My supervisor had a surgery. She notified the other doctorate student other than me and the other members of the group. I have no information. No one in the group said this to me. I feel like an idiot and can't understand why she didn't tell me. I don't know, what should i do?

edit: Thank you very much for your answers. I can think better now. I'm the only foreign student in the group, a small group. When I first arrived, I saw discriminatory attitudes from the head of the group (I was not invited to group meetings but there were all other students). But my supervisor always treated me well, we did not have a problem but when she did not inform me, I was very sorry, she informed the others by phone.

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    Your question has two parts. First, if you were excluded or not. Second, how you should manage your work relationship and career when being excluded. For starters, I want to question the first part. How did other students find out about it? Was it an email, from which you were excluded? Does she seem to be more friendly with other students than you? Do other members speak your supervisor's native language (if it is not the official language of the country) and you don't? Apr 24, 2021 at 19:57
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    It's completely normal and rational to be worry about our be sensitive about such things. It was likely an accident and unintentional. It is helpful to assume the best intentions generally in professional relationships. Realize that she is very busy and stressed and can sometimes forget things or make oversights. Once I realized to do that, it helped me immensely as I am a very sensitive person, and this would have hurt me in the past more than it would now (not trying to make presumptions about you though).
    – jdods
    Apr 24, 2021 at 21:26
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    She had surgery. Her attention was elsewhere. This may be a simple omission. Have you been left out in any other case earlier? I would not judge from a single event. Apr 24, 2021 at 22:35
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    Maybe she didn't have your number, maybe she did but the phone was engaged, and she was peoccupied later?
    – Tim
    Apr 25, 2021 at 10:34

3 Answers 3


There is really nothing to do. Most likely it wasn't an intentional slight. An oversight, perhaps, caused by stress.

You can get some information about what happened that required surgery and send a get-well note.

Don't overthink it.


Maybe she just forgot to tell you, in the end she had to undergo surgery! If she notified the other via email, this might be a clue for a typo.


Make sure your supervisor actually is able to contact you.

For example, if your supervisor emailed her students via an email like [email protected], then you need to be a member of that email list, or you won't be notified, and it won't be because your supervisor didn't want to notify you. Alternatively if your supervisor used the phone, it's possible she doesn't have your phone number.

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