BY JORDYN BRADLEY
Wilcox Medical Center,—also known as the “Med-Shed,” is your reliable location for many of your health needs while being at Alma. Whether it’s for immunizations, routine check-ups, sports physicals or just to stock up on condoms, Wilcox has you covered.
Wilcox’s mission on the Alma College website states: “We welcome the opportunity to consult with students wishing to take personal responsibility for their own health and wellness.”
Mandy Wolever, the on-staff Medical Assistant, discussed how many students visiting the Med Shed are first time visitors of a medical center without their parents.
“I will help them with paperwork if they need it, because many students come in for the first time without their parents,” said Wolever. “We try to be as helpful and welcoming as possible, plus everything is confidential, so students do not have to worry about their information being leaked to anyone else.”
Naomi Mason (’20) recalled, “I never saw very many students in [The Wilcox Medical Center] so I guess from me, I would say don’t be afraid to go because it’s better than you think! I think some people might have the misinterpretation that it’s just for STDs and things [of the sort] but it’s not.”
In fact, the Medical Center treats a variety of different things. Brianna Fitzpatrick (’19) commented on her experience with Wilcox throughout the last year. “Last October I had something come up medically that I never would have thought to
happen, the med-shed properly diagnosed what I had and gave me the right steps to follow to help. Without them, I could have been a lot worse off. Recently I’ve been having to go there a lot because of the same medical issue and they’ve been wonderful in helping me get through this long process.”
Jarrett Buikema (’21) had a different review to give of the Medical Center. “[My friend and I] walked into Wilcox and two other guys were sitting waiting for routine check-ups. My friend walked up to the front desk to talk to the lady about being seen and she told him she was busy. He told her he was bleeding and that he would appreciate if she could just tell him if he needs stitches or not, yet she would not help him right away. The wait was so long and they wouldn’t see him, so we left and I took him to the hospital instead.”
Alexia Miller (’20) said, “in general the people are super nice over there, but I had an injury last year and they told me it was fine. Later I found out it wasn’t actually fine, but was infected causing permanent scarring.”An anonymous student said, “Unless it is something you basically know the symptoms are pointing towards, I wouldn’t go there.”
Alyssa Mohr (’19) added, “When it is flu shot week, they can’t even take walk-ins. When I was dying of an ear infection and sinus infection, I walked in [the center] basically on the brink of death and they said, ‘no we aren’t making appointments this week because it’s flu shot week!’I had to go all the way home and miss school because I was so sick and they wouldn’t treat me.”
Klair Loper (’20) said, “They will accept walk-ins, but if they are busy then you are obviously going to have to wait, like a regular doctor’s office. You do not have to try and find a doctor in Alma while living here, and it is cheaper than the emergency room.”Wolever touched on the pricing difference of the Med-Shed versus going elsewhere for attention. “We try to keep prices lower for the students. Also, we don’t ask for co-pay up front, so [students] do not have to worry about paying something as soon as they come in.”Loper added, “It is right on campus, you do not have to have a driver’s license or a car.”