Primary Care and Mental Health

Policy 820.00

Policy Statement

Medical students, all of whom pay the full-time medical student comprehensive fee, are eligible for campus health services, and are covered for basic office visits at the University of Vermont (UVM) Center for Health & Wellbeing (CHWB). In addition, all UVM students are required to have health insurance to cover specialty care, emergency treatment, diagnostic tests not covered by the comprehensive fee, prescriptions and hospitalization, as well as acute primary care (i.e., sickness or accident, not preventive) when away from Burlington. See the Health Insurance policy for details about the regulation and information about how to sign-up for or waive UVM-offered coverage.

UVM Center for Health and Wellbeing

UVM's Center for Health & Wellbeing (CHWB) comprises several offices which collectively provide accessible, high-quality, cost-effective, prevention-oriented care and referral services, as well as health education and outreach programs designed specifically to meet the needs of UVM students. These include: Student Health Services (SHS), Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS) and Living Well, the outreach unit.

Student Health Services

All students eligible for CHWB services are assigned a primary campus provider (PCP), and medical services operate much the same way health care does at home with a continuity physician or medical provider. Services include the full spectrum of primary care: acute infections or injuries, chronic health conditions, medical management of mental health issues (depression, anxiety), sexual & gender specific care, as well as prevention services (vaccines and health screenings) and routine health checks.

In addition, Student Health Services offers several additional services unique to a primarily student population:

  • Allergy clinic, to continue allergy shots begun by a home allergist
  • Travel medicine consultation, for students traveling abroad in need of special medications &/or immunizations (There is an additional fee associated with this service.)
  • Nutrition services, clinical consultation with a registered dietician for health conditions posing risk (diabetes, GI issues, eating disorders)
  • Oversight of required immunization documentation & clearance (for UVM LCOM as well as off-site clinical electives)

The primary care clinic is located in the ground floor of the UHC building; the acute care clinic is located on the second floor of the same building; appointments can be made by phoning Student Health Services at 802-656-3350. During business hours, students can also phone Student Health Services to speak to a triage nurse with specific questions or for guidance about self-care or to determine if an appointment is needed. Student Health Services schedulers will answer and reroute the caller to the Advice Nurse or place them in the nurse’s call back schedule with basic inquiry information. Students can also access their PCP via the patient portal (UVM credentials required). After-hours needs are served by an on call nursing team who can access SHS health care providers as needed.

Mental Health Care

The University of Vermont and the Larner College of Medicine are committed to ensuring that students have convenient access to excellent mental health care. A range of services are available to students though the Center for Health and Wellbeing's Counseling Center & Psychiatric Services (CAPS), which employs a group of therapists and psychiatrists especially trained to meet the mental health needs of students in the UVM community. Mental health services outside of CAPS are covered by the UVM Student Health Insurance Plan at 80% of charges. In addition, the Committee on Medical Student Wellbeing (also known as the Wellness Committee) or the Director of Student Support can help students identify resources and options.

Most student mental health needs can be addressed at the Counseling Center, however some specialized and chronic needs may be referred to community psychotherapists. At CAPS, counseling sessions are free and confidential. Clinicians include licensed psychologists, clinical mental health counselors, and a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Psychiatric evaluation and care are also available through the CHWB. A staff of three board-certified psychiatrists work closely with the CHWB staff and provides individual services to UVM students. CHWB Psychiatry visits are not covered under the medical student comprehensive fee. If the student has the UVM Student Insurance plan, the CHWB will bill them directly. If the student does not have that insurance plan, the charges associated with a visit(s) will be applied directly to the student’s UVM account and the student is then responsible for submitting statements to their individual insurance company if they have coverage for such services. In some circumstances services are not covered by other insurance companies, so students should be sure to check their coverage prior to scheduling an appointment.

Students can take advantage of these services through self-referral, or referrals to CAPS are made by the Director of Student Well-being, the Associate/Assistant Dean for Students, or members of the Wellness Committee. CAPS counselors are available to students at several sites on campus. The services are strictly confidential, and are available in person and by phone with an on call counselor after normal business hours. Communication between counselors and members of the Larner College of Medicine administration may occur only with written permission by the student involved.

The Larner College of Medicine, in accordance with LCME Standards, requires providers from any discipline who provide sensitive health or mental health service to students not be involved in the assessment of student academic performance or the decisions regarding their advancement and/or graduation.

Consultation for Medical and Mental Health Crises or Emergencies
  1. Students should call 911 for any life-threatening emergency.
  2. For consultation during office hours for urgent, non-life-threatening primary or mental health care concerns students may call CAPS at 802-656-3340.
Students on Clinical Rotations

During the clinical curriculum, students may be assigned to affiliate clinical sites. The Larner College of Medicine is required to provide medical students who are away from Burlington on clinical rotations at affiliate clinical sites comparable access to care that they would receive at the UVM Student Health Center in Burlington. To this end, medical students who require urgent or acute primary medical care while on rotations at these affiliate sites may be eligible to have a portion of their medical bills paid for. In addition, students at affiliate clinical sites continue to have access to providers 24 hours a day via phone. Providers responding to those calls can provide direct support and/or case management services and have a list of clinical resources available to students locally and at affiliate sites. If a need for mental health services arises while on clinical rotations, students should call CAPS triage (802-656-3340) to discuss their needs. CAPS triage may be able to assist with a referral to a therapist in the area.

Who is eligible?

  • Students on rotations at affiliate sites who have paid the full-time comprehensive fee.

What is covered?

  • CHWB may pay up to 20% of the cost of eligible acute/urgent primary care. These services must be received during CHWB regular hours

What is NOT covered?

  • Acute or emergent care not received during regular CHWB hours.
  • Care for services requiring an emergency room visit (i.e. care beyond the services available in a primary care office and/or outside the scope of what would be available at the UVM campus CHWB offices).
  • Services not eligible for care during rotations away from Burlington: Annual physical exams, routine health checks, specialty care, immunizations, annual pap exams, screening tests, PPDs, serologies, and services not provided by Student Health Center (e.g., X-rays).

In the event that an Advanced Integration level student is enrolled in rotations at non-affiliate sites they have access to UVM resources; however, they should refer to the terms of their existing insurance coverage when considering health care options.

Reimbursement Procedures
  1. Students seeking medical care at an urgent care facility, primary care office, or emergency room during eligible hours should request that the facility bill their insurance.
  2. If any payment is required at time of visit, CHWB will not be able to reimburse student for expenses. UVM will only be able to make payments directly to resources providing service.
  3. Student should request the provider bill insurance directly and send the remaining balance bill to the student.
  4. Students should then submit the remaining balance bill to: The Center for Health and Wellbeing, UHC – Suite 2224 – St. Joseph's Building, 1 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401
  5. The Health Center will review the bill, identify costs eligible for payment, and send the student a copy of the bill identifying eligible costs being paid directly to provider or facility by CHWB.
  6. CHWB will remit payment for eligible services directly to the facility.
  7. Bills submitted after six months from the date of service will not be eligible for payment by CHWB.

Applicability of the Policy

All Medical Students

Related Larner College of Medicine Policies

Related University of Vermont Policies

Related Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard(s)

  • 12.3 Personal Counseling/Well-Being Programs
  • 12.4 Student Access to Health Care Services
  • 12.5 Non-Involvement of Providers of SHS in Student Assessment/Location of Health Records
  • 12.6 Student Health and Disability Insurance


  • 7/16/2013 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 6/20/2017 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 12/17/2019 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 4/21/2020 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight

Associate/Assistant Dean for Students (Director of Student Well-being)

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