r 1 a R
What You Should Know About Health Centers
t the U. of North Carolina, students joke that if you don't have strep throat
or mono, doctors at the campus health center will fit you with a set of crutches.
you would expect from student complaints," says Dr. units, according to Don Peters, president of the
But poor health care is more than just fodder for jokes. Bruce Vukoson, a 14-year veteran of the UNC's American College Health Association.
UNC senior Kim Costello doesn't go to the health health center. "What they've got is a cold and what Larger centers may opt to be reviewed by either the
center anymore unless it's an emergency. She says a they want is an antibiotic. But it's not called for. Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory
campus physician misdiagnosed a benign cyst as a can- Therefore if you don't give me an antibiotic when I've Healthcare or the Joint Commission on the
cerous breast lump and, on a separate visit, prescribed got a cold, you're a bad doctor." Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. Both set
medicine that caused a drug reaction, then failed to high standards for member organizations, but accredi-
recognize the problem. "I've never had any good expe- WO OERSEENG YOUR GENTER? tation is time-consuming, and, for many universities,
riences there," she says. Complaints about student health centers are disturb- prohibitively expensive. Only about 75 centers are
Student health centers have long been put in the ing, considering a regulatory system that is inconsis- accredited.
same category as dining halls - cheap and nearby, but tent at best. Most states require hospitals, nursing Should students be concerned about health centers
nothing to rave about. However, center directors insist homes and other health care organizations to be that are not subject to state regulation or accredita-
student surveys of centers are mostly favorable. Judith licensed and inspected annually, but the laws vary tion? Medical specialists are split over the issue.
Cowan, director of the center at UNC, says surveys from state to state and many of the estimated 1,650 "Problems happen, but some are preventable," says
there show 90 percent of students are satisfied with campus centers are exempt from such oversight. Ginger Whitlock, the director of ambulatory care
the care they receive. But the conventional wisdom of While there is nothing to indicate that student health accreditation services at the JCAHO. "I have concerns
college students seems to render a somewhat different centers offer lower quality care than hospitals and about those [centers] that have not been looked at by a
picture. walk-in clinics, problems in the centers raise concerns third party and the level of care they are providing."
When Alexis Beshara went to a Rutgers U. health about the regulatory loophole. But ACHA's Peters doesn't think regulation of
center for an athletic physical, she was shocked when a Allman's death raised these questions in New York, smaller centers is necessary. "The colleges that are not
center worker told her she was pregnant. accredited do not provide major care. The care
Later, she discovered the center had they provide there cannot put students at risk."
mixed up her drug test with a pregnancy . And even if a university's center isn't state-
test. licensed, the physicians and specialists adminis-
"I just told them, 'I know my hody her- if tering the care must be licensed to practice in
ter than you do. Unless there was an the state.
immaculate conception, I can't be preg- Peters says he is not aware of any push to reg-
nant,' Beshara, a 1990 graduate, told the ulate all student health centers and President
Rutgers U. Daily Targum. Clinton's health care reform plan does not
Budget cuts have forced centers to lay address the issue.
off physicians and limit services, leading
to student complaints about long waits, THE BUDGET QUANDARY
poor care and misdiagnoses. Even more Budget cuts have caused some of the problems
troubhling are lawsuits pending in students address. The combination of rising
California and New York that blame health care costs and dwindling state funding
health center negligence in the death of has put universities - and health centers -in a
two students: bind. Cutbacks have forced student health cen-
How to Win Jobs andInfluence Employers
Rachel Ross can't sleep through the -
night. The U. of Arizona senior
clutches her pillow while she imag-
ines advertising executives wiping
their wingtips with her resum6.
Ross, who started her job search in
September, is one of 1.3 million college
graduates about to enter the already
crowded work force in May.
Although she thinks she did all of the
right things - interning at an ad agency,
earning a 3.8 grade point average, and
sending 200 resumes - Ross has received
only one call for an interview and a pile of
letters for her "wall of rejection." She and
others like her wonder: Is there anything -
you can do to recession-proof yourself, or
is the job market hopeless?
While experts agree that the job market
is tough, they say there is hope - especial-
ly for savvy students who know the tricks of b
Unfortunately, many students are clue- J
less about finding a job, according to
Charley Swayne, a lecturer in the U. of
Wisconsin's marketing department and
author of What a College Senior Should Know When the
Barrel is Empty and the Party is Over. First of all, he
says, don't expect your resume to do all your work for
"Students are so surprised at how few people read
resumes and cover letters," Swayne says. "Employers
get so much of that stuff that it's like junk mail com-
ing through their doors. They'll sift through it, but
it's impossible for them to read it all. Less than 10
percent of job offers are generated by resumes. Today,
the most prevalent way of getting a job is through net-
So to get an edge at a coveted corporation, Swayne
advises shameless schmoozing. When a prospective
employer is visiting a nearby campus, plan a road trip
and subtly corner him or her during the reception. Go
to conventions and job fairs and put your Dale
Carnegie dollars to work.
At the same time, Swayne cautions against obvi- S
says. "Really though, the majority of stu-
dents are going to get a job through net-
Selicia Thigpen, a recruiter for Intel
Corp., a California computer chip manu-
facturer, says experience is crucial.
"In today's economy having just a B.S.
won't do it," Thigpen says. "Internships
and co-ops will make students much more
likely to be employed."
Campus career centers, department bul-
letin boards, professors and academic
advisers are good recources for finding
internships, co-ops and summer jobs.
