What is the Counselling and Guidance Section?

A Section of OMSB that aims to support OMSB Trainee in areas related to:

Ø  The Academic Performance

Ø  The Physical Health

Ø  The Emotional Wellbeing

It aims to maximize their personal and professional productivity.

Examples of issues The Counselling and Guidance Section can help with:

1.      Difficulties making progress in training

a.       Exam failure

b.       Poor organization

2.   Problems in clinical performance

a.       Poor clinical judgment

b.       Lack of knowledge

c.       Lack of skills

d.       Critical Incidents

3.      Personal organization

a.       Poor timekeeping

b.        Communication difficulties

c.       Team working difficulties

4.      Signs of not coping

a.       Erratic, emotional behavior, anger

b.       Negative attitude

c.       Failure to answer pager

d.       Frequent sick leave

e.       Defensive reactions to feedback

5.      Career support and advice

Any OMSB Trainee can attend any number of times and any year of training
Types of Referrals:

1-      Self-referral.

2-      Program Referral via the training program. 

We are a team that includes a senior consultant psychiatrist, who participates in assessments and follow up management. There are other staff members who focus on Administration and co-ordination of the services.

An initial assessment occurs on a one-to-one basis, between the Trainee and a staff member of the Counselling and Guidance Section. Further appointments and a management plan are arranged, following the initial assessment.

Significant effort is made to treat all information provided to the Section in a confidential and respectful manner.

Additionally, during training, Trainees may become ambivalent or disillusioned regarding their career choices, but are unaware of how to do address this.

be affected by factors on many levels. There may be issues relating to the actual training process,

Frequently, there are also multiple life issues to be dealt with, apart from work demands. Trainees, like the patients they treat, experience sickness, sadness, suffering and death. They are often burdened with financial demands and female trainees in particular, may struggle with balancing a family life and the other cultural expectations of her role. The performance of a trainees will fluctuate throughout their training. This is normal, but when there are signs of a noticeable decline in performance or a failure to progress in training, it indicates that external factors may be overwhelming a Trainee’s performance and additional support may be beneficial.

OMSB has recognized these issues and that maximizing the work performance, biopsychosocial health and the overall well-being of Trainees is an important part of ensuring their success in the Training process. It has also acknowledged that providing a confidential and supportive environment, for Trainees to address their concerns, is necessary. OMSB has therefore established The Counselling and Guidance Section to provide support and assistance where needed.

Residency Training is a challenging time in a doctor’s professional career. Work performance may

such as poor study techniques, exam stress and communication difficulties.

Unfortunately, due to many reasons, such as concern about stigma, doctor’s struggling to acknowledge their own weakness and worry over the potential impact on their careers, Trainees may struggle on or even withdraw from training, rather than address their underlying issues.

Why is there a Counselling and Guidance Section?

How to Access Our Section?

The referral process requires a completed referral form, available either online at www.omsb.org or from the Program Administrators. Please note that there are two different Referral Forms; one for Self-Referral, the other for Program Referral

It is preferred that the referral be sent to The Counselling and Guidance Section, via email to arrange an appointment for assessment purpose.

If you are Self-Referring, you need to complete the Self-Referral Form and sent it to us. If it is a Program Referral, the program will send in the Referral Form.

The process of providing support to the Trainees is:  

·     An initial assessment occurs on a one-to-one basis, between the Trainees and a staff member of the Counselling and Guidance Section.

·      Further appointments and a management plan are arranged, following the initial assessment.

·      Significant effort is made to treat all information provided to the Unit in a confidential and respectful manner.

Counselling and Guidance Team


Dr. Asma Al Balushi

(Director of Trainees Affairs Department)

Dr. Saif Salam Al Hashmi

(Senior Consultant Psychiatrist) 

 

Mrs. Noura Al Hadhrami

(Head of the Counselling and Guidance Section)


Mrs. Mashael Al Sabahi

(Wellness Specialist)

Providing Biopsychosocial assessments for OMSB Trainees in difficulty and where appropriate, ongoing support

a.       These assessments will be provided on a one-to-one basis.

b.       Assessments will be provided for trainees who:-

·       Self-refer

·      Are referred by a Program Director/ Chairman of Education Committee due to concerns related to a trainee’s academic or non-academic performance.

·         Are on probation and/or a remedial program.

c.       An assessment interview will consider the individual trainee’s issues and needs. It will assess how biopsychosocial issues are impacting on their academic and non-academic performance.

d.      Following the initial assessment, a decision will be made, together with the Trainee, regarding further management.

Support for Academic and Work Performance Difficulties

Listed below are the general areas covered by the term “Performance difficulties in residency training”:-

a)      Attitude and behaviour issues.

