As any parent can attest, the health and wellbeing of their child is of the upmost importance. As such, the availability and reliability of their child’s college health center can be a key consideration to choosing a college in Oregon or across the country. Unfortunately, a recent article by the Washington Post has exposed that U.S. colleges are plagued by misdiagnoses, failures to diagnose, and inaccessible care.
The newspaper interviewed over 200 students, parents and health officials. They also studied medical records and documents, including almost 6,000 Google reviews of student health centers.
The article told the story of a February 2019 incident at Duke University. The college health center misdiagnosed cancer as gas, and the subsequent chemotherapy forced the student to miss out on an entire year of schooling. She stated that it was an open secret that the university’s health system was awful. Unfortunately, this was just one of many documented college health center problems across the nation.
A frequent complaint was having to wait days or weeks to see a doctor that often did not provide adequate care. This ended up with dozens in the hospitals, including some near death. These were caused by misdiagnoses and failures to diagnose, including appendicitis at Kansas State University, meningitis at the University of Arkansas, and the aforementioned cancer misdiagnosis at Duke.
Most often, the issue is availability and quality. Some colleges only offer a single exam room that is run by only a nurse. The Post stated that this is at least partially caused by the fact that there is no national regulations on college health centers, and they are mostly unlicensed by states. In fact, only around 220 college health centers are accredited, according to the Post’s analysis.
These statistics will scare parents. And, due to the nature of errors in diagnosis and treatment, the negative effects are often not known until much later, when medical issues are worsen.
Luckily, the law does allow those who are the victim of this type of medical malpractice to file a lawsuit to recoup their medical costs and money for their pain and suffering. This cannot erase the pain one has endured or, if a permanent injury was sustained, bring back one’s old life. However, it can bring some semblance of justice to medical malpractice victims and help them rebuild their lives.