My BuckMD data protected by BuckeyePass – Effective Wednesday, January 3

Cybercriminals’ top priority is a real-life payout. For Ohio State student systems, that means criminals may target your personal health information (PHI). If criminals get your user name and crack your password, they may be able to view your PHI and share information about you that you would prefer not to have shared.

If you have more than one step to log in – more than just your user name and password – your risk is reduced significantly. That’s why we’re adding a multifactor authentication tool called BuckeyePass (link is external) as an extra layer of security for student systems. Extra security protects your personal information stored in My BuckMD.

How does BuckeyePass affect me?

  • BuckeyePass (link is external) will be added to My BuckMD on Wednesday, January 3.
  • BuckeyePass (link is external) requires not only a password and username, but also a second method of authentication that you control. We recommend that you sign up as soon as possible and enroll multiple devices so you have a backup in case your primary device is stolen, broken or unavailable for any reason.

What do I need to do?

The first step is to enroll in BuckeyePass (link is external).  We have found the tool to be reliable and easy to use. We’ve posted a video (link is external) so you can see what the process looks like and how it works.


Information above summarized from:

Are you really prepared to an Ohio State Student?

Next week you’ll be moving into the dorm or perhaps off-campus housing.  Let’s see if you prepared?

  • Schedule of classes – check!
  • Books purchased – check!
  • Map of campus – check!
  • Coordinated dorm furniture with roommate – check!
  • Purchased bedding, etc. – check!
  • Internet connection – check!
  • Plan for what to do when you get sick ???  Huh??

My guess is you ( or your parents) have been making lists of all that needs to be done, purchased, packed, etc. before you move onto campus.  That is a good thing – but have you considered what you will do if – mostly likely – when you get sick. I know, I know.  You never get sick.  But up till now you’ve been living in a fairly controlled environment.  But,  you are about to move into a living situation where the front door itself is shared with several thousand other people.  People who may or may not be quite as diligent as you at washing their hands.  And then there’s the classrooms, cafeterias, and RPAC.  That is a serious amount of door handle touching and a serious amount of germ sharing.  The odds that you will remain the person “who never gets sick” is, well pretty slim.

So, what can you to do to prepare just in case you do get sick?

  • Make sure you have the necessary information.  Any medical facility you visit will require the following items so make sure you have them with you when you come to campus AND make sure you know where you put them so you can easily access them should you get sick.
    • Medical history of both yourself and your family, here’s a link to the form we use here at Student Life Student Health Services
    • Insurance card, if it’s a copy make sure it includes both the front and back
  • Know the locations of medical facilities within easy reach of your dorm/housing
    • Student Life Student Health Services is located in the middle of campus, between the Thompson Library and the RPAC.  We are here just for students so this is a great location to know, but we are only open 8am – 6pm weekdays (Fridays 8am – 5pm).  What if you get sick outside of our business hours?  You can find a list of after hour care facilities on our website




#TBT Bigger Bust Belief Burst

SpencerTurner---BiggerBustBeliefBurstDr. Turner received a question on bust developing courses in 1975. The question asked if they are safe and do they cause any side effects in the future. While I personally have not received such questions, a quick search on Google shows that this is still a very popular topic.

It is possible, with exercise, to increase your bust measurement, but as Dr. Turner indicated this measurement does not actually measure the size of your breasts, but rather the circumference of the chest.  The breasts themselves do not contain any supportive muscle tissue. Therefore it is not possible, through exercise to increase your cup size.  What exercise can do, however, is develop the muscles behind your breasts to make them more attractive.

The original article can be read in the Lantern Archives.

Honesty is the best Policy

When you come to an appointment at Student Health, we ask you a lot of questions.  Some of these may seem to be unrelated to your appointment, but all of these questions serve a purpose and it’s important that you answer them honestly.

What is the reason for your visit?  The answer you give to this question directly impacts how your provider prepares for you visit.  If you schedule an appointment for a sore throat, but you really want the provider to check out your hemorrhoids, well that would be quite a surprise for your provider and any preparation that has been done for that sore throat would be time wasted.  In some cases an incorrect reason for visit may result in the rescheduling of an appointment as the real reason could require additional time or a specific room.  Be honest when scheduling your appointment and tell them why you need to be seen.

Do you use tobacco and if so how much/often?  The perils of smoking have been touted all over the news, lung cancer, heart disease, premature aging, and so on.  Tell your provider of your tobacco usage, even if it’s one cigarette a week.  This is part of your history and can affect how your provider monitors you.  Oh – and yes, hookah is tobacco so don’t forget to include that in your conversation.

Do you drink alcohol and if so how much/often do you drink?  You might think that it’s not important to mention the tailgate party you attended last week or the Sangria you had the week before – you ate the fruit and that’s healthy, right? – but be honest with your provider and let them determine if it’s important or not.  Too much alcohol consumption has been linked to increased risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer and only your provider will be able to determine if you fall within these categories.

What medications/supplements are you currently taking?  Your provider needs to know all prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking and that includes all supplements, vitamins, and pain relievers.  Some supplements cause interactions with medications and the only way for your provider to identify these possible interactions is if you tell them what you are taking.