This is a broad area and includes, but is not limited to,

·         Anger

·         Impulsive and erratic behaviour

·          Recurrent absenteeism

·          Lack of confidence

·         Difficulty dealing with conflict in the workplace

·         Poor professional attitudes and behaviours 

b)      Communication difficulties

·         Finding it difficult to work in a team

·         Communication difficulties with staff and/or patients and/or carers.

·         Failure to answer calls at work

·         Not being available to do work when at work.

c)      Clinical performance difficulties

·         Clinical mistakes

·         Critical incidents

·         Lack of knowledge

·         Lack of skills

d)      Unsatisfactory Progress in meeting training expectations

·         Poor organisational skills

·         Difficulty dealing with prioritisation

·         Exam failure

·         Poor record keeping

·         Difficulty meeting deadlines

·         Poor leadership

·         Case note inadequacy

e)      Exam failure

f)       Health and disability issues

·         Frequent sick leave

·         Over and under motivation

·         Change of physical appearance

As seen above, the term, “Performance Difficulty”, is very broad. Trainees may encounter one or more of these throughout the course of their training. There is no limit to the number of times that a trainee may attend the Counselling and Guidance Section.

Counselling

After an initial assessment at the Counselling and Guidance Section, a Management plan is developed to address the issues that were uncovered during the assessment.

Frequently, Counselling is an important part of the management plan.

Counselling can be provided free of charge on an appointment basis through the Counselling and Guidance Section.

The frequency of sessions and the total duration of the counselling depends on individual need and on the underlying problem. This will be decided upon between the trainee and the Counselor.

Education Activities

Providing Education on topics aimed at maximizing a trainee's performance and biopsychosocial wellbeing.

a.       Educational activities will be provided for OMSB trainees and for all medical staff that are directly involved in OMSB Resident training.

b.      Education will be provided through

·         Workshops

·         Lectures

·         E-Resources

Providing Career Support and Guidance

a.       Career support and guidance will be provided for trainees that are considering leaving an OMSB training program.

b.      Career support and guidance will be provided to trainees considering or requesting a transfer from one OMSB training program to another program.

c.       Career support and guidance will be provided for trainees considering further study overseas.

d.     Career support and guidance will be provided for trainees concerned about their career choice.

Referral from a Residency Program

a.       The Chairman/Program Director may contact the Counselling and Guidance Section to discuss an area of concern related to a Trainee's performance or wellbeing. This contact may be made via email (counselling@omsb.org) or per phone.

b.      If an Assistant Program Director or A member of Education Committee wishes to discuss/refer a case to the Counselling and Guidance Section, they need to discuss this with the Program Director/Chairman prior to referral.

c.       If appropriate, attempts will be made to assist the Chairman/Program Director in managing the trainee's issue internally.

d.      If step (b) is considered inappropriate, or step 2 has been trialed and failed, then a referral can be made directly to the Counselling and Guidance Section for a face-to-face assessment of the trainee.

e.       A referral is required in writing from the Chairman or Program Director. The referral process requires a completed referral form, available either online at www.omsb.org or from the Program Administrator.  It is preferred that the referral be sent to the Counselling and Guidance Section, via email. There is a dedicated email address for the Counselling and Guidance Section. The email address is counselling@omsb.org

f.        Issues relating to confidentiality will be discussed in a separate section under “confidentiality”.

Self-referral by a Trainee for assessment and counseling

a.       A trainee may contact the Counselling and Guidance Section directly and request an assessment.

b.      The self-referral process requires that a referral form is completed. This is available either online at www.omsb.org or from the Program Administrators. It is preferred that the referral request is sent to the Counselling and Guidance Section, via email. There is a dedicated email address for the section. The email address is counselling@omsb.org

c.       Following receipt of the referral, an appointment will be arranged with the trainee.

d.      Issues relating to confidentiality will be discussed in a separate section under “confidentiality”.

Guidelines for Eligibility for Assessment by the Counselling and Guidance Section

a.      All trainees that self-refer.

b.    Trainees, who are identified, by their respective Education Committee and/or Program Director, as experiencing “difficulty in training”. This may be demonstrated by a change in academic performance or an emotional or behavioral change.

c.       This referral may occur at any stage of their training. There is no limit to the number of times, during training, that a trainee  may be referred.

d.      All trainees that are on Probation.

e.       All trainees on a Remedial Program.

f.        All trainees who choose to withdraw from an OMSB Training Program or transfer from one specialty to another.

g.      The aim of this assessment is to ensure the trainee’s wellbeing, to potentially provide counselling regarding their further career pathway and to address any other issues as required.

h.   Trainees with physical health issues, if it is assessed by their respective programs or the Healthcare Committee that they require assessment and would benefit from additional support.

