Role of Faculty
As faculty members here at BSOM, many of you interact with our students on a daily basis and may be the first person to recognize signs in students who would benefit from a referral to the Office of Student Development and Academic Counseling (OSDAC). You may also interact with students who are doing just fine, and yet might benefit from additional support or opportunities for self-development. We have put together some information that we hope will assist you in referring students to the OSDAC.
Signs of distress that BSOM faculty may see in students:
What can OSDAC staff do for me?
- Stated need for help
- Time management problems
- Repeated requests for extensions or special consideration
- Difficulty understanding how to study in medical school
- Dissatisfaction with what they are studying
- Concerns that they are in the wrong occupational field
- Difficulty choosing a possible specialty area, even in their 3rd year of medical school
- Difficulty preparing themselves for residency – i.e. difficulties with CV and/or personal statement preparation
- Excessive test anxiety
- Smells of alcohol on breath or appears to be under the influence of a substance
- Classmates raise concerns about student’s behavior
- Sudden changes in appearance or behavior
- Appears excessively lethargic, moves slowly
- Social withdrawal or disinterest
- Excessively depressed mood, tearfulness
- Makes inappropriate references
- Reports hallucinations
- Displays behavior that is out of the norm for medical students
- Displays disruptive behavior in class
- Makes threatening comments in class or online
The primary mission of Office of Student Development and Academic Counseling, a unit of the Division of Academic Affairs, is to maximize the academic success, personal and professional development of all medical students at the Brody School of Medicine. To achieve this mission, we provide a wide range of services, including consultation services for faculty and staff members on topics related to students’ academic, career and personal success. We also provide outreach services to the Brody community, where we conduct workshops or presentations on topics related to academic and career success, as well as mental health. When appropriate, we also function as a liaison between faculty members and individual students with whom we work. When a student is referred to us, we will provide the appropriate counseling interventions, which include emergency management, academic, career and personal counseling services. When appropriate and necessary, we provide referrals for additional support services that can help the students.
How do I refer students to OSDAC?
If the situation is not an emergency, we generally recommend that the student contacts us directly at (252)744-2500. By encouraging the student to contact us directly, the student can take responsibility for their decision to see a counselor. In addition, the act of calling us can often be an empowering first step for students who want to make changes in their lives. However, if the student feels that he/she needs your assistance in making the first contact with us, you can visit us, call us or e-mail us. The front office staff can also assist you with setting up appointments. You may also complete a student referral form
and fax it to the attention of Dr. Cassandra Acheampong at (252) 744-0722.
What do I do if the situation involves an emergency?
For emergency situations during regular business hours, please visit us in room 4N-51 or call us at (252) 744-2500 and let us know that there is an emergency situation involved. We also appreciate any information you can give us about the student. We will make it a priority to see you or the student as soon as possible. Emergency situations after regular business hours need to be reported to campus police at (252) 744-5080. Students may also be escorted directly to the local hospital emergency service. You may find it helpful to know that the Real Crisis Center offers 24-hour free and confidential crisis intervention counseling at (252) 758-HELP (4357).
What can the students expect when they come to OSDAC?
If it is their first visit, the student will be asked to complete some paperwork. A counselor will then guide the student into a private office where he/she can discuss the situation involved. If the student so desires, the faculty member will be welcomed to join the session, but not required. Conversations with counselors are held in strictest confidence except in situations of suspected abuse, harm to self or others, when court ordered, or when a student gives written permission for information to be released.