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I currently have a concussion that has hindered my ability to do work or study. I went to the doctor and got it diagnosed (got a medical note and all that). I have a midterm tomorrow, and I emailed my professor yesterday regarding my concussion and asked to make it up sometime the following week as I am in no shape to take the test. However, he has not responded (even after I followed up on email). He also posted on my classes discussion board, so I am not sure what to do.

  • Have you tried contacting him through the class discussion board or its software, assuming it is something like Canvas, Blackboard, etc. that has a more private means of communication? – shoover Oct 1 '19 at 21:19
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    No I have not! Should I do that? I was thinking about doing that, but I did not want to as I felt like I was "pestering" sending him so many messages. – Ryan Day Oct 1 '19 at 21:27
  • is there a school policy regarding doctor's notes? – Boaty Mcboatface Oct 1 '19 at 22:09
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    @AzorAhai, in the UK school is occasionally used interchangeably with department, and is never used to describe an entire university. Elsewhere, this position may be a departmental secretary. – Emma Oct 2 '19 at 8:08
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    Have you read the syllabus / course instructions? If so, what does it say in there about missing tests for medical reasons? – user2705196 Oct 3 '19 at 17:09
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Professors get a lot of emails every day, and depending on the size of your class, they could be getting even more. I would not after only a day

In any reasonable department, you are fine. You documented your case by emailing him as soon as you knew you needed to reschedule, and have a doctor's note dated yesterday. If you really want to cover your bases, call his office and leave a message.

In the US (at least), it should not be necessary to go to the exam and ask to be excused*. You don't say how bad your concussion was, but I know that the last time I had a bad one, it would not have been safe for me to travel.

Please rest, you have all the documentation and can figure it out after.

As pointed out in the comments, if your professor is truly a nutcase, you may be able to go to your disabilities services department for help.


* Some might wonder if you're healthy enough to do that, why can't you take the exam?

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    I think emailing the office for students with disabilities (they deal with temporary things too) or the director of undergraduate studies for the department would have more of an effect than calling the professor. That would also get an official case started in case the professor decides to be difficult. – Johanna Oct 3 '19 at 13:09
  • I think this is clearly correct. You have given notice. A system that required you to get prior permission in such a situation would be unethical, in my view. Even insane. There are situations, of course, in which an accident occurs that makes it impossible even to send a prior notice and these can be resolved in any sane system after the fact. – Buffy Oct 3 '19 at 15:15
  • @johanna My point was to create a third time stamped evidence of your request. It's probably not necessary, but could be helpful. Contacting disability services could be helpful but idk if it's necessary just yet. – Azor Ahai Oct 3 '19 at 15:17
  • @Buffy In fact, that's what I did with the concussion I referenced! I was sitting in the clinic waiting to be seen while I missed a test. It turned out fine. – Azor Ahai Oct 3 '19 at 20:27
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    First, this student has a serious temporary disability that may end up impacting more than one class. Just because it is one now doesn't mean there won't be others later. He does not have the flu. Second, legally, accommodations for disabilities are only required if you have registered with the office in advance. There is no downside to being in touch with them. – Elin Oct 5 '19 at 9:21

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