Urgent: Will I be kicked out?

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Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
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I'm having a major dilemma at the moment.

I am currently a student at Oxbridge. I repeated my first year of studies (originally 2011-12), due to poor attendance in classes. This was mostly a result of anxiety and possibly depression - though I was never formally diagnosed for either - and also poor time management, plus a medical condition. There were also issues at home, which I explained in a form I submitted, and I was then granted repeat teaching.

This year, I am currently doing my second year (last year was repeat of first year). I got very good marks in last year's exams despite my relatively low attendance. However, as my attendance record this year/term has also been quite poor, only proving a very serious reason will allow me to still sit exams. I have had several treatments this year (not operations), but they only justify my absences in the first term of this year, not the second term.
I have also been considering a surgery (but my parents opposed this) on a different feature for a while to help correct a medical/functional abnormality which makes me more anxious and self-conscious due to its physical appearance. It also makes it difficult for me to focus my vision/ocular muscles properly.

The thing is, I only had consultations with surgeons, as opposed to undergoing any surgery. But I panicked when I was called in to meet the head of Undergrad studies, and agreed to provide medical evidence that I had undergone surgeries (when I hadn't). I know I should have been forthright, but as I was so concerned about being kicked out without a good reason, or being made to interrupt another year, I pretended I had surgery and was in a ward.

They are now expecting a doctor's letter, and I was in 2 minds to potentially forge another one and hope they don't check on it. But I discussed the whole situation with my parents, and my mum then emailed the head of my department (and from her email, it didn't state that I'd had surgery this year, as she focused more on the other issues of anxiety etc.).

I could either submit the letter now about the surgeries, and hope they don't check on it by calling the clinic (they didn't last time) - this would probably mean I may be able to sit exams this year, or at least interrupt to the next year.

The other alternative, which I will probably go for as it is far more honest, but could lead to me being kicked out is admitting I did not tell the complete truth about the surgeries, as I panicked in the situation (my dad has threatened to kick me out previously if I have to repeat another year). If I go down this route, my mum will at least support me regardless of the outcome.

I am trying to arrange a meeting between the Dean and myself and my mum next week to fully discuss the options available. In the meantime, I need some advice as to what to do regarding the letter, and explaining the surgeries. Any advice would be appreciated, as I'm really in a tough situation here.
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Xenobee
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Hey, thats a real sticky situation you have gotten yourself into there, if i was you I'd tell the truth, i know it is sometimes hard to do but i think you'd best bite the bullet because if you forge a note from your doctor that would look worse if they found it to be false, with the anxiety and depression, i think you need to be frank and talk to them about that because you're not the only person in the world with it and so they might have previous experience and have certain procedures to follow with anxious and depressed people.

Basically if i was you, i would bite the bullet tell the truth and explain earnestly as possible and tell them that you made a mistake and panicked when you told them that you had undergone medical treatment (operations) or you could say it was a communication error, or if you're really desperate say that it was going to happen but fell through for some reason
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Nathanielle
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(Original post by Anonymous)
They are now expecting a doctor's letter, and I was in 2 minds to potentially forge another one and hope they don't check on it. But I discussed the whole situation with my parents, and my mum then emailed the head of my department (and from her email, it didn't state that I'd had surgery this year, as she focused more on the other issues of anxiety etc.).
Good, so the first step is done: Acting quickly! I would urge you to speak to someone at University about it, who might not be allowed to tell anyone else, like e.g. someone from pastoral care? They would probably be able to give the best advice, how to proceed. Also talk to a doctor about your anxiety and depression, because they will probably want to see evidence from
a professional and not only from your mom.

I could either submit the letter now about the surgeries, and hope they don't check on it by calling the clinic (they didn't last time) - this would probably mean I may be able to sit exams this year, or at least interrupt to the next year.
NOOO! At any point of your career, they find out, you loose your degree, your reputation, anything!!! You can even be sued! This would not only be against university policy, but against law! (Do they really accept letters, without any official signature?!?! Althoug your signature might be sufficient under law. (?))

The other alternative, which I will probably go for as it is far more honest, but could lead to me being kicked out is admitting I did not tell the complete truth about the surgeries, as I panicked in the situation (my dad has threatened to kick me out previously if I have to repeat another year). If I go down this route, my mum will at least support me regardless of the outcome.
Go down this root. If you act quickly and they see, that you have just panicked and have a mental health problem (that's is why you need to go to the doctor now), nothing is lost. As long as you haven't done anything unlawful (lying per se, is not against law) and haven't profited from it and IT IS QUICK AND BEFORE ANY ADJUSTMENTS ARE MADE FOR YOU, then your only problem will be, that your dean is mad at you. (Although people can forgive, if someone is honest. So don't panick and for it with the support of your mum.)

