Medical Student Health

Approved by Executive committee 9/17/15.

Health Requirements for Entering Students

Each student must submit a completed health record and immunization records prior to July 31. All documentation must be submitted through Castlebranch, Inc.

Submission information is available here.

Please note that our immunization requirements are outlined in Castlebranch. The AAMC Standardized Immunization Form is a required form, but does not outline our immunization requirements. It is extremely important that the immunization history with dates as well as the history of current screening for tuberculosis be completed. Serologic tests may be substituted in lieu of an immunization history. Each history will be reviewed, and further recommendations may be made for follow-up testing or information.

Prevention

Maintaining good physical health is critical as a medical care provider. To help assure educational success, the School has designed specific and firm health guidelines. Students have the complete support of faculty and staff in managing good health and accessing any medical resources you may need.

One of the most effective defenses against infectious disease is understanding the causes and modes of transmission. This leads to behavioral changes that reduce the spread of infection. The School will continually emphasize prevention regarding HIV and other communicable diseases where appropriate.

Student Health Services works to help students avoid medical problems that are preventable, correct medical problems that can be treated, and assist in managing medical problems that are not correctable. Several requirements and procedures help Student Health Services meet these goals.

Required Vaccinations

By virtue of working in a clinical setting, students may be at risk of acquiring infectious diseases and/or spreading infectious diseases to patients and other health care workers. Many of these infections are preventable by immunization or standard infection control. For these reasons, mandatory procedures and immunizations must be met by all students before they may participate in any clinical program or activity. This requirement is in accordance with LCME element 12.7 listed below:

"A medical school follows accepted guidelines in determining immunization requirements for its medical students."

Tuberculosis

Although tuberculosis generally is prevented by proper infection control, transmission in health care settings can occur. Upon entering medical school, students are required to have a negative series Two step PPD (administered three weeks apart) or a negative Interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA). Either of these must be within six months of arriving at BSOM. Students must receive an annual screening for tuberculosis including one of the following:

  • PPD (Mantoux) skin test or Interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) if previous skin tests have been negative, or
  • Evidence of chest x-ray if PPD skin test is positive, or
  • Evidence of chest x-ray if a student has received BCG and PPD is positive or evidence of chest x-ray if student has had INH treatment.

Chickenpox (Varicella)

Chickenpox is a highly contagious infection that causes significant illness in non-immune adults or immunocompromised patients. Knowledge of one’s immune status could help decrease the risk of infection and the potential for spreading the disease. Students are required to have a varicella titer. If serologic data is negative, vaccination is required.

Rubella

Medical students can acquire rubella from patients. The infection has devastating effects on the fetus. Infected medical students could spread the infection to pregnant patients and other health care workers. Each student must provide a written statement of laboratory evidence showing significant antibody titer to rubella.

Rubeola

Individuals born before 1957 are most likely immune to rubeola. Those people born after 1957 are considered to be immune if laboratory evidence of antibodies to the rubeola virus exists or if that person has been adequately immunized. A serum antibody titer indicating immunity to rubeola (measles) is required.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

The transmission rate of hepatitis B with an accidental percutaneous exposure is high, and consequences of infection may be severe. In addition to the serious health risks, non-immune students put career goals in jeopardy if they become chronic hepatitis B carriers. Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all health care workers who are exposed to blood or blood products and who handle needles or instruments that could have been contaminated with a patient's blood or serum. This vaccine is proven to be safe and effective. Students are required to have a titer. If serologic data is negative, vaccination is required followed by another titer.

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis

The Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap) booster is required every 10 years for medical students, but must be received within 5 years of matriculating to BSOM.

Influenza

Due no later than October 31st of each year of medical school.

Pregnant Students

All pregnant students should consult their obstetrician before receiving HBIG, hepatitis B vaccine, or any viral vaccine.

Refusal of Immunizations

If a student refuses the hepatitis immunization series, the School will require a signed waiver that the immunization was required and that refusal of the immunization places the student at increased risk of infections.

Health, Life & Disability Insurance

Students are required to have health, disability, and life insurance coverage. Comprehensive group plans are available through the School. Because they are group plans, costs are less expensive than if comparable coverage were purchased as an individual. Should students receive comparable health insurance through a spouse, parent, military or medicaid at no charge, they are not required to purchase health insurance coverage through the School, provided one properly completes a waiver form and provides proof of coverage. Students are charged for insurance as part of their tuition bill, which is sent from the Bursar. Detailed information on students’ health, life and disability benefits are available on the School’s web site. Students are covered both in- and out-of-network. It is less expensive to receive care from an in-network provider.

Requirements for health and disability insurance is stipulated in LCME element 12.6:

“A medical school ensures that health insurance and disability insurance are available to each medical student and that health insurance is also available to each medical student’s dependents."

Last edited on 05/23/2018.