My fellow Texas Aggies are no doubt familiar with the name “Quack Shack”, the less than complimentary old Army nick name for the campus health center at Texas A&M. Sadly, many college campus health centers suffer from similarly undeserved negative images, despite being staffed with excellent, well-trained, caring, compassionate physicians, nurses and other providers. Please look closely at your campus clinic’s website to fully explore what is available at your (or your college student’s) school. At the end of the day, I can only speak with authority about the University Health Services at the University of Texas in Austin, because I work part-time in the urgent care department. However, after two decades working in the private practice sector in Austin, I have been very impressed with the quality of care at UT, and would love to share with fellow parents and their students what they can expect.
Our Urgent Care is mostly what you think plus MORE- we treat accidents (bicycle, car, skateboards, high heels, curbs, slippery sidewalks…), sports injuries, concussions, broken bones and cuts requiring stitches (yes, we have X-rays and ultrasound, but no CT or MRI scanners). We administer IV fluids for dehydration from GI bugs and over-indulgent weekends. We treat migraines, asthma attacks, sore throats, pneumonia, urinary infections, kidney stones, and eye infections. We regularly deal with emergencies that we can assess but need to transfer to a full emergency room, like appendicitis, gall stones, sickle cell crisis and diabetic emergencies. Testing for sexually transmitted infections is available in multiple departments, and can be scheduled online.
Sports Medicine doctors provide both initial and follow up care for sprains, strains and fractures, including splints, casting, plus rehab tools and instructions, including physical therapy.
Women’s health provides routine care for breast and pelvic issues, including STD and birth control education, testing and prescriptions.
Nutrition services include one on one appointments with a registered dietitian for all types of dietary counseling.
We have three General Medicine clinics, where students can connect with a primary care physician and schedule appointments for both routine and acute problems. Please encourage your students who take any* prescription medications on a regular basis to go in early in the semester, before they are sick, to get established with a doctor. We treat depression, anxiety, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, bleeding disorders, etc.- all chronic conditions. We also partner with counselors and psychiatrists through both our integrated health providers and our mental health colleagues in the CMHC (Counseling and Mental Health Center.) Thanks to modern medicine, we have many students who have inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatic diseases, or childhood cancer survivors on complex immune suppressive treatments, and we’d love to connect with them before they are acutely ill. *The only exception is that UT’s Health Services does NOT prescribe ADD medications.
We have a separate Allergy & Immunology department to handle routine and travel (think study abroad or spring breaks) vaccinations, as well as prescription allergy shots. They will work directly with your student’s home allergist to continue immune therapy. Will remind here- GET YOUR FLU VACCINE!! We have huge campus-wide clinics for flu shots each September.
If you student needs advice or isn’t sure whether or not they should come in, have them call our 24 hour nurse hotline: (512) 475-6877.
Appointments and more info are at https://healthyhorns.utexas.edu.
BOTTOM LINE: Current Longhorn students, check us out at HealthyHorns.utexas.edu! College students everywhere else, check out your university clinic before heading off campus.