Students Worried About Virtual Campus Medical Services

The Tang Center and the Disabled Students’ Program, or DSP, primarily provide remote services despite resuming in-person activities on campus.

Managed by University Health Services, or UHS, the Tang Center will continue to provide in-person and virtual options for medical services while the DSP will fully open its office on October 11.

Despite this availability, students reported difficulty accessing virtual and in-person resources.

A campus student noted in a tweet that he attempted to call the DSP staff number several times during business hours and emailed them, but still had no response after four days .

Campus manager Karimah Mukhtar also noted difficulties in accessing medication and appointments at the Tang Center due to the virtual environment. In particular, they said that the blood tests and regular check-ups they needed were “a problem” to organize.

With the opening of in-person school activities, Mukhtar said they believe medical care should not primarily be provided virtually.

“We should have access to these things if we are trying to move forward and things are in person at our university,” Mukhtar said. “It just doesn’t make sense to me to have our classes in person when we can’t access our doctors in person.”

The Tang Center operates primarily through phone appointments and Zoom, according to UHS spokesperson Tami Cate. It also provides limited in-person services for emergency care and students who have requested in-person appointments.

However, according to Cate, in-person counseling sessions are “less productive and less comfortable,” so UHS recommends that students start with remote services before asking to come in person.

“We offer all services in person if preferred, and for remote services we offer phone and video,” Cate said in an email. “Students have options as to how they want to receive their care. “

DSP will continue to offer virtual tours while incorporating more in-person appointments and hospitality hours starting next week, according to DSP executive director Karen Nielson.

According to Nielson, the DSP has delayed the provision of in-person services due to health concerns for students and staff, who may be at greater risk of “severe infection” from COVID-19.

“It is important for DSP to provide excellent services to our students with disabilities,” Nielson said in an email. “I regularly meet with student groups to address emerging concerns and collaborate on improving services. “

Despite concerns expressed by some students about virtual medical resources, Cate said the virtual UHS adjustments had been approved.

“Now and in the future, we’ll likely continue to offer a variety of ways to access care, both in person and virtually,” Cate said in an email. “The students liked the options and the addition of virtual care to our in-person services was well received. “

Contact Lauren Cho and Mia Scher at [email protected].

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