Counseling Services

The Office of Student Affairs is pleased to offer counseling services to all students. The services are aimed at providing professional counseling for personal and academic difficulties. These services include learning support and evaluation services for students experiencing academic difficulties. In addition, counseling is available for career choices that students face as they progress through their training.

There is no cost to students who use this service and all records are confidential. They are NOT part of your medical school file. They are treated as health records and therefore are protected under federal law from being disclosed without your permission.

To request an appointment please contact:

George F. Blackall, Psy.D.
Phone: 717-531-6148
Email: gblackall@psu.edu

Psychiatric services are available for students through Dr Steve Sinderman in the Department of Psychiatry. The cost of these services is capped at $15 per session. Students can make an appointment with Dr. Sinderman by calling 717-531-8338.

Sexual Harassment and Student Ombudsperson

The College of Medicine is committed to upholding the Penn State policy of providing a responsive environment free of intolerance, discrimination, harassment, and coercion. Included in unacceptable behavior is sexual harassment, which is covered under policy AD-41. It is defined as unwelcome sexual advances requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to such conduct:

  • is a condition for grades, academic status, promotion, or employment
  • is used as a basis for academic/employment decisions affecting an individual
  • interferes unreasonably with the individual's academic/work performance or creates an offensive, hostile, or intimidating learning/working environment.

Any member of the College of Medicine Community who experiences sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior that interferes with the learning environment should contact one of the following individuals at this campus for confidential assistance:

  • Liz Frauenhoffer, M.D., Anatomic Pathology, x1673, Room C7706C efrauenhoffer@psu.edu
  • Maryann Havalchak, Medical Advocate/Sexual Harassment, x5188,
  • Brandt Groh, M.D., Pediatric Rheumatology, x8882, Long Lane Building Long 300, bgroh@hmc.psu.edu
  • Tiffanie Keck, Domestic/Sexual Violence Medical Advocate, x5188 tkeck@ywcahbg.org

Students may also contact the Affirmative Action Office at University Park at 814-863-0471.

The resource person does not pressure students into decisions about handling the encounters - they provide support and empower students with information about choices for handling the situation and provide protection against retaliation. An appropriate warning, sometimes in the form of a letter, often terminates the problem without the need to file formal charges with the Affirmative Action Office. The resource person provides assistance if the student decides to file a formal charge with the Affirmative Action Office.

Drs. Groh and Frauenhoffer also serve as ombudspersons for medical and graduate students. In this capacity, they 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."