Ombudspersons

The ombudspersons investigate complaints brought forward by students and work to achieve an equitable solution. The purpose of an ombudsman is to enhance communication and clarify misunderstandings in any situation, which involves potential disputes, to provide information about possible courses of action and to help resolve issues so that they do not grow into more serious conflicts.

The ombudsperson shall thoroughly investigate each incident brought to his/her attention taking into account all sides of the issue, counsel the involved parties or make referral for such counseling, provide periodic reports of such incidents and their outcomes/resolution to the Vice Dean of Educational Affairs, and seek appropriate advice from senior academic or administrative faculty when necessary to assist in resolving issues of concern.

Medical and Graduate Students Ombudspersons

Liz Frauenhoffer, MD
Anatomic Pathology, Room C7706C
Phone: 717-531-1673
Email: efrauenhoffer@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Matt Silvis, MD
Medical Director, Primary Care Sports Medicine
Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, EC 2916
Phone: 717-531-0003, ext. 289165
Email: msilvis@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

PA Student Ombudspersons

Patrick McQuillan, MD
Department of Anesthesiology, Room C2830
Phone: 717-531-4264
Email: pmcquillan@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Peter Lewis, MD
Family and Community Medicine
Phone: 717-531-8736

Resident and Fellow Ombudspersons

Rickhesvar Mahraj, MD
Department of Radiology
Phone: 717-531-7855
Email: rmahraj@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

Kelly Leite, MD
Department of Pediatrics
Phone: 717-531-6846
Email: kleite@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

What is an Ombudsperson?

The Ombudsperson program for medical students and graduate students has been in place at the PSU College of Medicine since 1991. Two faculty members serve as ombudspersons for students. Confidentiality is maintained in all cases. Brief notes and copies of materials students provide are placed in a secure file. Details of cases are not shared between the two faculty ombudspersons or with any other person without the express permission of the student(s) bringing the issue to the ombudsperson.

Penn State College of Medicine’s student ombudspersons serve as a neutral, independent and confidential resource for medical and graduate students within the College of Medicine community.

  • Neutral – The College of Medicine ombudsperson serves as a neutral, independent and confidential resource for medical and graduate students within the College of Medicine community.
  • Independent – The ombudsperson is independent of existing administrative or academic structures and is responsible only to the Dean of the College of Medicine or his designees. The ombudsperson supplements the existing resources available to faculty, staff and students.
  • Confidential – The ombudsperson will treat all matters confidentially within the bounds of the law. Your privacy will be respected. Should the pursuit of an inquiry require the disclosure of details that identify you, you will be contacted and no further action will be taken without your permission. When there is a potential threat to safety or a legal proceeding with subpoena, it may have to be shared. The ombudsperson is an impartial complaint-handler who strives to see that people are treated fairly and equitably at the College of Medicine.

What Will Student Ombudspersons Do?

  • Provide a comfortable, confidential environment for students to air concerns
  • Listen to complaints or grievances
  • Work with people to develop options for resolving their concerns or complaints
  • Open channels of communication
  • Suggest approaches for addressing and managing conflicts
  • Research and provide answers to questions regarding a policy or procedure
  • Serve as a neutral third party in conflict resolution
  • Seek fair and equitable solutions to problems