Ombudsperson Role for Residents at Dalhousie University
The primary role of the Ombudsperson is to insure that residents and other members of the Postgraduate Medical Education community receive fair and equitable treatment during their residency training at Dalhousie University. The Ombudsperson shall function as an independent facilitator to provide advice, mediate disputes and promote a just and reasonable solution.
Each Residency Training Program (“program”) will identify a person who agrees to act as an Ombudsperson for residents in that program. The Ombudsperson may be a member of the Department associated with that program, but must not be a member of that program’s Resident Program Committee. All residents must be made aware of the contact information for the Ombudsperson for their program.
The Ombudsperson agrees to advise residents on all cases. The Ombudsperson will treat all discussions as strictly confidential unless the resident explicitly agrees otherwise, or in the opinion of the Ombudsperson there are serious concerns regarding the health or safety of the resident.
Ombudspersons are advisors and mediators, not decision makers. If after hearing the Ombudsperson’s opinion and considering the options the resident wishes to prepare a formal appeal, the Ombudsperson will refer him or her to the Postgraduate Medical Education Calendar containing policies and information regarding appeals.
The Ombudsperson has no formal or binding authority; however, he/she does have the ability to recommend, persuade and discuss with all parties involved. The Ombudsperson must consider all sides of a question in an impartial manner and is guided by the following:
Of these, the Ombudsperson role as supporters of fairness and due process is of the utmost importance. The goal is to work cooperatively to insure fairness in our training programs.
- Advocates for fairness
- The Ombudsperson is an ideal person to start with if you are unclear about the particular nature of your complaint or are unsure where to go for help
Ombudsperson in practise
The role of the Ombudsperson is to:
- Listen and clarify
- Listen carefully and on a confidential basis to the concerns, and ask questions of the resident to help clarify his or her concerns
- Gather all of the relevant facts of the case
- Make inquiries on behalf of the resident
Advise and inform
- Advise the resident how to access appropriate decision makers
- Refer the resident to another appropriate agency if necessary
- Inform the resident of relevant academic regulations or appeals procedures
- Guide the resident through the preparation of an articulate and informative case to help the decision maker come to a fair resolution
Mediate and explore
- Mediate or negotiate with the resident and other parties
- Explore options with the resident, regardless of the outcome of the case
Dr. Iqbal Bata