Frequently Asked Questions

Below you'll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about MSU Student Health Services.
  • Who can use MSU Student Health Services?
    All currently registered MSU and MSU Law students and their spouses/partners may use Student Health Services. Select services are also available to others; visit our Eligibility page for details.
  • How much will it cost?
    Our costs are similar to those you would find at most doctors’ offices. However, if you are a currently enrolled MSU student*, there is no charge for your first three medical office visits of each academic year. (*There are charges for all MSU Law Students and most Lifelong Ed students). Most Health Promotion visits are free. The cost to you for other services will depend on whether your insurance pays for services. We will bill patients for charges not covered by insurance.
  • Can I just walk in or do I need an appointment?
    Student Health Services uses an appointment system. Patients calling before noon will usually get a same-day appointment. If the schedule is full for the day and the need for care is urgent, a nurse may triage the patient and refer them elsewhere for care.
  • Do you have real doctors?
    Yes. Student Health Services is staffed with MD (allopathic) and DO (osteopathic) physicians as well as certified Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. The physicians, CRNPs and PA-Cs can diagnose, treat, and prescribe. Allergy shots are most often administered by a registered nurse under the supervision of a physician.
  • Was I misdiagnosed at Olin?
    Not necessarily. The most common concern we hear is that "another doctor" was better because they prescribed antibiotics. However, it is easier to prescribe antibiotics than it is to determine whether or not they are needed and to then explain to the patient why antibiotics would not be effective. It is also possible that following the initial visit your infection worsened and new symptoms led to a diagnosis of a bacterial infection. The CDC website has info about antibiotic use here.
  • Why do you always ask if I might be pregnant?
    We ask because women at MSU are of child-bearing age, and pregnancy could impact the choice of diagnostics or the mode of treatment. 
  • I need regular blood tests. Can Student Health Services draw my blood so I don’t have to go off campus?
    Yes. Bring the order from your health care provider and your health insurance card with you. The laboratory is located in the basement, and no appointment is needed for lab services.
  • My doctor has ordered Physical Therapy for me. Can I get it on campus?
    Yes. Call our Physical Therapy department at (517) 353-5008 to schedule an appointment.
  • Why do I have to repeat my name to everyone I come in contact with at Olin?
    As you come in contact with different staff members, they are also in contact with many different patients. By repeating your name and other identifiers, such as your birth date, the staff member is ensuring that they have the right information for the right patient. This is a safety measure that more and more doctor’s offices and hospitals are following.
  • Will my parents get any information about me from Student Health Services?
    No, unless you want them to. In compliance with state and federal laws, we cannot release personal health information without your written consent. If you wish to provide consent, visit the Medical Records office, room 146 Olin.
  • Can I use Student Health Services without the MSU student insurance?
    Yes. All MSU students may be seen at Olin Health Center and any of the Neighborhood Clinics regardless of their insurance situation. 
  • Where are you located?

    Olin Health Center is located at 463 East Circle Drive. For a map, please click here.

    Our Neighborhood clinics are at:

    • Brody Clinic - 148 Brody Hall
    • River Trail Clinic - W-9 McDonel
    • East Clinic - 127 South Hubbard
    • South Clinic - G-17 Holden Hall
  • I was sick/injured, can I get a note for class?

    If a student is examined by an Olin health care provider during the time he/she is ill, the provider will make the decision at that time if the student is too ill to attend classes. If an excuse is warranted, the provider will specify this in a separate letter, which the student will be given. A clinical visit summary sheet without this notation does not constitute an excuse from class.

    Students must see one of our health-care providers when they are ill, not after they have missed a few classes, recovered, and have returned to class. Student Health Services staff will not issue requests for medical excuses after the fact and without examining the student. For additional information visit the MSU Ombudsperson web page.

  • Can I get my allergy shots at Olin or in the Neighborhood?
    Allergy injections can be arranged at Olin Health Center (not the neighborhoods) when the allergens and written orders are supplied by the student’s personal physician/allergist. All orders must be updated yearly. New allergy patients can review the requirements by visiting the Allergy & Immunization page for more information.
  • Where can I get STD/STI testing?
    Sexually Transmitted Infection testing is available by appointment in the Primary Care Clinic and in Women’s Health Services. For an appointment call (517) 353-4660.

FAQ for Insurance

  • Do I need to have health insurance?
    Health insurance is required for international, medical, and veterinary students. For other students, it isn’t required, but it is highly recommended.
  • If I have insurance, will Student Health Services accept my insurance?
    Student Health Services participates with the Blue Care Network (BCN) MSU Student Insurance plan, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, BCN, BC Complete, Cofinity, McLaren, McLaren Medicaid, Aetna PPO and Priority Health, and some specific Medicaid plans. We would be considered an out-of-network provider for most other medical plans. We can bill your out-of-network insurance company, and would then bill you for the balance. It is your responsibility to find out what coverage your insurance plan will cover for out of network services.
  • Can I buy health insurance through MSU?
    Yes, the MSU sponsored Student Health Plan through BCN is a comprehensive plan that provides very good coverage for MSU students. Information about the policy can be found here.

FAQ for Laboratory Services

  • Is the laboratory accredited and what does accredited mean?

    Our laboratory functions in compliance with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) and is accredited by The Joint Commission.  

    Accreditation means a laboratory has been assessed by a third-party auditor and has been determined to operate according to the standards for medical laboratories. It means that the quality and competence of the laboratory’s ability is monitored. This third-party assessment gives confidence that the laboratory is competent to produce reliable results.

