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Weird question, but can I get disciplined or dismissed for this?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by lockian, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. lockian

    lockian Magical Thinking Encouraged
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    Hey guys,
    So this is kind of a weird situation, but I'm afraid I might end up facing disciplinary action at my school for something stupid I did.

    I signed up to lead a student group at the end of first year, but the administrative work associated with the group ended up being stressful and overwhelming, and then someone I was supposed to get in touch with to organize events kept not getting back to me, so I totally gave up the whole thing. Since it was a small student group, no one really seemed to care until the next year, when some students took an interest in it again. They emailed me several times, but I did not respond because I simply couldn't handle touching it all again. I had some stuff associated with the group in my locker, but I don't know if someone's taken over the locker now or whatever, since 3rd year students lose their lockers.

    Long story short, now one of the people who's interested in the group says she will report me for "severe unprofessionalism" in not replying to her attempts at communication. And I wouldn't be as worried if I didn't have a history of being avoidant and there being an incident 1st year when some family members were trying to find me, so they were contacting the dean and the dean tried to email me, and I kept not-checking my email so he had to call me into his office and sternly remind me to actually use my email.

    And I don't know, now I'm having serious fears that I'll get in trouble with the school and get kicked out or something similar.

    I am otherwise a good student: I did well on the boards and am in good academic standing. I suffered from some serious 2nd year depression and my grades took a bit of a dip, but I still never got lower than a B, and now I'm in 3rd year and doing well.

    Please help me...
     
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  3. circulus vitios

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    Write up a formal resignation for the group, then informally tell that girl in particular (in non-written communication) to **** off.
     
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  4. lockian

    lockian Magical Thinking Encouraged
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    I don't know; I think it may be too late. She emailed me today saying she's going to report me to the school.
     
  5. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-almost done!
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    These are the kinds of things that can end up in your MSPE and hurt your chances despite good scores and evals. I highly doubt you'll get dismissed, but I wouldn't be surprised if there is a write-up about professionalism concerns in your MSPE.

    Not going to sugarcoat, the fact that you didn't learn anything from your slap on the wrist from the DEAN is pretty bad. Perhaps make an attempt to reconcile with the girl who said she will report you, maybe she hasn't reported you yet and this was her final warning for a response. Respond NOW. And from now on, check your email and respond to the things that need to be responded to. Everyone forgets to respond sometimes, even to important emails, I've done it several times where I see the email on my phone and forget to respond later until I get a follow-up email. But avoidance, and knowingly avoiding something, is not a mature coping strategy. I'd suggest talking to someone about this avoidant behavior, as you cannot simply avoid stressful situations as a physician. You can also use that to your advantage if you get called before the honor council or something, to show that you are taking steps to improve this.
     
  6. SouthernSurgeon

    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    (A) agree with the above. This girl sounds like a twit and you should tell her to STFU and ask her how much free time she plans on having as a third year.

    (B) reading between the lines here you really do seem to have some life/time management issues. Your family can't get ahold of you to the extent that they have to contact the med school to make sure you are alive? Grow up and answer your emails like a professional adult. You can't get away with that kind of thing in med school, much less residency and beyond.
     
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  7. sobored

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    What's wrong with you? Why didn't you just freaking email her and hand over the reigns? You're making things unnecessarily hard on yourself. Just email her back, apologize and move on.
     
  8. Siggy

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    Before reading the first post, the answer is yes. If the school doesn't like it, they'll find a way... life finds a way.
     
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  9. lockian

    lockian Magical Thinking Encouraged
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    Because there's like a million steps involved in renewing the group license, planning events, etc. I don't deny I have some sort of anxiety disorder and was afraid to even touch that. But yeah, I agree, there's no excuse and I've pretty much dug my own self into a hole.

    I do have life issues -- I don't have time management issues. The reason my family was trying to contact me through the school was because I don't get along with them and they were seeking a reconciliation, but that's a totally different situation.
     
  10. lockian

    lockian Magical Thinking Encouraged
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    Um, should I explicitly ask her in the email not to report me, or just say sorry?
     
