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Office of the Ombudsperson

The Ombudsperson Seeks Fair and Equitable Solutions.

The Office of the Ombuds helps people express concerns, resolve disputes, manage conflict and learn more productive ways of communicating.  The Ombudsperson listens to people, offers information about policies and procedures, and helps people examine options for resolving concerns.

The Ombudsperson, when making recommendations, suggests actions or policies that will be equitable to all parties.  When appropriate, the Ombuds may offer to provide mediation, shuttle diplomacy, or facilitate your access to other resources.

The Ombuds Office provides a source of support for students, faculty, trainees and staff who want to develop options for addressing a particular concern, or who may wish to consider learning how to deal with problems of their own.  The Ombudsperson, as a designated neutral, maintains confidentiality concerning matters that are brought to his/her attention unless given permission to do otherwise. The only exception is when there appears to be an imminent threat of serious harm.

The Ombudsperson takes all reasonable steps to protect any records and files pertaining to confidential discussions from inspection by all other persons, including management.

The Ombudsperson does not testify in any formal judicial or administrative hearing about concerns brought to his/her attention.


The Ombuds Office is a Neutral, Safe, and Confidential Place where persons can bring issues with which they are concerned. The Ombudsperson at Yale School of Medicine has several mandates:

  • To serve as a NEUTRAL complaint-handler who attempts to insure that people in the Yale Medical School community are treated fairly and equitably. Any matter in the Yale School of Medicine Community may be discussed with the Ombudsperson. Discussions are not limited in scope and all are held in strict confidence.
  • The Ombudsperson has broad powers of INQUIRY to resolve conflicts and solve problems through mediation, informal third-party intervention and shuttle diplomacy. Although possessing no formal decision-making authority, the Ombudsperson can refer matters to the proper person or office.
  • Where appropriate, the Ombudsperson can assist in NEGOTIATION or in other aspects of problem solving.
  • The Ombudsperson provides A SAFE FORUM to voice concerns and to provide a locus for the discussion of troublesome matters in the Yale School of Medicine Community. The Office can help organize a plan of action and develop options appropriate to the particular issue involved. The Ombudsperson’s Office supplements, but does not replace, the existing resources for conflict resolution and fair practice available at the Yale School of Medicine. The Ombudsperson will discuss, on an individual basis, various options. Discussions with the Ombudsperson are off-the-record and informal, and do not constitute formal notice to the School or University. The Ombudsperson follows no prescribed sequence of steps and does not participate in any formal grievance process.
  • The Ombudsperson’s Office is INDEPENDENT of existing administrative or academic structures.

Contact Us

Merle WaxmanOmbudsperson  
Yale School of Medicine  
333 Cedar Street, SHM L-202  
PO Box 208012  
New Haven, CT 06520-8012

Office: 203.785.4680  
E-mail: merle.waxman@yale.edu

Confidential Line: 203.737.4100

Confidentiality

The Yale Ombudsperson is a member of the International Ombudsman Association (IOA) and practices according to the IOA Code of Ethics and IOA Standards of Practice.  

Confidentiality is maintained by the Office and no formal written records are kept.

Privacy is respected.

No action is taken without permission except for the very rare situation of a serious crime or where there is imminent risk of serious physical harm, and there appears to be no other option except to act without permission.


By talking with the Ombuds Office, you and the ombuds agree that the Ombuds Office will not disclose or keep records of individually identifiable information; we will not testify or participate in any formal proceeding; communications with the ombuds are privileged.  This agreement fosters confidentiality and helps provide a safe and neutral place for discussing any concerns.