One of the unfortunate downsides of adulthood is having to book your own appointments. The times of parents booking yearly dentist visits and shipping you off to the doctor if you are sick won’t last forever. Not only do you have to remember to book such appointments, but going to them often ends in a hefty fee. I don’t know about the rest of you, but as a student I am all about convenience and budget.
However, there is an answer! In first year I somehow stumbled upon the knowledge of the doctor services provided at uni, and in the years since I have expanded my knowledge on these not only convenient in terms of location, but often cheaper (of free!) services.
The University of Melbourne Health Service is located on Cardigan Street, so is literally a hop, skip and a jump away from uni. And it is bulk billed (i.e. free!) for Unimelb students! If you have previously been to the service you can now book online, otherwise give them a call to find out the next available appointment.
The clinic can reasonably busy, however if you are flexible about which doctor you want to see you can normally get a last minute appointment. The service is great for last minute medical certificates, referrals for mental health plans, overseas immunisations and blood tests. Just keep in mind if you do end up seeing the nurse for an immunisation, the appointment will be bulk billed but you will have to cover the cost of the injection.
There is also a pathology service on the first floor, so you can get any blood tests done straight away!
Counselling and Psychological Services
Also on the first floor above the doctors is a free service ran by the uni if you want to talk to someone about any stress, anxiety, or mental health concerns you might be experiencing. And once again, bulk billed!
You can book by calling up the service, however keep in mind that this service is often in high demand, especially around exam time. If it is urgent the service offers 30 minute appointments at 2pm and 2:30pm everyday, but they go on a first come, first served basis.
If you are like me and avoided the dentist for 5+ years (I blame having braces as a child and the monthly orthodontic appointments), then booking in to see the dentist can be a bit daunting. I tracked down the University of Melbourne Dental Clinic at the start of the year, and it was pretty good. I can’t really compare it to anything as a) like I said it was the first time I had been in years, and b) this was my first ‘adult’ dentist appointment I had to pay for.
The service itself was great. Your ‘dentist’ is actually a final year student, but don’t worry, everything they do is double checked by their supervisor. However, this does result in the appointment taking
a million years over an hour. My dentist/student/superior-tooth-checker was actually lovely, communicating everything he was doing to my precious teeth the whole time. Apparently dental students study some psychology now so they can try avoid all their patients hating them.
However, I have to say that god damn dentists are expensive. I think I paid about $100 for just a check up, which included x-rays of the gaps between my teeth. My lovely dentist did try and convince me to get my teeth cleaned and have a filling, but my wallet was already crying.
I must confess I literally just googled ‘unimelb physio’ and this popped up. Head over to this website or pop into the sports centre at uni to find out more.
At the start of the year I began to accept that having my eyes feel like they were going to fall out of my head while reading probably meant I should do something about it. Which I did, however it was only afterwards that I discovered that the university has an eye clinic. You can book an appointment by calling the number on this website.
According the site eye assessments are free of charge, and the service offers discounts on glasses. As with the dental service, this clinic is full of student optometrists, so your appointment may take longer!
And there you go! Remember to look after yourself throughout the year. If you know of any other health related services the uni offers for students, let us know in the comments!