Guidelines for Eligibility for Counselling/Support. 

a)      Counselling is available for trainees who self request it, for issues impacting on their work performance.

b)      Counselling is available for trainees who have been assessed by the Counselling and Guidance Section and found to have underlying issues that are impacting on their training.

c)      Where Counselling is recommended, following an assessment by the Counselling and Guidance Section, the trainee may request to receive this treatment from an outside provider. This will be at the trainee’s own expense.

·         If the trainee was referred by their respective OMSB program, the Counselling and Guidance Section will provide a progress letter to the respective program.

·         If the trainee is receiving treatment from an external agency, then proof of attendance is required by the Counselling and Guidance Section. This will be forwarded to the respective Program Director/Chairman.

Guidelines Regarding Confidentiality and the Counselling and Guidance Section

a.       Every attempt will be made to treat information disclosed to the Counselling and Guidance Section, regarding individual trainees, in a confidential and respectful manner.

b.      No information may be revealed to anyone outside the OMSB organization.  (For the purpose of these guidelines, trainers and supervisors, directly involved in a trainee’s training, are considered part of the OMSB organization.)

c.       In the event of the following, an exception is made to (b) and information may be disclosed outside of the OMSB organization:-

                    i.            There is a significant risk of suicide or self-harm to the trainee.

                    ii.            There is a significant risk of homicide or harm to others. This includes, but is not  limited to patient safety.

                   iii.            The trainee provides written consent for information to be disclosed outside of the OMSB organization.

d.      If, following assessment, a trainee requires further counselling and management, only essential information will be provided in a progress report to the original referrer.

e.       All formal written correspondence from The OMSB Counselling and Guidance Section will be copied into the trainee’s official OMSB file.

f.        All information that is documented by the Counselling and Guidance Section will be stored in a confidential manner and maintained in a separate filing system from the trainee’s official OMSB file.

g.      Notes will be taken during the assessment and any follow up sessions. These notes are clinical business records. These records are the sole property of the Counselling and Guidance Section, of OMSB.

Guidelines regarding Treatment Provision by the Counselling and Guidance Section

a.       In the event that a trainee may require medication, as part of the management of their difficulties, this will not be provided through OMSB and appropriate medical assessment must be sought.

b.      OMSB strongly advises against OMSB trainees self-prescribing any medication.

c.       OMSB recommends regular monitoring of any prescribed medication or diagnosed medical condition.

FAQs for the OMSB Counselling and Guidance Section

1.      What are the services provided at the OMSB Counselling and Guidance Section?

Assessment and Counselling, Career Support and Educational Resources.

2.      Who is eligible for the services provided by the Counselling and Guidance Section?

-       Any OMSB trainee can request the services.

-       Any number of times and at any year of training.

3.      What are types of referrals available at the Counselling and Guidance Section?

Trainees can self-refer or can be referred by the Programs Education Committee.

4.      How can I get an appointments at the Counselling and Guidance Section?

It is preferred that the referral be sent to the Counselling and Guidance Section, via email to arrange an appointment for assessment purposes.

If you are Self-Referring, you please complete the Self-Referral Form and send it to us. If it is a Program Referral, the program will send the Referral Form. (for Forms click here)

Appointments can also be arranged through phone calls at: +968 24181160 / +96824181072

5.      How are the services provided?

An initial assessment occurs on a one-to-one basis, between the trainee and a staff member of the Counselling and Guidance Section. Further appointments and a management plan are arranged, following the initial assessment.

6.      Will anyone from my program know if I come to the Counselling and Guidance Section?

If you self-referral, your program will not be notified about it. Every attempt will be made to treat information disclosed to the Performance and Wellness section, regarding individual trainees, in a confidential and respectful manner.

Read more about confidentiality here .

7.      Does the Counselling and Guidance Section provide any medications?

In the event that a trainee may require medication, as part of the management of their difficulties, this will not be provided through OMSB and appropriate medical assessment must be sought.

Read more about treatment provision here .

8.      How can I contact you?

You can contact us through telephone numbers: +968 24181160 / +96824181072

Or e-mail us at: counselling@omsb.org

Our office is at the OMSB building in Bawshar (North Azaiba), in the 3rd floor.

Mrs. Noura Al Hadhrami (Head of the Counselling and Guidance Section)

 Telephone: 24181072


E-mail: noura.m@omsb.org

 Mrs. Mashael Al Sabahi (Wellness Specialist)

 Telephone: 24181160


E-mail: mashael.s@omsb.org

Section's Email

Our E-mail address is: counselling@omsb.org  

Our Office - OMSB

At the OMSB building in Bawshar (North Azaiba),

Way No. 4443, Bldg. 18, Block 244, Plot. 404

Muscat, Sultanate of Oman www.omsb.org