What is the best way to craft the appeal letter based on health issues to have one last chance for taking the qualifying exam? Those health and mental issues have been already documented through a medical doctor and a licensed psychological counselor. Please, anybody has such advices or suggestions to draft the letter in a way that showing how the health issues have a significant impacts on qualifying exam preparation.

  • 3
    This can probably only be answered locally. Things differ too much for global solutions. Talk to someone at your university, either at the department or at an office of student support. You probably need an advocate, who could be a faculty member or a counselor. – Buffy Mar 16 '19 at 20:55
  • The other question is here and provides more important background : academia.stackexchange.com/q/126367/72855 – Solar Mike Mar 17 '19 at 5:46

If this is in the US, the precise nature of your health issues is protected by HIPAA and is none of your department's business. Documentation affirming only that those health issues have substantially interfered with your academic performance should be issued by your disability services office, who have experience with such things. Medical disabilities are disabilities and as such are legally entitled to reasonable accommodation.

  • Agreed, but I’m not sure if a post-facto notification of medical issues will impact things. That could be location and institution specific. – Jon Custer Mar 16 '19 at 23:04
  • @JonCuster The OP's medical issues were known prior to the exam and (by another question on ASE) the OP's advisor took a rather cavalier attitude towards concerns that the OP raised. A reasonable case could be made that the advisor failed to engage in an interactive process regarding accommdation, as required by law. – Elizabeth Henning Mar 17 '19 at 0:01
  • Fair enough - that was not clear in this question. However, did the OP go through the appropriate channels? – Jon Custer Mar 17 '19 at 0:02
  • @JonCuster If the department really wants to get rid of the OP, they will likely argue that the OP didn't. But realistically it seems to me that given the extreme power imbalance in the advisor-student relationship, the advisor really should be required to assume more accountability in implementing accommodations. This is symptomatic of a broader problem in US higher ed regarding students with disabilities. – Elizabeth Henning Mar 17 '19 at 0:07
  • I am well aware. However, often the rules are set by the admin folks, and explicitly made to eliminate influence, good or bad, of a professor. Anyway, the rules of the institution will decide the issue here. – Jon Custer Mar 17 '19 at 0:38

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