Health and Counseling

Student Health and Counseling

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center provides medical evaluation and care of student health concerns in an outpatient setting and when around-the-clock care is needed, in an infirmary setting. The Health Center strives to provide comprehensive primary medical care to W&L students, including evaluation and treatment of illness or injury, as well as preventive health services. Nursing assessment and care is available 24/7 and physician/physician assistant appointments are available on weekdays.

In the event of emergency medical services beyond the scope of care at the Student Health Center, students will be evaluated and treated at Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital, located just one mile from campus.

Counseling Services

The counseling staff is available to help students with a variety of difficulties that might impact not only a student's academic work but an overall sense of well-being. University Counseling provides direct psychotherapy services, assessment of academic problems and (with student consent) collaboration with faculty, administrative personnel or parents to provide necessary supports for struggling students. Psychiatric consultation is also available. There are various options for appointments and scheduling.

Student Health Insurance

Washington and Lee University requires all full-time students to be covered by a health insurance plan. Students have the option of purchasing the Washington and Lee University-sponsored Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan underwritten by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company. All international students will be enrolled in this plan. All other undergraduate and graduate students will be enrolled in this plan unless proof of comparable coverage is furnished each year. If you have questions about Student Health Insurance please contact us.

P: 540-458-8401
F: 540-458-8404

Office of Health Promotion

The Office of Health Promotion provides students with information about alcohol and other drugs; sexuality issues including sexual misconduct and sexual harassment; nutrition; stress management; and mental health issues such as depression and eating disorders. The goal of the Office of Health Promotion is to encourage students to make safe choices by having science-based information.

Health and Counseling Services

In case a student is too ill to care for themselves but does not require hospitalization, the Student Health Center has seven beds available for overnight care. In the event of emergency medical services beyond the scope of care at the Student Health Center, students will be evaluated and treated at Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital, located just one mile from campus.

The Student Health Center maintains a limited formulary of over-the-counter and prescription medications to treat many of the most common medical problems we see. Over-the-counter meds may be dispensed by a nurse or a physician. Prescription meds may be administered by a nurse on physician orders, or dispensed by a physician. We do not fill prescriptions from outside physicians, and we do not dispense medications needed for ongoing treatment. Most of our medications can be purchased for between $5 and $20, similar to the prescription co-payment amount for many insurance plans. These charges may be placed on a student's university account or paid by cash or check to the W&L Student Health Center.

Peer Counselors are a team of student volunteers dedicated to helping other students experiencing any kind of emotional or social problems. Recognizing that students often feel most comfortable talking with friends about their issues, Peer Counselors receive extensive training on how to help other students. They are not therapists, but act as friends who are knowledgeable about the kinds of emotional issues affecting students, as well as access to campus resources. Peer Counselors work with Resident Assistants (RAs) on each hall to help first-year students make a successful adjustment to W&L, but they are also available to upper-class students.

W&L also offers several student-centric support groups, comprised mainly of peers, to support each other in times of crisis, self-discovery, questioning and recovery. These groups are confidential and open to any and all students. Some of the support groups include: sober living; LGBTQ+ identity and support; gender identity; mindful eating; depression and anxiety; and sexual assault recovery.

Documentation of completion of certain required immunizations and tuberculosis screening are required for all incoming students. Influenza, Hepatitis B, HPV and TdaP vaccines are available at the Student Health Center; other required or recommended vaccines are available at local pharmacies or at the Lexington Rockbridge Health Department.

Several pharmacies are located in the area for students' ongoing prescription needs or for medications not available at the Student Health Center. These include:

  • CVS Pharmacy: 540-463-7126
  • Kroger Pharmacy: 540-464-1600
  • Lexington Prescription Center: 540-463-9166 (delivers student prescriptions to the Student Health Center every weekday)
  • Walmart Pharmacy: 540-464-3522

Lab testing done through the Student Health Center is sent to the local hospital laboratory for analysis. Lab charges apply for this service. The hospital can do insurance billing with current insurance information, or discounted charges can be billed to a student's university account and a statement provided to the student on request to submit to their insurance plan. Results can be faxed to outside physicians as needed, for example to monitor acne medication therapy prescribed by a dermatologist.

Referrals to area medical specialists can be made by the physician/physician assistant at the Student Health Center for x-ray studies, physical therapy services, etc. We will try to assist with pre-authorization for these services, but parents or home primary care physicians often need to be involved in this process.

The Student Health Center will administer allergy shots on the instructions of outside physicians. Students should bring or send their allergy serum and instruction sheets to the Student Health Center. At the time of the first visit, the nurse will review the procedures we follow when giving allergy shots.

The decision to be sexually active is one that many students consider during their college years. It is a decision that should be carefully considered to ensure both physical and emotional health. Being sexually active carries with it the responsibility to consider the possibility of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections with every sexual encounter. Information and supplies for various methods of contraception are available at the Student Health Center. Being sexually responsible also means avoiding sex under the influence of alcohol or drugs to assure mutual consent. More information about these issues, as well as testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, is available at the Student Health Center.

Confidential testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is available at the Student Health Center, or at local and regional health department offices.

Emergency contraception medication is available at the Student Health Center for situations where contraceptive protection was compromised, such as condom failure, unprotected sex or sexual assault. Emergency contraception medication is effective at reducing the risk of pregnancy in such a situation if started within 72 hours, but should be started as soon as possible. The nurse on duty at the Student Health Center can assist you. 

Women's health information and examinations with Pap tests and STI screening are available at the Student Health Center. Condoms, birth control pills and contraceptive injections are also available through the Student Health Center, and we can refer to area women's health providers for other long-acting contraceptives such as implants and IUDs.

If you are preparing to study or travel abroad, the Student Health Center can assist you with health forms, travel immunizations and other preparations, as well as follow-up for any health problems after travel.