An Apple a Day …

by Staff

There is a secret hidden behind the walls of the big brownbuilding at the bus turnaround. It is Student Health Services — aplace where a bottle of Ibuprofen costs less than a hamburger, areferral for acne medicine is free and vitamins and sunglasses aresold cheap.

There are 70,000 visits to SHS each year from students with nearlyevery type of medical problem, said Kimberly Elliot, SHS interimassistant director. And SHS is not limited to treating physicalillnesses.

Approximately 90 people work at SHS, including a licensedpsychiatrist, dermatologist, optometrist and orthopedist. Spanishsenior Natacha Bogucki said she was unaware that SHS offered servicessuch as free dermatologist appointments.

Bogucki came into SHS for the first time this week and wassurprised at the attention she received. She said she had anappointment with a doctor, had tests done and was even given a fewthroat drops to sample.

“It’s really cool,” Bogucki said. “A lot of people don’t know thatit is free here.”

Basic health care, which includes exams and x-rays, is done freeof cost, but students may have to pay for laboratory costs if asample has to be sent to an outside lab for processing.

Some services, called Augmented Services, also cost a fee. Forexample, a student can have acupuncture, a treatment formusculoskeletal pain, done in three visits for $30. Pharmacyprescriptions and over-the-counter products also charge a fee.

Pharmacist Darrel Dotterman said everything the pharmacy stocks,which ranges from pain relievers to Clean and Clear facial cleanser,is sold at cost, but the products run cheaper than they would at adrugstore.

Dotterman said a 100-tablet bottle of generic Ibuprofen at thedrugstore where he used to work costs $5.50, and SHS sells the sameproduct for $3.25.

Elliot says many students believe that the doctors at a campushealth center are retired, or not qualified. The truth is that theyare all licensed doctors who love to work with college-aged students.

“We love to work here. The people who work here are our family,”Elliot said. “The feeling (of a family) is what we try to convey tostudents.”

Many of the staff are involved in specialized outreach programsaround campus. Employees of the psychiatry department work closelywith Disabled Student Services. There is an office at the AztecRecreation Center where students can ask about physical exercise andnutrition. The Health Promotion team puts on weekly educationalworkshops and special events, such as “Sex in the Dark,” a safe sexprogram that is put on at the Student Life Orientation.

Some of the wellness workshop topics include sexuality, HIV/AIDS,date rape, and healthy social norms. The workshops take place in SHS,classrooms, residence halls and club meetings.

French student Philippe Dorey has attended SDSU for four monthsand went into SHS for the first time two weeks ago after a surfingaccident.

“I went to the beach and broke my ankle and my board,” Dorey said.”The staff has been very nice and accommodating.”

Dorey has been coming into SHS regularly for checkups on his foot.He already has a master’s degree in international trade and businessfrom a university in France, and is here studying English. Dorey saysthat there was nothing like SHS at his school in France.

SHS would like to expand more next year with dentistry services. Amarketing survey was conducted last May, and the students’ firstchoice of what they would like to see at SHS was dentistry. Thesecond choice was optometry, and the optometry department wasintroduced this year.

Students pay $70 as part of their tuition each semester. Thehealth fee covers the basic services of urgent care, family planning,health promotion, minor surgery, x-ray services, laboratory tests andinjections. All immunizations required by the school are done at SHSfree of charge.

For more information or to schedule an appointment at StudentHealth Services, call 594-HEALTH.

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