  11. PL198

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    You don't have to say sorry, just give the stuff back and grow up. Your family can't contact you and then your dean can't contact you? Sounds like you have an addiction to something
     
  12. lockian

    lockian Magical Thinking Encouraged
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    I do not have an addiction. I simply have an Avoidant Personality Disorder, and maybe GAD. I haven't consulted an actual mental health professional, though, (beyond myself) so I don't know.
     
  13. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-almost done!
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    Apologize profusely and give her all the stuff and information.
     
  14. sb247

    sb247 Doer of things
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    Ms3 is not a mental health professional
     
  15. SouthernSurgeon

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    So what?

    Just email her back and say -

    "Hey, so sorry for the delay. I've been getting killed on a really busy clerkship. I'm so glad you want to get this club re-started again, that's an awesome plan. Let me forward you the information I have, and I will find a time to get you the supplies later this week. Good luck with the club!"

    And as CV said - offline, once this has settled down, you need to tell this girl to get off her high horse. I can't imagine how pissed off I would be if a fellow student, a younger student no less, threatened to report me for "unprofessionalism". She should get pushed down a stairwell.

    And at the same time you send this email to her, send a more formal email to the dean's office resigning your position.
     
  16. operaman

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    Or.....and I'm not saying to do this, but......wouldn't it be funny if.....

    Someone -- not necessarily you in this situation, but maybe a similar one -- made an appointment to sit down with student affairs and/or the dean and say that an underclassman girl has taken an unhealthy romantic interest in you. You have explicitly told her verbally that you aren't interested but she continues to show up at places you'll be and has started making veiled threats that she would make trouble for your career if you didn't acquiesce to her advances. Something like that. You could also reply to her email and CC the dean/student affairs and say the above to her and reference conversations you had in person, say this email is formal written notification that you will not tolerate harassment.

    Just a thought.

    Don't do it.

    But seriously, someone needs to stop this youngin' now before she gets worse.

    PS- dude, for F--Ks sake answer your email! Everyone has their nose pointed at their smartphone all day long. There's no excuse.
     
  17. DarknightX

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    This type of stuff happens all the time. I can't tell you how many students start a research project, student interest group, or something else and then dissapear off the face of the earth.

    Not a big deal. Tell that girl that you've been busy and that she can suck it. Tell her you're going to report her for harrassing you.
     
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  18. type12

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  19. DokterMom

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    Man up and apologize in person. It'll be harder for her to report you if you do that, and (honestly) it won't hurt as much that way. If you're still not convinced, think of an in-person apology as "not leaving a paper trail" --

    As far as the going forward work involved, she knows she can't count on you for that. If, for some unimaginable reason, she doesn't know, then simply state plainly that you cannot be involved any longer and wish her the best success resurrecting the group.
     
  20. operaman

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    Thank you :)

    The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. I would construct a theoretical timeline beginning with the initial email as point of first contact. Then create a story about in person meetings, her saying things like "we should run this together -- wouldn't we be a great team?" etc. Then her asking you in person to come over to her place to have a few drinks and talk about the group and you turning her down. You told her that you had a significant other back home but she kept pushing saying "well she's not here, is she." Then you told her in no uncertain terms that you weren't interested and that she needed to stop talking to you. If she wrote additional emails, hopefully the content will jive with this story and your lack of response was simply your trying to get away from a bad situation. Then, the story goes, she started showing up randomly at places you would be, when you were out with friends, etc. She would get drunk and make passes at you. Recently she's starting even making veiled threats about reporting YOU for severe unprofessionalism if you kept ignoring her advances.

    I would make sure the timeline and any emails she sent fit like a glove. Then I would pre-emptively report HER. If you have a buddy who you trust implicitly, have him vouch for one of the inappropriate encounters. Otherwise, nobody can know you're making this up or you're hosed. Any report she makes, the school will view as a squabble among students and it won't go anywhere at all. At best, they may even end up putting something in HER file.

    Should be fairly easy to make it work. If you want to really do it and need help, PM me the emails and dates and I'll help you tell a whopper of a story.
     
