Preparing for Medical Needs at UC Davis

Overview of Preparing for Medical Needs At UC Davis

Students attending college face many decisions that they may not have considered while living at home with family. Many students are not familiar with making decisions about their medical care. It is important to prepare yourself with the information and skills to handle these decisions. The following are topics that you should consider before coming to UC Davis. Remember that your parents, family members and friends can be good resources while going through this process.

Pre-College Health Exam

A pre-college health exam is something that a student should consider. This is a good opportunity for you to discuss moving away to college and consider immunizations that you might need. This is also a good time to have your provider transfer a medical history and information about your care that might be helpful to have on file at student health.

Medical History

Make sure you have important pieces of your medical history or health information to keep with you for times where you may need to access care away from home. Information on the following topics are helpful to discuss or have available when receiving care from a new provider.

  • Allergies (especially allergies to medications)
  • Chronic conditions*
  • Current medications (includes prescription and over the counter medications, herbal and dietary supplements and vitamins)
  • Immunization records
  • Prior surgery

If you are receiving regular care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, colitis, etc., you can have your home treating provider prepare a summary letter detailing your condition(s). Students with chronic health conditions should set up an establish care visit with their new SHCS primary care provider upon arrival to UC Davis.

Students can submit their medical history online through Health-e-Messaging. Students can also deliver (in-person), send, or fax us their summary letters and medical records. Students should remember to include their name and date of birth on their documentation so we can match it with the their records at student health. A student ID number, if available, is also useful to provide.

Student Health and Counseling Services
ATTN: Medical Records
University of California
1 Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8711
fax: 530.752.5587

UC Davis Immunization Requirements and Recommendations

The University of California (UC) is committed to protecting the health and well-being of our students. All incoming UC students are REQUIRED to obtain specific vaccines and undergo screening for Tuberculosis prior to enrollment. This requirement is satisfied by entering your vaccination dates and completing a Tuberculosis Screening Questionnaire via the Health-e-Messaging website.

Ways to Get your Immunization Records:

  • Call your family doctor or doctor's office for records they have documentation for.
  • Ask your parents or family members if they have a yellow immunization card or any records.
  • Call your high school. Some schools require immunization records and may have copies of your record.

Emergency Contact

Identify individuals who can provide support and advice related to your health care if you have questions or things you don’t understand. This may include individuals other than your parents, like family members or friends, that would be able to assist you with making health-related decisions in an emergency. Keep this contact information in an accessible place, like in your wallet with your insurance card or in your cell phone.

Prescription Medications

  • SHCS requests that you bring all medications to every visit. All current medications will be reviewed with the student to assure safe prescribing and use.
  • Make sure to bring enough prescription medications you might need to last until a refill can be obtained.
  • There is a pharmacy available through SHCS Medical Services at the UC Davis Student Health & Wellness Center and there are several local pharmacies near campus and in Davis.
  • Learn how your insurance plan’s pharmacy benefit works to ensure you obtain your prescriptions in the most cost effective option. If you are on the Student Health Insurance Plan, pharmacy benefit information is available in the "SHIP Plan & Benefits" section of each SHIP academic year information page.

First Aid Kit

The following over-the-counter aids are a good start to developing a first aid kit:

  • Band-Aids, Bandages and Tape
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Tweezers
  • Digital Thermometer
  • Tylenol or Acetaminophen
  • Anti-inflammatory (Advil or Aleve)
  • Sunscreen
  • Antihistamine or Decongestant Tablets
  • Cough Syrup
  • Pepto Bismol
  • Antacid
  • Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Chemical Cold Pack
  • Elastic Wrap (Ace Bandages)

SHCS Medical Services offers many of these over-the-counter products for sale through the Pharmacy at the UC Davis Student Health & Wellness Center. SHCS also offers a package that includes a basic first aid kit and a digital thermometer available for purchase at our facility. The cost is $20 (tax pre-calculated) and the charge would be billed to your campus account.

Health Insurance

The University of California requires all students have health insurance. This may be the UC Davis Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) or a private plan with comparable coverage. Regardless of whether you have UC SHIP or a comparable insurance plan, take time to learn about your health insurance and how it works away from home and out-of-area:

  • Where can you go to receive care? Remember that all students can be seen at SHCS Medical Services at low student rates.
  • What network of providers does your insurance plan cover if you require care outside of SHCS?
  • Do you need to a get authorization for care? If so, from who?

It is also important to remember to carry your insurance card. Even if you can’t answer the questions above about your plan, an insurance card is a tool that will often provide a phone number to call for information when the time arises.

International Students - If you are coming to UC Davis from another country, read this important information for international students about the health insurance requirements at UC Davis.


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