It’s time for pre-college physicals

Set a course for good health

Contributed by Anna Fox, CNP, NCMP

studyingIf your daughter or son is going off to college this fall, I bet you’ve already started a checklist of all the tasks that need to be completed and items that need to be purchased and/or packed in preparation for the big day. One important item that I think tends to get overlooked—if not required—is a pre-college physical. While it may not seem all that important for a young, healthy person to get a physical before leaving for college, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Why? It’s a valuable opportunity for your daughter or son to learn more about her/his body, how to stay healthy and what to do if a health problem occurs while away from home. Just as important, it provides an opportunity for the primary care provider (PCP) to make sure all vaccinations, such as those that protect against meningococcal meningitis and human papillomavirus (HPV) are up to date. It’s also a chance for the PCP to provide counsel and answer questions on a range of topics from safe sex to underage drinking to stress management to nutrition. And if your college-bound student has an ongoing medical problem, the PCP can write a letter summarizing her/his history and past medical treatment, and may even help locate a new physician.

If your college-age daughter or son isn’t going away, now is a perfect time to transition from a pediatrician to an adult PCP.  Feel free to call our office at (513) 475-UC4U to set up an introductory appointment.

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