  21. DermViser

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    @operaman you are awesome.

    Anyone who uses "professionalism" as a vendetta against a student deserves what's coming to them.
     
    #20 DermViser, Sep 4, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  22. operaman

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    Closing statement for your email to the dean:

    "She's a kind person with a good heart, but maybe the stress and loneliness of medical school is getting to her. I don't want to see anything bad happen to her, but I hope she can get the help she needs."
     
  23. Psai

    Psai Snitches get zero vicryl
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    "severe unprofessionalism" lol what a joke
    i get annoyed when people don't respond to emails but seriously hate people who think so highly of themselves
    then again, you are definitely in the wrong here
     
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  24. bjb305

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    I have to say that the underclass man has a point (although she took it to an extreme). But responding to people in a timely fashion is part of being a professional, doctor or no doctor. Extrapolate this 10 years down the line... No group is going to want to hire someone who doesn't respond to emails and they would certainly take action against you if these emails or other forms of communication were about patient care.
    Not to sound mean, but even if you are stressed about other things, it only takes a minute to respond. Being a good med student isn't only about the grades....
     
  25. Dires

    Dires Banned
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    I think operaman is kidding, but if you seriously consider his idea: buy the account upgrade and delete this thread.
     
  26. operaman

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    I would edit/delete my posts too if asked.

    I've thought about it and honestly, if I were in this situation and someone were threatening my career and my family's future, I would not hesitate to take them down hard. I would either do what I outlined here or something similar.

    Of course, I would respond to my emails to begin with and make this sort of thing a moot point.
     
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  27. SouthernSurgeon

    Physician Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

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    Look - the OP was clearly in the wrong here for not answering their emails, no one is denying that.

    But the M2 is responding to what is honestly a minor nuisance (M3 won't answer emails) with the nuclear threat.

    This sort of thing with student clubs happens all the time. People get overwhelmed with work and student clubs, etc, fall on the wayside. Because they just aren't that important.

    So the thought that some jack*ss self-important M2 is going to report this kid to the dean for "severe unprofessionalism" and potentially damage his career over this is aggravating.

    OP needs to learn a lesson from this for sure. But they shouldn't have their career affected by it.
     
  28. bjb305

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    oh i totally agree -- "severe unprofessionalism" is quite an extreme statement and his overall career should not be affected by this.
    Just respond to the emails from here on out, no harm no foul
     
  29. Mr. Hat

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    You can still use operaman's basic idea, just not to the extreme. And you can do it truthfully. Go to your school, tell them you are struggling with severe anxiety, and that you are starting to feel harrassed by this girl.

    The rest will take care of itself. And you won't be making crap up.
     
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  30. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel
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    Wut?

    This thread...

    1. Who cares about her "reporting" you for unprofessionalism? Just tell them you resigned from the group last year and that she's harassing you now.
    2. It absolutely won't end up in your deans letter.
    3. Literally all you need to do is take 2min and email her saying you're not involved in the group anymore, you're busy with rotations, and that you'll report her for harassment if she doesn't stop.

    Also, tell the M2s to STFU and spend more time worrying about their classes instead of interest groups. They probably won't have time to do anything meaningful anyway once they start studying for step 1 in a few months.
     
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  31. SouthernSurgeon

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    No one should care.

    But the problem is, once a school's administration gets formally involved, these things tend to get messier. You can't control or predict what will happen. Turns out some administrations have a tendency to go overboard with this kind of thing


    You can't know or guarantee that. I certainly wouldn't take my chances on it...
     
  32. Dave89

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    A student is threatening to report you for "severe unprofessionalism"?

    She deserves public shaming.

    Also, I have no idea how this could possibly end up in a dean's letter.
     
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  33. DokterMom

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    You're scaring me here...
     
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  34. DermViser

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    This x 1000.

    Professionalism esp. thru "peer"-evaluation is taken seriously. It's bc med schools have realized that many times the ones who know best are fellow peers who are in close contact with you and see you everyday.
     
