Everyone’s college experience is different. With so many different activities and resources available today, the last thing you want to do is find a doctor when you're healthy. At some point or another, every college student runs into the same thing, and no, it’s not that exam you didn’t know was in 3 hours! At some point, almost every, if not every, college student will get sick.
While some students live within driving distance to their family doctor, the vast majority of students are from out of town and are left with the often confusing task of finding a local doctor. Whether you are a college student or the parent of a college student, this article is designed to help you find a great doctor.
“Why should I find a doctor? I’m a healthy college student”
If you are a college student, you might be asking, “I’m young and generally healthy. Should I even seek out a doctor if I’m not sick, and why should I?” Here are some reasons you might consider finding a physician in college:
The Flu. The flu infects 1 in 4 college students every year, making it pretty likely that a student will get it at some point during their college career. Having a doctor that can diagnose your symptoms and get you the correct medicine can prevent weeks of missed school and fun.
Food poisoning is also very common on college campuses. With many dining halls often resembling a giant buffet line, and food possibly touching contaminated surfaces, it can be easier to get the stomach bug or food poisoning. Find out more about food poisoning in our blog!
Stress. If college students understand anything, it is stress. For the first time, you are learning to balance a social life, school, and extracurricular activities all by yourself. This can lead to a lot of stress never felt before and can lead to mental health problems and even physical illnesses related to stress like pink eye. Having a physician that can get you professional help or medicine.
These three tips are some of the many reasons that you should look into doctors when you move off to college, if not just to give your mom peace of mind!
So once you have committed to finding a doctor… how do you do it? With so many doctors and so many different types, it is overwhelming at the start of your search, so here are 5 tips to help you get started:
The first, and probably the most obvious, is to look up doctors on Google! Websites like Healthgrades.com are a great place to find reviews of doctors in the area you are moving to.
Ask your previous doctor! If you have a family doctor that you trust, ask them if they can recommend a doctor
Ask your insurance provider the names of doctors in your area that take your insurance. This can be a quick way to eliminate choices and narrow down your search!
Ask yourself what is most important to you? For example, you may be limited in your choices if you don't have a car or reliable public transit, so you'd need to pick a doctor within walking distance.
Ask your friends, counselors, and professors. Often great recommendations can come about just by asking those around you, and people tend to trust the advice of people they have met rather than someone over the internet.
With so many different ways to search for doctors and so many different doctors, it is understandably easy to become overwhelmed. But by using the tools available, it is more than possible to find a great doctor. In fact, 68% of people looking for a healthcare provider today start their search online, so you can trust that many people have found great doctors using the tools above.
Prepare for your first visit with your new doctor
But what about when you actually take that first visit? A lot of college students can visit a physician for the first time and have a hard time discerning whether or not they are getting the best care possible. Consider bringing a list of questions and concerns with you to your first appointment:
What kind of care are you seeking? While many just need a family physician or general practitioner others might be looking for an OB/GYN, psychiatrist, etc.
Ask to see your doctor’s education and certifications and ask them about their experience. Many people do not ask this question because it might seem rude, but choosing a doctor that has been through all of the right training and has the right experience is important for your health.
What is specialty care like? Some people that have chronic illnesses or conditions may require more than standard care and should ask the doctor in their appointment if they are capable of treating these.
Think of practical questions you need to ask. Do their hours work with your class schedule? Are they available on the weekends and after-hours? These questions can often narrow down your search!
It is important to note while these 3 areas are large areas and will help to gain a better understanding of how good your potential doctor is on your visit, they are not the only questions you should ask.
Learn more about the doctors available at Crimson Care in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Dr. Ramesh Peramsetty -- along with his entire Crimson Care team -- loves working with the Tuscaloosa AL community and college students to get their medical needs met conveniently. The clinic offers three Tuscaloosa locations: Crimson Care Skyland, Veterans Memorial, and First Care on McFarland. All sites offer extended weekday hours and one-stop treatment services, including medical care, x-rays, lab work, and prescription dispensing. Crimson Care is also a state-of-the-art medical facility that keeps electronic medical records available to you digital through our online patient portal. Request prescription refills, complete any necessary patient forms online, review your medical records at any time, and even pay your bill.
Check us out today on our website, or give us a call today at Crimson Care Veterans: (205) 507-1100, Crimson Care Skyland: (205) 507-1119, or First Care: (205) 349-2323.