Being in the right place at the right time
doesn't hurt, either. Thigpen says Intel
u recruits from "a strategic list of schools,"
which includes Purdue U., Stanford U., U.
of Wisconsin and U. of Michigan.
Although not everyone can afford the big
name schools, the National Student
Exchange Program, operating at 107 cam-
puses, allows students to pay tuition to
3 their home schools while actually going
W somewhere else.
"If you're in New Mexico and you go to
school in California, Oregon or Maine and work an
internship there, your resum is going to show that
you've got some seasoning," says Ned O'Malia, direc-
tor of the exchange program at UNM. "It will tell
employers that you know more about the world than
your own little corner."
Of course, even when you do everything right,
sometimes things still fall through. Just ask Ross. "At
first I was optimistic, but now I'm just scared," she
says. "I'm really qualified and I thought these compa-
nies, especially the one I interned for, would jump all
Ross does have a back-up plan, however - she's
scrambling to get graduate school applications post-
marked on time.
"This is a just-in-case kind of thing," she says. "I
haven't given up complete hope, but I'm being cau-
tious. After all of this disappointment, graduate
c school is looking really good." '
David Yandell, a senior at Portland State U.,
thought going to extremes would get him noticed. He
went for a triple major, placed a giant classified ad on
a theater marquee in downtown Portland and
attempted to hoist himself with large helium balloons
to garner publicity. Yandell's antics received media
attention, but few employers responded.
"I hit a certain segment with my eccentricity," he
says, "but it wasn't anything 8 to 4, it wasn't anything
secure.... I don't have connections, but I think I avoid-
ed that route on purpose. I'd like to think I could get a
job on my own merits."
Yandell was surprised that his methods failed, but
"Gimmicks can work with a certain type of execu-
tive, but only do it if it fits your personality," Swayne
,T io UI
* Chandra Mizell, a student at the U. of
California, Santa Cruz, died of a cerebral
hemorrhage after using birth control pills
which a health center doctor prescribed
for her 17 days earlier. Mizell's chart at The regulater
the campus health center revealed her
mother had once suffered a stroke, a warning sign for
doctors prescribing the pill. Both Mizell and her
mother had antithrombin III deficiency, a rare blood-
" Robert Allman Jr., a student at the State U. of
New York, Albany, died after the campus health cen-
ter's staff failed to realize he had ruptured his spleen.
Allman's infirmary roommate told Newsday that
Allman complained to the nurse about his stomach
pains and she "brushed it off."
While doctors acknowledge that mistakes happen,
they say misdiagnoses and other problems are no more
prevalent in campus health centers than at hospitals or
other clinics. Student inexperience and miscommuni-
cation are more likely factors in complaints, according
to doctors and center directors who were interviewed
for this article.
"The actual cases of misdiagnoses are not as high as
tent at best.
where student health centers are outside the purview
of the state health department. "These kinds of inci-
dents certainly point out what would be a problem,"
says William Fagel, a New York health department
spokesman. "There have been a couple of other inci-
dents [at institutions] where really the school is the
only oversight, where they're offering the same sort of
services as a walk-in clinic." But even after Allman's
death, the health department did not have jurisdiction
North Carolina statutes require unannounced
inspections of most health care organizations, includ-
ing hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and
ambulatory surgical facilities, according to Jesse
Goodman of the state facilities licensure office.
However, campus health centers are exempt from this
oversight. The same is true in 39 other states.
Many of the larger centers are required to be
licensed, because they are considered ambulatory care
ters to eliminate physicians, curtail services and
charge for services normally covered by student
The U. of Arizona, which has a student popu-
lation of more than 35,000, was the victim of a
20 percent cut in state money for three consecu-
tive years. Spiraling health care costs only made
matters worse, according to Dr. Murray DeArmond,
director of the health center at Arizona.
"It doesn't take long for cuts to affect services,"
DeArmond says. Between 1991 and 1993 Arizona
unloaded seven of 20 full-time health facilitators,
including a physician, nurse, physical therapist and
Students felt the cuts last year, waiting up to an hour
and a half before being treated. Arizona junior
Kimberly Kaylor went to the campus health center
with the flu, only to be told to return in three days.
She borrowed $100 to see a physician in Tuscon.
"The people are wonderful, well-trained and car-
ing," she says of the center's staff. "But [the
university] just doesn't have the facilities to serve all
The university has promised more money over the
next few years, and DeArmond is hiring back physi-
continued on page 21
The Official J Hunt Tim e, or what to do and when to do it. c
Take a aef-sesamen LSophomore year aset reasonable goals for youself..
" aeasl-seset"Learn aomnething different Junior year *Attend a career day.
test to help you choose a career. to make your resume stand out. * Participate in *Arrange informal interviews.
*Talk to professionals in that field. *Join clubs and teams. career workshops. *Update letters of recommendation.
.Get good grades and enjoy college. .Get letters of recommendation from *Visit your career *Pass your resume and cover letters
*Start a notebook to help you keep professors and bosses. development center. around for critiques from professors,
track of future resume material * Start your resume. *Contact a professional society advisers and former bosses.
(extracurricular activities, etc.). *Consider part-time work. in your field for more ideas. *Research the geographic areas
*Get a summer job. *Take an unpaid internship, or at least .Practice interviewing, maybe where you're considering moving.
*Do volunteer work. a professionally oriented job. on video. -Send out resumes. o
By David 16ney, Tbe Obserer, U. of Notre Dame
16 " U. Magazine