As students are coming down with the flu, wait times for medical treatment at the Student Health
Services (SHS) center are also coming down. The center received approval last
semester to hire an additional physician to increase its number of full-time physicians
to three. While the search for that third physician continues, the center also hired Nayan Shah on Oct. 13 to replace staff physician Glenn Diaz, who resigned in July.
SHS also has a temporary physician, Dr. Sullyvan Tang, who will work until
the center can find the third full-time physician. Already, however, the average wait time to see a physician has
been cut in half from three to five days to about one to three days.
In an email to TSL, Director of SHS Jennie Ho—herself one of the center’s three physicians—wrote that student
complaints about the long wait times brought about the new position. SHS has received complaints when there is a wait period of over a week, especially during times the service has been understaffed or highly trafficked, such as the beginning and end of the semester and during cold and flu seasons.
“Improving patient access will definitely
help us achieve our goal of providing high quality care in a timely manner,” she wrote.
Two staff physician job postings were listed at the end of July with the assistance
of Human Resources and Hoogstad Consulting, an outside recruiter, with one
filled by Shah. Shah will be providing primary care and prescribing preventive medicine
at the center for all 7C students.
The qualifications for the new physician are a board certification in family practice, internal medicine or pediatrics, with a
minimum of three years of work experience and preferred experience in college
SHS also requires sensitivity to “racial,
cultural, religious, gender and sexual orientation diversity,” Ho wrote. “The college years are a time
of growth and discovery in a person’s life and so it’s more important than ever
that we have a staff that has this awareness.”
Aaron Tsai PO ’17 is the treasurer of the Claremont College chapter of MEDLIFE, a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide medical assistance to communities in need. Tsai agreed with Ho that this awareness of diversity and sensitivity are important, especially for college students.
“Disclosing certain health conditions may be uncomfortable for some,” Tsai wrote in an email to TSL. “This is where the doctor comes in—he or she who is there to help the patient and disclosure of those certain health conditions can not only help the patient but also ultimately deepen the trust between the patient and doctor.”
Shah wrote in an email to TSL that she hopes to encourage students to seek help for medical and psychological needs “without fear of reproach, stigma, or bias of any kind.”
“[I] want to be able to instill good primary and preventive care
measures in the hope that my patients will take with them lasting healthier
choices and habits in life,” Shah wrote.
Shah has long experience in clinical positions. She completed her residency
in Family Medicine through the Charles Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program and has been working as a family physician for the last 10 years. She worked at Kaiser Permanente in
the Family Medicine Department for seven years, at Kaiser’s Urgent Care and as
the lead physician at a non-profit community health center for two years.
Ho wrote that Shah has been a helpful new
addition to SHS.
“I’ve definitely seen improvement in patient access to our
services with Dr. Shah and am pleased that our overall services have improved,” Ho wrote.