Our team of medical providers is experienced working with college-aged students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We hope you will feel comfortable approaching us with any medical issue or question you may have and that you will let us know how we might best support you during your time at Colgate.
Please review the Student Information page for information that applies to all new students – domestic and international.
Please also carefully review New York State and Colgate University’s Mandatory Immunization Requirements.
The United States does not provide socialized medical care and currently, there is no national system of health insurance coverage that will cover foreign nationals. Consequently, Colgate University requires all international students to have health insurance through a non-government provider.
Unless otherwise exempted, you must purchase the Colgate Basic Student and Accident Insurance Policy. The Colgate policy has been specifically designed for college students. In developing this policy, Colgate has worked with its insurance carrier to strike a reasonable balance between cost and comprehensive coverage. The plan includes benefits for medical evacuation and repatriation.
If you wish to purchase a health insurance plan that provides greater coverage than the Colgate plan you may do so. If you already have insurance and do not wish to purchase the Colgate University policy, you may submit a waiver by providing proof of purchase, dates of validity, proof of repatriation coverage and other details.
For further health insurance information, please see our Health Insurance page or contact Student Health Services at 315-228-7750.
In the United States, unlike those countries with nationalized health care, fees are charged for all health services received. The cost of those services generally increases with the level of care provided, with “primary care” services being the least expensive and “emergency care” or “hospitalization” being the most expensive. While a student at Colgate, your student tuition covers the majority of costs associated with any visit to Student Health Services. Colgate’s required health insurance is intended to help defer the costs of other medical services, should they be necessary. Please see the description below.
In the United State, for most illnesses, injuries, and preventive health care, people usually go first to their “primary care provider” – similar to your family doctor or health practitioner at home.
For Colgate students, Student Health Services (SHS) will be your primary care provider. That means that for most of your medical needs you should start with SHS. If necessary, we will make a referral to other community providers. For a listing of the services we provide, please refer to our Services page. (To assist us in addressing your health care needs, you may want to bring copies of your personal medical records with you to Colgate,)
Student Health Services provides some limited “specialty” medical services, including sexual health care, travel health consultations, limited laboratory testing, allergy shots, and some medication. Additional “specialized” services for mental health counseling, alcohol and substance abuse and nutrition counseling are available from our campus Wellness Partners.
Should you require specialized care that is beyond what is available on campus we can assist in helping you locate a community provider. It is important to know that In the United States, medical providers, both primary care physicians and specialists, must be trained and licensed to practice medicine.
If you should require dental or vision care while you are studying in Hamilton, a list of local providers may be found here: Dental Services; Vision Care
Should you experience an urgent health concern when Student Health Services is closed, you are encouraged to visit Hamilton’s urgent care facility, located adjacent to Student Health Services and immediately behind Community Memorial Hospital. Visit Community Memorial Hospital’s Urgent Care page for hours and more details.
For life-threatening health problems – such as traumatic injuries, breathing problems, high fever, alcohol poisoning, mental health crises, etc. – you should contact Colgate’s Office of Campus Safety or go directly to Community Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department. If necessary, Campus Safety will dispatch an ambulance to your location. Campus Safety’s emergency contact number is: 315-228-7911
If you take prescription medications or use a medical device, be sure to read guidelines on Traveling with Medication from the US Customs and Border Protection website.
Please arrange for prescription renewals and/or a supply of medications for the time you will be in the United States. All medications should be stored in their original containers.
When you need additional medication, Student Health Services can look up your medication in an international database to determine the closest product available in the United States.
If you are currently in the United States, we encourage you to contact Student Health Services (315-228-7750) prior to your arrival regarding any transfer of prescriptions from within the United States.
If you wear glasses or contact lenses, you should bring a copy of your current prescription, in case they need to be replaced.
Americans consider emotional well-being as an important aspect of overall health care.
Increasingly in the United States, international students are utilizing university counseling centers to assist them in addressing issues related to transition, adjustment, academic, and personal or family related concerns.
Sharing very personal or private information with a professional counselor may be a new experience for some international students, especially for those more accustomed to sharing problems with friends or family members. However, Colgate’s Office of Counseling and Psychological Services routinely sees international students for a variety of issues ranging from coping with cultural shock to depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. To schedule an initial appointment with a counselor, please call 315-228-7053.
All Student Health Services are confidential by law. See Confidentiality for details.
Medical care at Student Health Services is strictly confidential.
The privacy and confidentiality of your health record are protected by law. Colgate University’s health records are maintained through a secure electronic health records (EHR) system and are completely separate from all other University records. Student Health Services will not release any of your health information without your written permission, except in the following instances:
Similarly, Student Health Services does not routinely share information about your care with parents, faculty, or deans without your permission. Health information will be discussed with parents and faculty only at your request and with your written permission.
If you have any concerns about the confidentiality of our services, please speak with one of your healthcare providers.