Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find answer to some of the most frequently asked questions at the Student Health and Wellness Center. The questions are organized into the following sections:

  • General Information
  • Health and Immunization Requirements
  • Scheduling Appointments

General Information

Can I get birth control from SHWC?

Yes, you can get birth control from the Health Center only if you are receiving your gynecological care from us. This means that your annual exams and pap smear tests are performed here. If you wish to transfer your care here to the Health Center, please have your private physician send copies of your most gynecological exam, including lab tests, to:

Johns Hopkins Student Health & Wellness Center
1 East 31st Street, N-200
Baltimore, MD 21218
Fax: (410) 516-4784

If you need refills on your birth control pills prescribed by your private physician, there are several local pharmacies nearby.

Can I get emergency contraception for someone else?

The staff at the Health and Wellness Center cannot legally prescribe emergency contraception to non-Hopkins students. We do, however, want to facilitate your access to those individuals or organizations who can.

The most readily accessible source is Planned Parenthood of Maryland. Their toll free hotline is 1-877-99-GO-4-EC. This hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Their staff can refer you to the closest Planned Parenthood location, and they can provide you with general information about emergency contraception. In addition, you can speak to a trained staff clinician about getting emergency contraception through an over-the-phone prescription that is picked up at a nearby pharmacy or at a Planned Parenthood near you. (This service involves a consultation fee.)

The closest Planned Parenthood locations to the Homewood campus:

610 N. Howard Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 576-1414

1714 Joan Avenue (Loch Ridge Shopping Center)
Baltimore, MD 21234
(410) 665-9775

If for any reason, you cannot access the Planned Parenthood hotline, you can visit Not-2-Late.com, which lists websites and local providers which offer emergency contraception.

What should I do if there is an emergency?

Call 911 for life-threatening situations. The closest emergency facility is the Union Memorial Hospital.

How much does it cost to be seen at the Health and Wellness Center?

There is no charge for office visits. Visiting students pay a nominal fee-for-service.

There are charges for laboratory tests, injections, immunizations, medications, and medical supplies. Please talk to your health care provider for details.

Where is the closest pharmacy?

There are several pharmacies located near the Homewood campus. View a complete list.

I missed class because I was sick and came to the Health Center, can I receive a note?

The Student Health and Wellness Center does not provide illness notes for students who miss individual classes.

For more detailed information regarding this policy, please read the Homewood PDF Document: illness note policy. If you’re a Peabody student, please review the PDF Document: Peabody Illness Note policy.

I have missed several classes because of an extended illness and visited the Health Center to receive treatment, will I be able to receive an illness note?

The Student Health and Wellness Center will notify the Dean of Student Life so that the student’s instructors and the appropriate academic advising office can be notified.

Health and Immunization Compliance

Why do I need to complete the online forms and send in a paper health form?

The online forms are kept in your electronic health record. The paper health form is necessary for the verification of immunizations.

I want to submit my information before the deadline, but I am still receiving my vaccines. What should I do?

Send the information you have prior to the deadline. When you receive your other immunizations (i.e. second MMR) then fax over the information to our office at 410-516-4784.

I completed all of the necessary pre-entrance requirements, but I still have an SIS alert on my account. What should I do?

Please allow two weeks for your health information to be received, reviewed and processed. If you are not compliant you will be notified.

What happens if I miss the deadline?

You will not be able to add/drop classes and processing of your information will be significantly delayed.

I do not have a health care provider to complete my pre-entrance health form.

Attach a copy of your official immunization record to the pre-entrance health form and in the provider signature box write “see attached.”

I cannot find my immunization records; should I receive the vaccines again?

See a doctor. You can receive a blood test that will check for antibodies. These tests can also be performed at SHWC, at your own expense.

I am a Post-doctoral student and I do not have a Hopkins ID, how do I obtain one?

Contact the SHWC to obtain a Hopkins ID by calling 410-516-8270.

I have a copy of my immunization records, do I still need to submit a pre-entrance health form?

Yes, a completed pre-entrance health form must be submitted. However, you can attach your immunization records to the health form and submit them.

I am a returning student and completed the pre-entrance health requirements last year, do I need to complete the health form again?

No, if you are a returning student you do not need to complete the health form again.

Do I need to complete the SHWC pre-entrance health form if I am turning in health related records to other departments?

Scheduling Appointments

Why did you change the way you handled students who were sick or injured?

Over the years, students told us “you can’t schedule being sick.” That’s absolutely true. So we built a system comparable to what happens in an ER or an urgent care center – you walk-in and say you want to be seen and then you sit and wait your turn. We had 1 or 2 clinicians assigned to walk-ins while the rest were booked with appointments. The problem is if a lot of people walk-in at the same time, both clinicians get tied up and the wait gets really long. Students told us they didn’t like that.

What’s the difference between “same-day” and “open access” – why do you keep using both terms?

In the practice management literature, this system is referred to as “open access.” The feedback we got from students this summer is that students would not understand what that meant and that “same-day” better conveys what we are trying to do.

So how is this open access/same day system better?

What we have done is changed all our clinician schedules so that at the start of each day, each clinician has 60-80% of their appointment slots unfilled. Those get filled up as students call or come in and ask to be seen quickly. Let’s say someone comes into the health center with a sore throat and wants to be seen. In the old system, they’d have to wait until everyone in front of them gets seen – that might be 30 minutes or 3 hours. Under this system, they might be able to be seen right away or get an appointment for 1 or 2 hours later. They’ll still be seen in a timely fashion but they won’t have to wait in the Health Center. With an appointment in hand, they can go off to the library, run some errands or go back to their dorm room or apartment until it’s time for them to be seen.

Won’t the same problem with long wait times happen if a lot of students come in at once?

We don’t think so. We went back over the past few years and looked at how students utilized the Health Center. Approximately 50% came in through the walk-in system and that was over the course of the entire day. We are starting each day with about 60% of slots free so we think we will be able to accommodate the demand. Each student will be given an appointment that works for them and they won’t have to sit in the Health Center until that time arrives. But we’ll have to wait to see and adjust if necessary.

When and how can I get a “same-day” appointment?

Call SHWC as early as possible in the day to have an appointment scheduled.

What’s the difference between a “same-day” and a “scheduled” appointment – aren’t they both scheduled?

That’s correct – the wording gets kind of awkward. The difference is when the appointment slot can be filled. We are using “same-day” to refer to the open slots in each clinician’s schedule that cannot be filled until that morning on Monday on until 1 PM the previous day for Tuesday through Friday “same-day” slots. These slots/appointments are to be used to accommodate students who have an urgent or pressing problem.

The “scheduled” appointments are ones that can be booked weeks in advance. These slots are designed to be used by students who want to be seen for something that is not urgent: an annual gynecologic exam, a travel consult or a physical exam. Or for someone who comes in with a symptom that they have had for weeks and want to get checked out (for example headaches). These “scheduled” appointmrnts are also meant for students with chronic illnesses such as asthma or diabetes or high blood pressure who may need regular visits (perhaps weekly or monthly) to monitor how they are doing. Students with a bad case of mono often need to be seen weekly for 3-4 weeks so they also can use up one of these “scheduled” appointments. Women who are starting birth control for the first time usually need to come back at least once to make sure everything is okay – so both the initial and first follow-up visit could go into a “scheduled” appointment slot. The major difference between the two is that “same-days” are really geared towards accommodating students with acute illnesses or injuries.

How will you know if the system is working?

We’re always looking for constructive feedback and helpful suggestions. Please feel free to offer any feedback or helpful suggestions by visiting the feedback page on our site.