  • When can I have my blood drawn?
    The laboratory will assist you at any time during regular operating hours. There are some tests that can only be done between certain hours because of processing requirements.  Your provider should let you know if you have any of these tests ordered and when to come to the lab.
  • Do my lab tests get performed here at Olin?
    Many tests can be run at Olin. We bill many insurance companies. If we do not participate with your insurance or if specialty tests are ordered, they are sent out to Sparrow Regional Laboratories. Therefore, you may receive a bill from Sparrow Regional Laboratory. 
  • Can I request a test for myself?
    Tests must be medically indicated and ordered by a licensed provider. 
  • Do I have to fast for my lab work?
    Some tests require you to fast in advance.  Your health care provider should advise you if this is necessary. 
  • Will this blood test hurt?
    Having blood drawn is a minimally invasive procedure that only takes a few minutes. Any pain experienced is brief and minimal for most people. Being well-hydrated can make a venipuncture less traumatic.
  • What does fasting mean?
    Fasting means nothing to eat or drink other than water for 10-12 hours. For the duration of your fast you may not eat any food, candy, mints or gum.  You should not smoke cigarettes or consume any liquid other than water. You may brush your teeth and take your medications. Common tests that require fasting include glucose levels, lipid profiles, and cholesterol screens.
  • What if I am afraid to have my blood drawn?
    Let the phlebotomist know of your fear before beginning so they can prepare you. We can let you lie back and relax in our reclining chair so that you are more comfortable. You can also bring a friend or listen to music while being drawn.
  • Why do I need to have this test done?
    Questions about specific tests and your personal need for them should be brought up with your provider. Many tests are helpful to ensure you are diagnosed and treated correctly.
  • Do I really have to have this lab work done?
    Providers and doctors only order lab tests they need to make a diagnosis or other decision about ongoing care to keep you healthy. You have the right to refuse any test: however, as an informed patient, you need to realize that not having those test results may impact your provider’s ability to take care of you.
  • How are lab tests used?
    Screening – identifies the risk of disease or medical condition in patients who present no symptoms. This allows for early diagnosis to better treat or to prevent disease from occurring, good examples are Pap tests and cholesterol levels.
    Diagnosis – to help to identify or exclude the presence of a condition or an illness in patients who have symptoms, such as a pregnancy test or a blood count for anemia. Sometimes the test will tell the practitioner what stage the disease is in.
    Management - to determine the prognosis or course of the disease. A test can be used to monitor the progression of the disease and to determine remission or recurrence and to keep or alter the patient’s current treatment.
  • What is a laboratory test?
    By definition, a laboratory test is a medical procedure that involves testing a sample of blood, urine or other substance from the body.
  • Where can I learn about the lab tests that are ordered?
    Your doctor can help you understand the tests that they have ordered and why they need them. For further questions, the web site Lab Tests Online has been designed to help you to better understand the many clinical lab tests that are part of routine care as well as diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of conditions and diseases.
  • What can I expect when I come into the laboratory for a test?
    When you come into the lab, we will ask you for your student number or your name. Generally, if you saw a Student Health Services provider, your test orders should be in our computer system. If you saw one of the psychiatrists or university physicians, you may need to give us the written request. If you have an order from another provider or a written request, we will need to enter this into the computer system. Please have a seat and we will do our best to take care of your needs as soon as possible.
  • What if I just have to drop off a specimen?
    If you have a specimen to drop off that you collected outside of the laboratory, we will still need to verify your name and student number to make sure that everything is correct. We will help you as soon as possible and appreciate your patience.
  • Can I exercise after I have my blood drawn?
    There are no limitations to your activity after you have blood drawn. You should be able to resume normal activity and remove the bandage within 5 minutes after collection. 
  • Will I be able to use the arm I was drawn from?

    Generally, most people have no problems and can return to normal activity immediately.

    If you have had a hard time having your blood drawn, you may notice some bruising around the site where blood was drawn. You can use ice if you are experiencing discomfort.

  • I have a court ordered drug screen, can I come to Olin to be tested? I have a pre-employment drug screen; can I come to Olin for this test?
    The Olin laboratory can collect drug screens for court orders and pre-employment purposes. You need to provide the laboratory with the court documents or pre-employment letter stating the type of drugs you need to be tested for and contact information for result reporting. Be prepared to pay in advance for court-ordered drug screens. Costs may vary from $30 to $50. Employers will be billed for pre-employment screens with proper billing information.

FAQ for MyHealth Patient Portal

  • What kind of information can be seen in MyMSUHealth about my patient/medical record?

    MyMSUHealth is growing with more features becoming available on an ongoing basis. It may take a few days for information to be entered following a clinic visit. MyMSUHealth will allow you to view items such as:

    • Personal Information (name, date of birth, sex, address, phone number, etc. that we have on file)
    • Insurance, Preferred Pharmacies and other Contacts
    • Health Conditions, Medications, Allergies, and Directives
    • Vitals, care summaries, past and future scheduled appointments
    • Current and past bills, plus ability to pay bills through MyMSUHealth
    • Lab and other test results
  • What kind of secure messaging can be sent to the clinic?
    • Request an appointment
    • Cancel an appointment
    • Request a medication renewal
    • Ask for advice from your provider
    • Update personal information
    • Make a change to your MyMSUHealth account

    Didn't see your question here? Please contact us.