appeal.

So i went through the appeals process... and during this time I ordered my police report and didn't sleep for like 3 weeks. I was still taking a full load of classes. So I finally went before the appeals committee..and they treated me like I was on trial. They questioned my PTSD, my academic abilities, my desire to be in med school and my study skills/habits and they basically sort of told me to get over it during the appeal hearing.

So I think 2 weeks later I got the results of their deliberation which basically was that they didn't think I would be successful, and that I needed to get a psychiatrist to diagnose me with PTSD, and that I was really weak, and didn't quite understand how depressed I was. The dean added on to the above statements that my academic performance was poor (even though I was passing) and that I would not be granted a leave of absence and had to finish 2nd year by august of 2011.

So since, we're on systems we do everything at the same time...so I had to repeat a class over the summer and had about 3 -4 weeks to find a shrink/therapist and fix all of the issues and the dean had stated that I was not to take a leave.

On top of all of that, I was given this decision a week before my final exams. I was utterly drained. I was ready to just give up. I was so tired of trying to keep myself together and having to rely on myself...because, as a result of the assault- my relaionship with my family was almost non-existent and I was ashamed and upset and had no idea where to go or who to turn to. I did speak to my dean of student affairs and she was sympathetic but...in teh end I flunked another class and was in the remediation range for another. She basically told me I wouldn't win another appeal and that I should withdraw and start over as a DO. I was in no shape to make any decisions or to even think so I signed the papers. I regret it immensely.

So my issues on top of PTSD twice (once when i took the exam, the second during the appeals process), and being told I wouldn't make it and that I wasn't working hard enough and didn't have the study skills to get through med school via the appeals committee. And the issues from my family came from the fact that I was without my cell phone that day that I went in for tutoring because my mother had my phone, and my brother left me in a place that I was completely unfamiliar with and then they made me stay with them (my brother and mother) for another month afterwards. During this time I was told that it was my fault, that I should have known better, I should have run, I should have dressed more conservatively (I did dress conservatively, I assure you). I'm still a bit shaky with my family. I just have a huge aversion to relying on anyone else...that I'm breaking myself of...but it's difficult when the people you trust the most...let you down...and if they didn't then I certainly let myself down. It's kind of a catch-22.

[some personal details omitted by the mod]

Sorry that this is so long...but this is what I'm currently doing. I enrolled in an MS where I'm taking histology, gross anatomy, neruo and embryology and I'll be taking physio over the summer. So that I can prove that the past two years were not of my true caliber. I'm volunteering as well. Is it possible to go to the dean and appeal? Is this something that can work?
I'm not sure you have a very ready path back to medicine. My view is that you should complete your MS, work a bit and then restart with your life from scratch as far as medicine. Decide if a physician is the only path in health care for you, obtain the needed counseling and deal with your family issues by getting a job and developing independence after your Masters. You have a long life ahead, start by taking one step at a time.
 

swaffles

Bubbly Celt
Mar 5, 2010
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I don't really have any suggestions beyond what Tildy said but I just want to say that I'm really sorry that you had to go through all that. It sounds like a incredibly horrible situation to be in, and all that on top of trying to maintain good standing in school.

I hope that you find a good support system soon. I'm sure things will get better once you figure things out
 

ILikeSugar

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Jul 7, 2008
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There is no advice that I can give.:( But you will definitely be in my prayers tonight.

I wonder if your school would consider giving you a partial refund of your tuition. The deans have quite a bit of sway in some school. Maybe one of them can make an exception for you.
 
Mar 13, 2012
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It is a tough situation you are in.

Some people have great support system around them and some don't. It does not mean your family is to blame or you are to blame...it is just a fact of life.

For some, all there is to do is be born, while for others as soon as they are born, life is full of struggles. Luckily at least you are somewhere in between and not at the very end of the extreme.

I would think your options are the following:

1: continue on your path and become a doctor - which of course requires you to look into what things you can change in your life/in your habits/etc that could better you chances; and "nothing" cannot be the answer.

2: try to get your money back

If you can't then try to become a doctor in order to pay your loan back

If you got your money back then great. But don't stop, take courses push yourself because taking time off to sit in your parents' house or anyone's house would not really be helpful to you in the short or the long run. It will not help to make you feel better I assure you.

I would suggest don't try to get your money back because you can do it. Others did it so can you. Always imagine yourself smiling, graduating, helping people etc. The power of the mind is great.

And we live in a world when you feel down you really are left alone and the less support you have to start with the more alone you feel in a situation like that.

So just try to remember it can get better. You can do this. Make a plan. Write a diary, but write about good things so you start seeing the good things and less of the bad things.

And remember, see what things can you change in your life, what you can't - you can't change the finances of your family, who your parents are, how your family reacted to your story etc.

But you can make sure you take good care of your health, you start doing sports as that is very helpful to your mental health as well and don't be too hard on yourself. Just try to calm down, don't make emotional decisions, sleep well (also the best thing when you are stressed) and visualise how much you will be able to help people when you are a doctor.

I wish you all the best. Believe in yourself.