Some of you have asked about my older ds and med school

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Some of you have asked about my older ds and med school
8
Thu, 08-14-2014 - 3:43pm

I debated putting this down below but I figured those of you that asked will be more likely to see it up here. 

Short background for you 'newbies'. My older ds is 27. He went off to school in 2005. Was always a top student. Unfortunately from 2006-2008 he struggled with anorexia. Had to take not one but two medical leaves from college to attend a partial hospitalization program. That experience led him to change his major to pre-med. He graduated sum cum laude from Northwestern University in 2010 and started med school at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in the fall of 2011. He absolutely thrived there - excelled academically, was active with a nice group of friends, and really seemed to have found his 'niche'. He's rather introverted in person but is a HUGE fan of stand up comedy, especially the 'anything goes'/raunchy/over the top stuff. He would retweet all sorts of stuff on Twitter and Facebook. We told him that he ought to tone it down on the social media and try to present  more of a 'professional' image but what to parents know? We figured someone (professor/dean/etc.) would call him in to discuss it with him and that he'd listen to them. In May 2013 two weeks before he was to take his boards and 6 weeks before he was to start his third year rotations sure enough he got called into the dean's office. They said someone had sent an anonymous email saying they found Jason's tweets offensive. He was given the option to resign from med school or they'd dismiss him. If he resigned he'd be considered a student in good standing for future references; otherwise they'd disclose the reason he'd been dismissed. Of course all this happened the week before dh and I left on our 30th anniversary trip to San Antonio and he didn't want to worry us so he told us the night we got back when he'd already withdrawn. I don't think they could have gotten away with that had Loyola been a public school but being a private Jesuit school - and the fact that some of Jason's tweets were targeted at the Catholic church/priests/etc. - they could and did. DH wanted to fight it but Jason was in such a state of shock that he just rolled over. That was May 2013. Jason was devastated and depressed and slipped back into his ED habits - he must have lost 20+ pounds last summer. He stayed up in Chicago looking for a job. In August he finally caught a break and interviewed with Epic Systems in Madison, WI. It's a leading medical software company. He got the job and started in Quality Assurance the first of September. The first few months were a struggle being away from family and  friends, knowing his med school friends were finally doing the 'fun stuff', etc. He said that last winter he was probably as low as he'd ever been. But over the last months he's really blossomed. He's getting great feedback from his superiors at work, is mentoring new people, is working part time in a group that is more on the technical side (which is something he hopes to ultimately get in to). He's gone on two 'go lives' (where they go as support when hospitals and clinics implement the systems) and he's putting himself out there more socially. He seems happy and settled. I know he'd like to meet a special someone and hopefully that will happen soon. 

Feel free to share his situation with your CS's. While the social media can be great (I'm a huge Facebook junkie) it can also bite you in the a** if a teacher/potential employer/etc. sees something and finds it 'politically incorrect' it can dramatically alter your future.

Pam
Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Pam, I remember you posting about it not a whole long time after it happened. I am glad to hear that he found a job, has settled in and is blossoming!! Unfortunately, sometimes until they get consequences first hand, parental advise isn't followed or taken into consideration. I am glad that things are on the upswing for him now!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I'm glad your story has a happy ending.  I think what the med school did was very unfair--they were sure happy to take his money and unless there was some established policy that they violated, I think what he said or did on his own page should not have counted against him unless it was something like threatening a crime or directed at a partciular person.  I'm sure there are plenty of doctors who say offensive things in private, but unfortunately it was public--I just hope they educate students on that in the future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Actually they established a new social media policy the fall after he was forced to withdraw. There was no such policy while he was there. Wonder if they called it 'Jason's law'??
Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005

Pam, I'm so sorry I missed this earlier and didn't mean to bring up a tough subject. It sounds like it's been a very painful 15 months for Jason, and it's good to hear that things are looking up. I know it must have been a very tough year for you, too-what a thing to come home to after your trip (and boy, it makes me like the Catholic church even less, and makes me happier that dd-who is going to school in Chicago-didn't choose Loyola-sounds like they handled it terribly!!). I'm not a huge social media person  (one of the few in the world not on Facebook :)) and younger dd isn't, but I worry about older dd at times. She doesn't put anything too crazy out there, but she just tends to share a lot and you wonder if they'll ever regret being so open. Sigh-I guess it doesn't do to worry since as you clearly know, we can't really stop them. I'm sure it's nice having Jason a little closer to home. I hope the next year is very quiet and drama free for you (and for all of us!).

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2003

Oh Pam, I'm so glad he's rebounded and things are going well for him!  Maybe he can channel his inner comedian into some standup improvs.  

I've had the conversation with some of my kids about social media too.  One DD30+ was an aspiring model who had lingerie pics up. Then was upset because men were stalking her on FB. She still has some up, but I think she enjoys the attention, and frankly won't care about any guidance.  My college DD19 I think has gotten over the rush of FB and doesn't put all her business out there anymore.  She won't add me on Instagram so I don't know, but I think she's learned her lesson about too much info sending unintended messages.  DS22 is in the military and they don't play around.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-1999

Oh Pam - I'm so sorry I asked about med school.  Once you wrote the story again, I remembered what happened.  Good news is that it has a happy ending, even though his initial dreams of going to med school were not reached. As you know, my hospital went EPIC this past spring and I can tell you, those EPIC trainers have a SECURE job for a long time if they perform well.  It is definitely the way many hospitals are going, and the support people are invaluable.  I always believe everything happens for a reason and hopefully many good things will come out of lessons learned.

As far as his Facebook and Twitter posts were concerned, my son-in-law had a similar experience.  In his case it was a really dumb Twitter post and someone from the corporate office who was following him saw it (I guess he accepted him not realizing he was corporate, just thought he was a company employee in this large multi-store sports company).  It was a silly comment, stupid bathroom humor ("getting paid to *do bathroom business* on company time"), and in poor taste - but he was otherwise an excellent employee/assistant manager.  The corporate office made his supervisor either fire him or force him to resign.  That was more than 2 years ago and he has struggled getting a job in this market ever since, until 3 months ago when he finally got a permanent, benefitted position.  Honestly, I thought it was pretty awful that they canceled out 5 years of good work for one stupid mistake, but that is the risk of social media.  You just have to be careful.

Just wondering, though...did Jason have his privacy set to "friends only"?  And I'm guessing Twitter was public?  Because that does keep people from seeing your stuff.  Maybe one of his so-called friends reported him.  In any case, it is a lesson learned.  However, like with my son-in-law, I think it is a shame to react in such a drastic way to a stupid mistake and not have given him a chance.  Poor judgment - yes; would he have been a bad physician - I doubt it!

                        Calmama54, from the beautiful


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Hey Cal sorry to hear that something similar happened to your SIL. Glad he finally found something and I hope he thrives there. Shortly after this happened to Jason an acquaintance of his lost his job over something similar. Not sure if Jason's FB and/or Twitter was set to friends only or not. DH's theory was that the anonymous email may have come from his ex-fiance. It was right around that time that they broke up for the final time and she didn't take it well. I'd like to think she wouldn't have done that but who knows.
Pam
Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003

I am glad he is doing so well after all that.  That would be awful if it was his ex.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!