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  35. type12

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    Not gonna lie, if I was on the receiving end of this, I'd be mad initially, but then impressed.
     
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  36. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-almost done!
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    There is a professionalism component of the MSPE. OP already has a history of not responding to emails, which is a professionalism concern, especially if it keeps happening. And it did happen again. I'm sure it depends on the school and how seriously they drill professionalism, but there is certainly a possibility of it showing up.
     
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  37. Dave89

    Dave89 ACCOUNT ON HOLD
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    Coming from a student?

    If I were a faculty member and a student came to me with a complaint like this girl's, I'd laugh her out of my office.
     
  38. SouthernSurgeon

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    Right, and if only every school administrator was as level headed and nonchalant as you, the OP would be fine...
     
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  39. DokterMom

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    But seriously OP, get to work on that avoidance problem. Allowing that pattern to continue will really hurt your future. It's one I wrestle with to some degree myself - I suspect most of us do -- and for what it's worth, here's what has helped me:
    • Think of 'conflict' as an opportunity to come up with a positive outcome from what is currently an uncomfortable situation. So don't focus on the 'argument' per se, but on the successful resolution of the disagreement. Reframe things in your head until this view really sinks in, because there's a lot of truth in this viewpoint.
    • Ask yourself "What would I do if I weren't afraid?" Because as long as fear of doing something is part of the equation, you'll find yourself weaseling and rationalizing and waffling and avoiding. Taking that anxiety out of the equation allows you to see clearly, and determine what really is the best course of action.
    • Accept that everyone makes mistakes, everyone procrastinates, everyone drops the ball at some time. So if you just admit it, own it, and apologize (they already know you did, right?), that's really a sign of integrity, not a sign of weakness. Admit it, ask for forgiveness, then redeem yourself. You'll have a better relationship for having 'come clean'.
    • Set yourself one small goal, then reward yourself for accomplishing it. For example: Check your email twice a day and respond (in some way) to everything in your inbox. Don't know what to say? -- "You bring up an interesting point. I'm going to give it some thought..." Then set up a system of small rewards when you do it -- a chocolate with your coffee in the morning, glass of wine in the evening? Dollar in the jar towards a larger purchase you normally wouldn't make? Once you've set up the good habit for email, move on to the next area.
    Good luck with this --
     
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  40. operaman

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    What the admin SHOULD do is say, "Ok, if we place a notice in OP's MSPE for severe unprofessionalism, we will be obligated to place a reference to this incident in your MSPE explaining that while you do not have any professionalism concerns yourself, you did report a fellow student for 'severe unprofessionalism' when he didn't respond promptly enough to your email. So, Suzzy MS2, your call..."
     
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  41. Kahreek

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    get in contact with said student, apologize for your dismissive behavior, tell him/her about all the heavy work load you have, and suggest you might help him/her to get the group started again but you are not longer the leader, and he/she can take the place with your support.
     
  42. Kahreek

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    vengeance wont get you anywhere, ask her to talk in person, go for a coffee, and explain that your workload has deprived you the energy needed to make the project go forward, thus you cant continue as the leader of the project but you can help anyone who wants to resurrect the club, and that includes her. Pass your hand through her hair as you saying this and look her in the eyes. She will feel relieved so will you, all the dreams and expectations for the club will revive as the fallen phoenix. Go for the kiss, go close, but don't kiss her and say: "no I cant do this right now, the club is more important hand me the paperwork, we've got a job to do", hold her hand and walk away into the deans office and then to the sunset.
     
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  43. freemontie

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    OP, it was likely a threat to get you to respond. If someone was pissing me off and not responding/avoiding me, I might also send them something to twist their arm into paying attention.

    Hopefully you responded to this person IMMEDIATELY and apologized and asked to meet. I would personally drop everything and go find her in person and bend over backwards to give her whatever she wants. If someone were to do this- than very very very very very few people would be so cruel as to still try to report/hurt them.
     
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  44. freemontie

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    and even though operman's idea sounds epic - it would probably be the stupidest thing you could do. Unless you're a expert manipulator there's a plethora of ways you could get caught.

