Student health policies of U.S. medical schools

Daniel J. Diekema, Mark A. Albanese, Peter Densen, Bradky N. Doebbeling

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    9 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Background. Medical students are at risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, yet few data are available about U.S. medical schools' policies to protect students. Method. A cross-sectional survey of the student affairs deans at the 126 U.S. medical schools was conducted in May 1994. A confidential questionnaire inquired about policies regarding vaccination for hepatitis B virus (HBV), blood and body-fluid exposures, universal precautions training, and health and disability insurance for students. Results. A total of 108 (86%) of the schools participated in the survey. Most (99, 92%) required either HBV vaccination, evidence of immunity, or a signed waiver refusing vaccination. Nearly all (94, 87%) required health insurance, and almost all (101, 94%) offered a plan (at a mean cost of $690 annually), but fewer schools (69, 64%) offered disability insurance. The schools frequently held students responsible for the costs of HBV vaccination (73, 68%), postexposure serologic testing (22, 20%), and treatment of training- related medical problems (43, 40%). Conclusion. Most medical schools comply with current recommendations for preventing training-related exposures to bloodborne pathogens, illness, and injury, but students face a substantial financial responsibility for these services at a time when many have large debts. Many schools do not have disability insurance readily available for students. Medical schools should review their student health policies to protect students adequately.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1090-1092
    Number of pages3
    JournalAcademic Medicine
    Volume71
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 1996

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education

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