I am trying to arrange a meeting between the Dean and myself and my mum next week to fully discuss the options available. In the meantime, I need some advice as to what to do regarding the letter, and explaining the surgeries. Any advice would be appreciated, as I'm really in a tough situation here.
Don't write it, and talk as quickly as possible also with someone else. Thus you will probably get to know, how to explain it to your Dean. But unless you go on with the lie, I think nothing is lost. So: COURAGE!
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member403966
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Do not lie. Seriously, it will make things 10x worse and is a huge risk. When I underwent surgery for appendicitis, my uni asked for a letter from my GP confirming that I wasn't medically fit to commute, the hospital discharge letter and a letter from the surgeon consultant detailing the treatment I had received. I really wouldn't make the situation worse by forging anything. My uni did end up calling my GP to confirm the legitimacy of the documents I had provided. Just don't forge any signatures, that's a whole other playing field which could get you convicted. Tell them you're under a lot of stress, understand that you have behaved in an unethical way, but were under immense pressure both at home and consequently blurted out a lie. Go and see your GP ASAP and ask to be referred to a therapist. That way, after you tell the truth, your uni can see that you did/currently have legitimate issues which the therapist can back up.
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River85
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I could either submit the letter now about the surgeries, and hope they don't check on it by calling the clinic (they didn't last time) - this would probably mean I may be able to sit exams this year, or at least interrupt to the next year.
Just to pick up on this, they cannot phone the clinic and receive information about your condition and treatment without your consent. Medical confidentiality does exist. What they may be able to do, and I'm not sure about this, is phone simply to ask if a medical letter was produced (giving, and expecting, no detail about your health).

Either way this doesn't mean that it's wise to forge a letter, or that they won't know you're lying by other means however.

The other alternative, which I will probably go for as it is far more honest, but could lead to me being kicked out is admitting I did not tell the complete truth about the surgeries, as I panicked in the situation (my dad has threatened to kick me out previously if I have to repeat another year). If I go down this route, my mum will at least support me regardless of the outcome.

I am trying to arrange a meeting between the Dean and myself and my mum next week to fully discuss the options available. In the meantime, I need some advice as to what to do regarding the letter, and explaining the surgeries. Any advice would be appreciated, as I'm really in a tough situation here.
It seems far more reasonable to be honest and explain the stress you were under. In life it's almost always best to be honest, especially in this case when you are quite well protected. The university ought to be sympathetic and have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments and support you as much as possible.
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Nathanielle
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(Original post by River85)
Medical confidentiality does exist. What they may be able to do, and I'm not sure about this, is phone simply to ask if a medical letter was produced (giving, and expecting, no detail about your health).
Yes, they are allowed to do that. Because they have not the right to know, why he was ill, but that he was ill for a certain time. It is like later at work, you can't just stay three month at home just telling your boss, that you are too ill too work, without providing evidence. What they would expect is an official letter stating he would be unfit to attend university for a certain period. That fullfills the requirement of getting no details, yet is official, because the doctors (!!!), who are able to write such statements, are allowed to do so, because of her job.

Short: Medical confidentiality and declaring someone unfit are two different things. (It is like dyslexia: No one would expect the university to give extra-support without getting the evidence.)
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River85
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(Original post by Nathanielle)
Yes, they are allowed to do that. Because they have not the right to know, why he was ill, but that he was ill for a certain time.
As someone who has provided copious amounts of medical evidence to universities, and employers, in the past I'm well aware they are allowed to request medical evidence confirming a person's fitness. But my point is that consent is required.

It is like later at work, you can't just stay three month at home just telling your boss, that you are too ill too work, without providing evidence.
I don't see the comparison. I'm well aware that a fit note is required for employment purposes (after a set period of self-certification). I'm in employment myself.

This is very different. This is what's now known as a fit note. An employee would need to go to their doctors, ask for a fit note, and provide it to the employer. As a result the employee has consented to providing this fit note, and the sharing of the relevant medical information, by the very act of visiting the doctor and providing it.

And if an employer wants a medical report then there's a specific signed form that's required. This requires the consent of the patient.

What they would expect is an official letter stating he would be unfit to attend university for a certain period. That fullfills the requirement of getting no details, yet is official, because the doctors (!!!), who are able to write such statements, are allowed to do so, because of her job.
Sorry, that makes little sense.

I'm not saying doctors aren't allowed to provide medical evidence to universities. Of course they are. What I believe they can't do is phone a GP surgery and make specific questions about a person's health.

Short: Medical confidentiality and declaring someone unfit are two different things. (It is like dyslexia: No one would expect the university to give extra-support without getting the evidence.)
I never said evidence wasn't needed.
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