Student Health Services

All enrolled, full-time students at Rensselaer have access to the primary care provided by the Student Health Center (SHC), regardless of the health insurance coverage they carry. The Student Health Center is a comprehensive, nationally accredited physician directed program providing outpatient ambulatory health care. Services include medical, gynecology, counseling services, and health education and wellness programs. Specialty consultation and referrals are also available.

We offer the following urgent and primary care (including GYN) visits with nurse practitioners:

  • Prescription delivery from local pharmacies
  • Physicals for sports/travel/study abroad
  • Specialist referrals
  • Immunizations
  • Health promotion programs and information
  • Routine onsite laboratory tests
  • Limited number of common medications without added charge
  • Travel immunizations and information
  • LGBTQIA inclusive patient-centered care
  • HIV counseling and testing
  • Sexually transmitted infection screening and treatment
  • Contraceptive counseling with onsite options available
  • Emergency contraception (EC)

Service Details

Students who have food allergies and/or intolerances have access to free and confidential nutrition counseling by our campus registered dietitian, and Rensselaer's dining services are able to work with a wide variety of food allergies and other dietary needs.

Administration of Epinephrine

Rensselaer also provides backup administration of epinephrine to students who have known anaphylactic reactions to certain food products and who may occasionally forget to carry their personal epinephrine auto-injectors. 

This backup administration, which is available in four residential dining facilities – Commons, Russell Sage, BARH and Blitman – also provides a layer of response for students who may have an allergic reaction for the first time to previously unknown food allergens.

Additional information is available in Rensselaer's Residential Dining Hall Emergency Epinephrine Administration Policy.

Gynecology services are provided by a nurse practitioner in our Student Health Center, with on-site services including:

  • Pelvic and breast exams
  • Pap tests STI testing and treatment
  • Contraceptive management
  • Emergency contraception
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Counseling related to sexual health issues
  • Management of common gynecologic problems including vaginal infections and irregular periods

When you call to make your appointment, you will be asked the purpose of your visit, such as a routine annual exam, a first GYN exam (that is, you have never previously had an exam done elsewhere) or other reason so the appropriate amount of time can be scheduled.

Free and confidential nutrition counseling is available to RPI students and staff by our campus registered dietitian.

Some of the topics that can be discussed are:

  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Sports nutrition
  • Healthy eating
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Eating disorders
  • Weight loss and weight gain

To set up an appointment, please contact Kimberly Mayer, RDN via email or by calling (518) 276-8989.

Rensselaer is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy learning, living, and working environment in which no member of the campus community is – on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression – excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in any Institute program or activity. Gender-based and sexual-based harassment, including sexual misconduct and sexual violence, are forms of illegal discrimination in that they deny or limit an individual’s ability to participate in or benefit from the Institute’s programs or activities.

In support of the Institute's basic principles, Rensselaer provides a Sexual Misconduct / Title IX website that has been designed to educate the community regarding Rensselaer's Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures, as well as offer resources and the ability to report incidents of sexual misconduct, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.

Individuals can also report incidents of sexual misconduct and assault to Rensselaer's Department of Public Safety (available 24 hours daily), a Title IX Coordinator, a Portfolio Title IX Liaison, the Dean of Students, the Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Education, the Vice Provost and Dean for Graduate Education, or the Student Health Center.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs, also called sexually transmitted infections or STIs) are very common. If you think it can’t happen to you…think again! Some people have a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and do not know it because STIs often show no symptoms. Other individuals have symptoms of infection but don’t know what to do.

What are the symptoms of an STI?

While the symptoms of sexually transmitted infections (STI) vary from person to person, or may not be present at all, the following are often symptoms of infection and should be evaluated:

  • Painful urination
  • Unusual discharge from the vagina, penis or anus
  • Skin changes (bumps, sores, rashes, lesions or warts) in or around the genitals, anus or throat
  • Genital/anal itching or pain
  • Pelvic discomfort or pain, or an abnormal PAP smear (for women)
  • Testicular pain

STI Screening/Testing with STI Symptoms

The Student Health Center has services and support to help you learn more about your STI status. Screening/Testing is offered at the Student Health Center by appointment on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. The visit, the HIV test, and the chlamydia and gonorrhea testing are free of charge.

STI Screening/Testing with No STI Symptoms Present

There is no single test to screen for all STIs .To provide you with individualized STI screening, your clinician will ask about your concerns, sexual history, risks, and practices.

Together you can decide which tests are appropriate for your risks and exposure. We encourage you to honestly answer questions, even if it may feel uncomfortable or embarrassing. Your information is always kept confidential.

The Student Health Center also encourages students to have open communication with their partner(s) about his/her risks so they can come to the appointment with a better understanding of the overall risks. Having this conversation might feel awkward, but it is important that you have it.

And if you're curious to know if you can transmit an infection to a partner even if you don't have symptoms, the answer is "yes." STIs can be transmitted even when symptoms are not present. Fortunately, tests are available to diagnose some STIs – such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV – even if there are no symptoms.

STI Prevention

There is no absolute way to prevent all STIs, but there are things you can do to reduce your chances of becoming infected.

  • Get vaccinated for HPV (human papillomavirus). Gardasil vaccine is able to prevent the types of HPV that causes most cervical cancers, as well as some cancers of the head and neck, penis, anus, vulva, and vagina. In addition, this vaccination can protect against the HPV types that cause most genital warts.
    This vaccine is available at the Student Health Center to everyone, but is offered at no cost to students who have the school insurance.
  • Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A if you're a male who has sex with other males.
  • Use latex or polyurethane condoms during any sexual contact if you are sexually active.
  • Reduce your number of sex partners to decrease your risk for STIs.
  • Practice mutual monogamy by agreeing to be sexually active with only one person who has agreed to be sexually active only with you.

Additional Resources

The Student Health Center Medical Director oversees the care and prevention services provided by the Rensselaer Athletic Training Staff for varsity athletes.

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