Care of the college student

Brian K Unwin, Jeffrey Goodie, Brian V Reamy, Jeffrey Quinlan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


There are approximately 20 million students in U.S. colleges and universities. Although this population is characterized as having good health, 600,000 students report some form of disability or some type of medical problem, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, psychiatric disorders, and chronic illnesses, among others. Physicians can enhance youth transition to an adult model of health care; the use of self-care skills checklists is one recommended method to assist with the transition. Stimulant medications are effective for treating adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but physicians should use caution when prescribing stimulants to college students because of the high rates of medication diversion in this population. Depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, sleep problems, and eating disorders are common in college students and can significantly impact performance. Emphasis on immunization of students for influenza, meningococcus, and pertussis is necessary because of the low rates of compliance. Screening and interventions for obesity, tobacco use, and substance abuse are important because of the high prevalence of these problems in college students. Screening for alcohol abuse facilitates identification of students with problem drinking behaviors. Students who are war veterans should be monitored for suicidal ideation and posttraumatic stress disorder. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students are at risk of harassment and discrimination. Caution should be exercised when prescribing medications to college athletes to avoid violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility rules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-604
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Family Physician
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Insurance, Health
  • Mental Disorders/diagnosis
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Student Health Services/economics
  • Students/psychology
  • Transition to Adult Care/economics
  • United States
  • Vaccination
  • Young Adult


Dive into the research topics of 'Care of the college student'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this