Preventive Health and Wellness

Preventive health focuses on wellness, health maintenance, and disease prevention.

It includes general counseling regarding healthy habits and practices and specific advice and testing tailored to the individual depending on personal and familial health risks. Screening tests, health education, and immunizations are common examples of preventive care. Below you will find some general information regarding wellness/preventive health at University Health Services:  

Do I need a special preventive health visit?

Not necessarily. Clinicians will try to review your preventive health needs during other visits as time permits, and if you are generally healthy, you may not need to schedule a visit for this reason alone. However, if you have a complicated medical/family history, or would like to sit down with a clinician to review how best to look after your health needs, a specific wellness/preventive health visit is a great place to start and is covered by your insurance.

Consider an appointment in Health Promotion. Make an appointment for an individual consultation with a health educator and become an active participant in your well-being. Health educators cover topics that include but are not limited to a healthy lifestyle, stress management, roommate issues, adjustment to college life, contraception options, and sexuality/safe sex. Book a free health and wellness education appointment.   

What to expect during your visit

  • A review of personal and family medical history with a discussion of disease prevention or specific tests recommended based on your risks
  • A review of health habits with tailored recommendations regarding diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol and drug use, and stress management
  • A review of sexual history and practices with testing for STIs as needed 
  • A review of your past immunizations and recommendations for catchup/new vaccines as necessary
  • For people 25 and older with a cervix, cervical cancer screening with a Pap plus HPV test or preferably, if available a primary HPV test is recommended every five years.  Cervical cancer screening is no longer recommended for ages 21-24. (see Healthcare for People with a Cervix, Uterus, and/or Vagina). 

For more information on which tests may be recommended based on your age and gender, go to myhealthfinder.  

What is not included in a preventive health visit: 

Preventive health visits are valuable and take time to do well, and insurance only covers wellness care during the “free” preventive visit. Please schedule a separate appointment through the eTang Portal for specific concerns including (but not limited to): 

  • acute illnesses (sore throat, rash, vaginal infection, etc.)
  • injuries (knee pain, bike accident, etc.)
  • psychological concerns such as anxiety, depression, sleep problems
  • evaluation and management of chronic medical conditions

How to get the most from your preventive health visit

  • Enter your information into the Health History and Immunization Forms through the eTang patient portal before your visit  for your clinician to review
  • Complete the pre-visit questionnaire that is sent to you by secure message through eTang. Completing this in advance allows your provider to focus on what is most important to you and identify areas for discussion.  
  • Request and bring any past medical records, particularly immunization records
  • Ask and write down your family’s medical history, if known
  • Be prepared to review your health habits.  If you are concerned about revealing aspects of your history due to confidentiality or insurance reasons, please be upfront about this with your clinician.  We can guide you.

For more information on which tests may be recommended based on your age and gender, go to myhealthfinder.   

Scheduling an appointment for preventive health/wellness care

Who should I see for my preventive health/wellness care? 

One of our career Nurse Practitioners or Physicians will be automatically assigned to be your Primary Care Provider (PCP) at UHS. Seeing your PCP for a wellness visit, while not required, can be a great way to establish a relationship and maximize your healthcare during your time at Berkeley. Just like most children had one clinician who saw them every year, having a PCP at Tang means your PCP will get to know you and can provide the best care possible. You can even message your health questions to your PCP using our eTang patient portal.

Ready to make an appointment? These may only be scheduled by phone; call (510) 642-2000 to schedule.  

Recommended health screening exams and tests

It can be confusing to know which screening tests are needed at any given time in your life, and it is important to avoid unnecessary testing because they are less accurate when you are at low risk and can lead to unnecessary medical procedures with accompanying pain, anxiety, and even risk of complications. Below are some guidelines regarding general health tests and screenings. Your clinician will individualize recommendations based on your particular symptoms or screening requirements. Discuss your personal and family health as you make decisions about medical tests. Read recommendations

Recommended immunizations

Immunizations are important components of adult health care. You might need to complete your childhood immunizations or obtain recommended new vaccinations or boosters. It is helpful to obtain and bring a copy of your immunization record to your first appointment at UHS, and to keep careful records of any injections received during your time at UC Berkeley. Read recommendations

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