What symptoms are you experiencing?  Tell your provider your symptoms, even if it’s just that you’ve been feeling tired or sad.  If what you’ve been experiencing is not normal for you, let your provider know.  The information you give your provider all contributes to their ability to properly diagnose and treat you.

If you don’t tell your provider everything, they can’t help you. So fess up – your health depends on it. 

Submitted by Tina Comston, M.Ed.

Reviewed by Mary Lynn Kiacz, MD

Do I need to have my cholesterol checked?

Do I need to have my cholesterol checked?

For most OSU students, the short answer is NO.  

The good news is that if you are younger than age 35 (for men) or younger than 45 (for women) you would only need to have your cholesterol checked if you have risk factors for heart disease.  If you don’t have risk factors, the likelihood that you have high cholesterol is VERY LOW.  The bad news is, because of that low risk, if you decide you just want to know what your cholesterol is, most insurances won’t cover the cost of the test (because they don’t see any reason you need to have it done).

So what are the risk factors that mean you should have your cholesterol checked, and make it likely that your insurance would pay for it?  These are based on research done by several groups, including the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the USPSTF (United States Preventive Services Task Force).  The specific risk factors are:

  1. Obesity/ high BMI (body mass index)
  2. A family history of the following conditions (in your biological brother, sister, mother, or father):
  • Sudden Cardiac Death
  • Cardiovascular Disease (like a heart attack)
  • Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)

If you decide to have your cholesterol checked even though your insurance does not cover it, your least expensive option would be to have it checked at a Health Fair (sometimes done for free), or to come to the Student Health Center and go to the Registration Desk (first floor) and ask to have it done as an OIY (“Order It Yourself”) test.  You have to pay for it up front, but it only costs $20 and you get a printout from the lab within 15-30 minutes with the results and an explanation of the results.  If you have it done as part of an office visit with one of our providers, you’ll get billed for the lab test (usually at a higher rate) and the office visit, so it’ll be a lot more expensive.

If you have any questions about your risk factors for heart disease and whether or not you need to have your cholesterol checked, you can always make an appointment with us to discuss them – we’re here to help!

Mary Jane Elam, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

What STIs can I get tested for at Student Health and which ones are curable?

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Q: Which Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) can you test for at Student Health and which ones are curable?

A: If you come to the Student Health Center to get screened for STIs (meaning you don’t have any symptoms or worrisome exposures), we check for the following infections: HIV, Syphilis, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea

How do we do it?  We draw some blood and have you pee in a cup – it’s as simple as that.  The blood test checks for HIV and syphilis, and the urine test checks for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.  If you have the Comprehensive Student Health Insurance Plan, STI screening is covered once a year.  If you’re on another insurance plan, check with them about coverage.

There are other STIs out there that we can check for if you have specific symptoms or exposures. 

  • Herpes: The only way to confirm that someone has genital herpes is by taking a swab of an active sore. We can do a blood test for antibodies to the Herpes virus, but they aren’t very helpful; they only tell whether or not someone has been exposed to the virus, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they have (or ever will have) active disease.
  • Hepatitis B&C: We can do a blood test for antibodies to these viral infections if someone is at high risk for acquiring them or if they have been exposed to it, but their incidence is so low in the general population that screening for them isn’t useful or cost effective.
  • HPV: There is currently no screening test for HPV. The annual Pap smear that women receive is kind of an indirect test for HPV exposure since it screens for cervical cancer, which is caused by HPV infection, but in terms of checking for exposure to strains of HPV that cause genital warts, there are no tests. The only way to confirm if someone has HPV is if they develop a visible genital wart.
  • Trichomoniasis: Trich (sounds like “trick”) is caused by a protozoan microorganism called Trichomonas Vaginalis. The infection may not cause any symptoms, but since it’s not as common in the U.S. as other parts of the world, and because it usually does cause symptoms like discharge and itching, we don’t routinely screen for it. We can test for that infection by doing a swab and looking at it under the microscope or taking a culture.

In terms of “curing” STIs:

Trichomoniasis and STIs caused by bacteria – Syphilis, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea – are eradicated with antibiotics.   Once they are treated, they’re gone.

Those caused by viruses on the other hand – HIV, Herpes and Hepatitis – are a different story. There are no “cures” for any of these diseases; while antiviral medications can help manage flare-ups or delay the progression of the diseases they cause, once you’re infected with them they stay with you for life.  As they say in med school: What’s the difference between love and herpes? Herpes is forever!

HPV is a special case. The infection is caused by a virus, and can cause serious long term complications such as cervical, anal and throat cancer, but the majority of people infected with HPV clear the virus on their own and don’t suffer any serious health consequences as a result of having it.

If you have any questions or concerns about STI testing, please make an appointment with Student Health Services – we’re here to help!

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University


Merry Christmas, Baby!

Happy Holidays from the staff of The Ohio State University Student Health Services!

