Over the past several months, students have suffered through mono, the flu, bronchitis, and the common cold, without access to frequent care on campus. The college Health Center has only one physician — who is only available for one hour, from 8 to 9 a.m.
To combat health issues better, the college should either hire a full-time doctor or find a way to make a doctor more available to students. This is a problem worth prescribing a solution.
First, the Health Center needs a doctor on call. It should be a way for students to seek quick non-emergency medical help, but, in its current form, students who require prescriptions or a professional opinion often have to return the next day. Since students have class in the morning, this is often difficult.
Second, the single hour of availability results in long wait times for those seeking help. This sometimes means only students free from 8 to 10 a.m. can consult the doctor and would have to miss class if the wait times ran too long.
We see two main options for fixing the problem. First, the college could certify one of the current Health Center nurses as a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. That way, the college will have an employee available full-time to help students with medical issues quickly, without requiring them to return in the next morning.
Second, the college could hire Dr. Andrew Scholl, PA-C, the current physician at the Health Center, outright. He is an excellent physician, and the Health Center would benefit from him working primarily from their office. Though he does practice elsewhere, discussing options with him is a good first step.
The need for a permanent physician at the Health Center should be foremost. We have survived one year of coughing, sneezing, and sore throats, but we should not enter Fall 2017 without proper medical coverage.