A photo of all the M1 students standing at their seats at the White Coat ceremony. They are reading from their programs.

Student Affairs

Welcome to the OUWB Student Affairs Office!

Student Affairs' Mission: Student Affairs partners with our students to promote their overall well-being and success as future physicians and individuals. 

Student Affairs' Vision: OUWB Student Affairs will be recognized within the medical education community as a leader in guiding and empowering students along a path of personal and professional development.

Student Affairs' Values:

  • Empathy
  • Equity & Advocacy
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Transparency


The Student Affairs Office is responsible for:  

  • M1 Orientation
  • Academic Support - Study strategies, Learning Techniques, Disability Services Liaison, USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 Board Exam Preparation
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Career Advising - CV Review, Personal Statement Writing, Interviewing Skills, Residency Application Preparation, Match Process Assistance
  • Wellness Coaching
  • Student Organization Support
  • Event Planning - White Coat Ceremony, AOA Induction, Match Day, Honors Convocation, Commencement

The Office of Student Affairs is located in the Center for Medical Student Services (CMSS) suite in 216 O’Dowd Hall.  Please contact the front desk at (248) 370-2767, to make an appointment.

Meet the Student Affairs Team
Student Handbook
MedSync
Counseling and Mental Health

OUWB Student Mental Health Counselors Janae Kinn, LMSW, and Ashley Watters, MA, LPC, NCC, are available to support OUWB students with school, life, and mental health related stressors. Their main focus is providing counseling services to OUWB students. Some common topics students meet with them to explore, process, and/or treat include:

  • Adjustment to medical school
  • Medical student stress and burnout
  • "Imposter Syndrome"
  • Relationship stressors
  • Family stressors
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Death, loss, and grief
  • Health and wellness
  • Self-esteem/identity
  • Mindfulness
  • Self-care
  • Skill building

Dedicated to strengthening student wellness, Janae and Ashley offer workshops and support groups to address a variety of student needs. Other services they provide to students include crisis intervention, advocacy, and connecting students to community resources.

The OUWB Mental Health Counselors approach with students incorporates a person-centered approach, integrated health perspectives, intersectionality, mindfulness, self-care strategies, trauma informed care skills, and evidence-based practices, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing.

Scheduling an Appointment
OUWB mental health counseling services are included in the resources available to all current enrolled OUWB medical students at no additional cost. These services are accessible throughout all years of student medical education. To schedule a counseling appointment with Janae or Ashley, please call the OU Counseling Center at (248) 370-3465 and request to meet with them. If you have questions about the different services Janae and Ashley provide, they are available by phone at (248) 370-4781 and email at ouwbcounselors@oakland.edu . Please note Google Mail may not be the most secure form of communication.
Confidentiality

Counseling services are completely confidential between the student and counselor. Student information will never be shared with anyone without the student’s written consent. This includes sharing information with School of Medicine faculty and staff; information cannot be shared by the counselor without student consent. In rare instances to ensure the safety of the student and others, the counselor may break confidentiality if the student indicates a plan to cause serious harm to themselves or others.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I schedule an appointment through Google Calendar Invite?

Your confidentiality and protected health information (PHI) are of the highest priority. As such, you will be unable to schedule appointments through Google calendar. While this may cause inconvenience, there are risks associated with calendar sharing that could result in unwanted sharing of your PHI or the PHI of others. 

Q: Do medical schools and residency programs have access to information I share in sessions?

Think of your counseling record as protected health information (PHI) that may only be shared with your permission. Even with your permission, the OUWB Mental Health Counselor may share information from your record, but cannot release the record itself. The OUWB Medical School does not have access to your mental health records, and therefore would be unable to share them with residency programs.

 Q: What is in my record and who has access to it?

Minimal information related to assessment, safety, treatment plan goals/progress, and treatment interventions are included in your record. Only yourself and the counselor have access to your records. The OU Counseling Center and Graham Health Center may also have access to your records, though they will not be viewing your information unless you are working with one of their staff members.

You may request your record at any time, and the counselor may determine whether this request will be accommodated. Additionally, you may give written permission to have your information shared with another source, though your record itself will not be released. There are a few rare exceptions to this rule, such as a subpoena for the records from a court of law.

Q: What is counseling?

Per the National Association of Social Workers, “The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet basic and complex needs of all people, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.” Social work takes into account how both a person’s environment (external factors such as home, school, work, family, friends, community) and their person (internal factors such as genetics, health, social history or life experiences, identity, mental health, beliefs) impact a person’s situation and outlook. Using this lens, social workers can assess and intervene to help clients learn how to cope with stressors or to empower clients to create change.

Q: What does a counselor do?

Counselors work in a variety of places, including: hospitals, clinics, schools, private practices, juvenile justice systems, prisons, homeless and domestic violence shelters, child and adult protective services, foster care agencies, senior centers, nursing homes, and grassroot community organizations. They can hold a variety of jobs, such as mental health/substance abuse therapists, advocates, crisis interventionalists, case managers, community organizers, program evaluators, managers or directors of non-profits, community educators, and faculty in academia.

Q:  Is a social worker the same thing as a licensed therapist?

In the state of Michigan, a social worker or professional counselor who has completed their Master of Social Work/Master of Counseling, passed the national clinical licensing exam, and has at least 3,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical work can receive their LMSW or LPC credentials. An LMSW, or Licensed Master of Social Work or an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) are eligible to provide psychotherapy.

For more information on who is qualified to provide mental health therapy, please visit National Alliance on Mental Health and Therapist Aid.