Our Mission

The Graduate Medical Education (GME) Ombuds Program offers house staff (interns, residents and fellows) a neutral, independent and confidential resource designed to foster autonomous resolution of workplace issues.

Our Services

The GME Ombuds Program provides mediation services related to resolving conflicts, disputes and complaints through an informal setting. From providing guidance on how to best navigate issues to clarification on policies and procedures, the Ombuds Program empowers house staff to advance their capacity to independently address workplace and interpersonal problems.

The role of the ombudsperson is to serve as a neutral, independent and confidential resource for house staff (interns, residents and fellows). House staff may bring any workplace issue to the ombudsperson. These issues can range from interpersonal conflicts to questions about administrative policies and procedures.

Bob Towner-Larsen, Physician Coach and GME Ombudsman

Bob is a physician coach and ombudsman at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. In this role, he coaches attendings and house staff and facilitates workshops. He is certified by the International Ombudsman Association. Prior to this position, Bob served as a consultant and coach in The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Human Resource department. He has also counseled faculty and staff in The Ohio State University’s Office of Career Development. Prior to joining Ohio State, he held positions in the student affairs offices at Kenyon College, Grinnell College and Princeton University. Bob has studied philosophy, religion and psychology.

Contact the GME Ombuds Office

Please contact GME Ombudsman Bob Towner-Larsen by calling 614-293-6309.

To protect the privacy and protection of house staff, the GME Ombuds Office does not communicate via email.

The GME Ombuds Office is located at:
Room 080A
Brain and Spine Hospital
300 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Principles of Practice

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center follows the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) Standards of Practice and its core values of independence, impartiality, confidentiality and informality.

  • Informal — Our goal is to help house staff resolve any issues informally. We do not lead formal investigations, judge, arbitrate, or act as a witness in any administrative proceedings. Any communication and interactions are “off the record.”
  • Neutral — While the ombudsperson advocates for members of the GME community, the focus is on fair and balanced processes and open communication. Therefore, the ombudsperson will not side with any persons or points of view.
  • Independent — The ombudsperson is empowered to act independently from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s administrative structure. However, the ombudsperson issues an annual report, which provides general data on volume and types and patterns of issues to the chief medical officer, the Office of Graduate Medical Education and the vice dean for education.
  • Confidential — The ombudsperson does not report on the content and specifics of individual cases and thus protects individuals’ confidentiality. However, the exceptions to confidentiality are when an imminent threat of harm exists, the participant gives permission to share information, or if there is a legal requirement to report a situation.

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