However you celebrate the season, we hope that you and your loved ones have a healthy and happy Holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

John A. Vaughn, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Welcome to campus, New Buckeyes Part II


Get your vaccination

Fall at the Shoe

Here are some more things you can learn about Student Health Services, so that we can be of service to YOU.

Medical Records

We are under strict rules to keep all of your medical information confidential and we take those rules very seriously.  You’ll need to sign an authorization form for us to release your health information to anyone, including your parents.  An authorization form can only be completed for health services that have already been rendered which means that we can’t honor any requests like, “you can just let my Mom have access to my records for as long as I’m at Ohio State.”


Prior to Fall Semester 2015 there were no immunization requirements for most students entering Ohio State.  However, beginning Fall Semester 2015 all new Ohio State University students are required to meet a Vaccination Requirement.  Information on the requirement can be found at:

  • All of these immunizations are available at the Student Health Center if you aren’t able to get them before you start school.  If you can get a copy of your Immunization records, that would be really helpful and keep you from getting immunizations you don’t need.

Allergy Injections

You can get your allergy shots at the Student Health Center while you’re here for school.

  • You need to submit the required paperwork prior to scheduling an appointment.
  • You can bring the allergen vials to the health center yourself or have them mailed to our facility.
  • We will store them for you and we can release them back to you as needed for injections during times away from the university.

These are just a few of the ways Student Health Services can be of service to you.  Come check us out!



Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)

Updated by Tina Comston, M.Ed.


Welcome to campus, New Buckeyes Part I

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Don't get lost in the crowd!

The Student Health Center

We know you’re bombarded with a lot of information in a small amount of time during orientation and Welcome Week and it’s hard to retain it all.  So we thought we’d put the highlights here on the blog so that you can refer to them when you’re not so swamped. 

Health Care Services

Ok, you have made it to our web site.  Our most popular features:

  • Our BuckMD blog offers a wide range of advice on many topics.  You can like us on Facebook and see the latest updates, or follow us in Twitter. 
  • Our Events Calendar shows special programs for students and schedule variations including our Saturday Clinic dates.
  • Our Services link takes you to pages for each of our service area, and detailed information on what we offer, our location and contact information
  • Our Forms page links you to a variety of documents, including fill-in downloadable forms that you can complete prior to your visit.

My BuckMD

My BuckMD is our secured portal giving you access to:

  • encrypted messaging
  • printable immunization and medication history
  • online appointment scheduling
  • access to forms that you can submit online in advance.

To sign up, you need to come in to the Health Center with a photo ID.


We offer a full-service pharmacy here at the Student Health Center.

  • Prescription medicines
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Walk-in vaccine services
  • Pharmacist counseling
  • Prescription transfers from your home to our pharmacy. (All you need is the prescription number and the name/phone number of the original pharmacy – all of which are on the package label.)  

Our pharmacy is contracted with many insurance companies but not all.  You can stop by or call 614-292-0125 to find out if we can bill your specific insurance.


We understand that you may just be learning how to use health insurance, whether it is your student insurance, or other coverage you carry. 

  • We are the primary provider for the OSU Student Health Insurance Plans
  • We are also in-network with most Medical Mutual and Anthem/BlueCrossBlueShield health insurance plans and a few others.  Contact Patient Accounts or Patient Registration if you have a question about this. 
  • You should learn the basics of your coverage – in-network vs. out-of-network, how co-pays work, etc.
  • If you are on non-OSU insurance, be sure to bring your insurance ID card with you to school

If you are not on the Student Health Insurance Plan or with an in-network plan, you should definitely consider purchasing the WilceCare Supplement

  • Routine x-rays, laboratory tests, physical therapy, minor office procedures, prescribed medical supplies, office visits for illness and injury and prescriptions are all covered.


Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services



Still Open for Business!

Wilce Student Health Center

Surfer on the Beach

Q: Does the Student Health Center stay open over the summer?

A: Absolutely!   We are here all summer to take care of your health care needs.  In fact, we’re not so jam-packed over the summer since many students do leave campus, so it is a great time to take care of those routine visits you didn’t have time to get to during the school year: eye exams, dental cleanings, women’s annual exams (pap smears) or STI screenings.  To schedule an appointment, just call our appointment desk at (614) 292-4321.

Our summer hours are 8-5 Monday through Friday throughout the building.  Starting in the fall, we will return to our regular hours, which are 8-6 Monday through Thursday, 8-5 on Friday, and 9-1 on most Saturdays during the Fall and Spring Semesters.  Our pharmacy stays open one hour beyond closing time. 

Check with your health insurance company (including the OSU Student Health Insurance Plan) about benefits here at Student Health Services.  We are now in-network providers for some area plans.  If we are out-of-network with your plan, we are happy to bill them directly for you, but for us to do that effectively you need to register your insurance with us.  You can call (614-292-0113) or visit our Patient Relations Department on the 3rd floor of the Wilce Student Health Center for help with that. 

  • Coming to campus for Orientation, and wanting some vaccines before you return in August? 
  • Entering Health Professional Student needing required testing or immunizations? 

You can get these items during the summer as well.  

Enjoy your summer!

Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)