    -after she denies, dean could ask for email evidence (even if you tried to forge emails- it can be verified that none were sent if through the school's email address).

    -your friend backing your story could cave under pressure (personally, the only person I would 100% trust to lie for me under harsh scrutiny would be my mother)

    -the dean himself might believe her story that you simply weren't responding to emails/being irresponsible since he's already had that experience with you (hell, all the other people you pissed off for not responding would back up her experiences)

    -all her friends could come and say they've never even seen the two of you together. (to forge a convincing timeline of events you'd have to KNOW every date/time this girl was alone and you *could* have been alone with her. A single witness (on her side OR your side) would destroy it. THAT'S why timelines are powerful- they're quite hard to make up after the fact without significant holes.

    -hell, do you even know if she has a boyfriend? If she's hot with a hot boyfriend that many of her classmates have seen her canoodling with- then your story of her obsession with you would sound even more preposterous (especially if you're unattractive yourself...)

    -probably several other angles I haven't thought of.
     
    #43 freemontie, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
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  45. JP2740

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    He has an obligation to answer emails from this ****ing twit chick? Is that in the med school guide? There's some classmates if they emailed me 1000x I wouldn't answer. Mainly because I'd delete it if I simply saw their name.
     
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  46. operaman

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the Ms2 girl in question is currently unattached....

    Unlikely she has many friends either.

    Besides, the beauty of the idea is that she will be so focused on clearing her name that she won't be able to do anything to the OP. That's the power of a good offense in situations like these. Any defense she has is worthless and hauling friends before the dean to prove her point only makes her look crazier and more obsessed. It's actually foolproof so long as you don't allege anything that can be proven/disproven with written/electronic fact checking.
     
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  47. IlDestriero

    IlDestriero Ether Man
    Physician Faculty 10+ Year Member

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    Hi ...
    Sorry I didn't get back to you before, but I don't use this email account often and didn't expect your emails. I'm not sure what you're so worked up about. I can't help you if I don't get your emails.
    The group never got going so we gave up on the project. I don't have any ... (materials, paperwork, applications, etc.) anymore. Sorry I can't help. Please don't email me again as I'm quite busy with the 3rd year rotations and my research project. I think I'm presenting at the national meeting! I'm sorry that I don't have time to mentor your efforts to get the club up and running.
    Best of luck,
    MS3
     
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  48. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky
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    Just tell her that the messages went into your junk email folder, which you hardly ever check.
     
    Promethean likes this.
  49. DermViser

    5+ Year Member

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    So true. I always laugh at the med students accused of professionalism violations actually bringing in witnesses to vouch for them. It makes you look crazier to the medical school administration (Dean, Dean of Student Affairs, Clerkship Director, Clerkship coordinator) and they bare down even harder. Never understood the logic of why students dig the hole even deeper. If you're on the defensive, you're already losing.
     
  50. freemontie

    freemontie Membership Revoked
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    Hmmm...Yeah you're probably right. The problem is that people suck - and unlike a court of law- whoever makes the first charge wins because a guilty verdict is automatically presumed.

    Hopefully the OP listened to you and didn't actually do it though- it would be 1-million-times more ****ty than her email threat.

    (PS- though mean girls find BFs easily as long as they're hot)
     
  51. ThisCouldBeYou

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    You have sunk to a new low if you create a false story, like the one operaman is proposing. Unbelieveable. These days, schools are taking sexual harrassment issues very seriously, male or female. It is not something to even joke about. A very good buddy of mine was the victim of just this kind of problem. He was falsely accused by a girl (who didn't want her bf to find out they had spent the night together). My buddy ended up spending over 2 years dealing with the courts, incredible $$$ for lawyers and had to transfer and then simply quit school while everything was righted.

    OP, don't blame this girl for your problem. Contact her informally, not by email (!) and explain your experience with this school group as you have here. Even though "she's a student" does not dismiss the fact that yet again, someone needed your action and you did nothing. I wonder if you're ready to handle the stress of having patients who need an immediate response.
     
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