Clinical Students

Many of our clinical students spend time away from CUIMC. If you require any medical attention for any reason while you are away, please call us at 212-305-3400 or secure message your clinician. We can assist in ensuring you get adequate care, whether on campus or away. 

Occupational Exposures:

We treat any body fluid exposures or occupational injuries. Remember, body fluid exposures are a medical emergency. If you sustain an occupational exposure, come to the Student Health Service immediately. If we are closed, contact the SHS clinician on call (212-305-3400) and go to the nearest emergency room. If prophylaxis is indicated, it is most effective when begun with 1 hour of the exposure. You must also file an incident report at your clinical site for any body fluid exposure or injury.

  • A blood-borne pathogen exposure is not JUST a needle stick, but the exposure of non-intact skin or any mucosal surface to blood or other potentially infectious body fluids (e.g.., semen, vaginal secretions, breast milk, CSF, peritoneal or pericardial fluid, saliva in dental procedures, or any fluid contaminated by blood).
  • Follow these steps immediately:
    • Cleanse the injury (soap and water).
    • Notify your resident, preceptor or attending to arrange for prompt counseling and testing of the source patient for HIV, Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B. Getting the source patient tested can potentially save you a month of prophylaxis, drug side effects, and many months of anxiety.
    • Seek medical attention immediately.
    • Notify SHS.

Insurance Considerations - Supplemental Plan

As a preventive measure, all clinical students enrolled on the Columbia University Student Health Insurance Plan, regardless of plan level, will be enrolled in an annual supplemental plan to cover blood borne pathogen exposures. The annual premium for this plan is $28 and the fees will be assessed per semester, $11 for fall 2019 and $17 for spring/summer 2020.  Incoming summer students are billed $11 for only the summer 2020 term.

The supplemental insurance plan will minimize your out-of-pocket costs, should you require treatment related to any blood borne pathogen exposure in the course of your clinical experience. 

For questions about reimbursements or procedures, please contact shsinsurance@cumc.columbia.edu.