International Travel Doctor Visit

Carrie Rheingans

Since I’m going abroad for a social work internship this summer, I needed to make a travel health appointment to make sure I have all the vaccinations and immunizations I need to stay as healthy as possible while I’m traveling. I had my appointment last week (my third in five years…) and got my first-ever anti-malarial medication prescription.

As a current student, I have access to the services at the University Health Service (UHS). They have a travel & immunology clinic, and it can get pretty busy during certain times of the year (before spring break and summer break). They ask you to take an online basic travel health training in order to make an appointment. It doesn’t take long and is a good review of water and food safety, sun and bug issues, and what to do in a health emergency.

It’s best to go prepared to the appointment and know exactly where you’re going in your travels. Malarial areas can get pretty trick in some places, so it’s best to know what cities or villages you’re going to if possible. The appointment is pretty quick and includes a review of health issues in the locations where you’re traveling and some immunizations and prescriptions as necessary. My favorite part is getting ciprofloxacin to treat diarrheal illness. It’s helped me out in the past! UHS can also dispense many of the prescriptions right there in their pharmacy.

There’s a price list on the travel health page for planning for what immunizations you might need. If you don’t have insurance coverage for some of the requirements, it’s easy to go to the Washtenaw County health department as well.

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