FAQ’s for Incoming Students

CONTACT INFORMATION

  • How can I get in contact with you?
    The best way to communicate with us is through email at ecohenshc.immunizations@med.usc.edu. If you contact us via phone, we may not be able to assist you right away due to patient volumes. Please send an email with your program name and student ID number in the subject line.

DEADLINE

  • My deadline to submit my health clearance pack is [—–] but I am unable to meet that deadline. Can I turn in my paperwork later?
    Yes, you can. However, if you submit your paperwork after the deadline, you may not be cleared in time for your program to assign you to rotate at your clinical facilities. Please submit your paperwork as soon as possible.

TITERS

  • What is a titer?
    A titer is a laboratory test that measures the presence and amount of antibodies in blood. A titer may be used to prove immunity to disease. A blood sample is taken and tested.
  • Why do I need titers when I have had all my vaccinations?
    Vaccination alone is not proof of immunity. Pharmacy, Nurse Anesthesia and Physician Assistant programs place students at facilities that require students to prove immunity through a blood test for Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, and Varicella. Medical, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs place students at facilities that require students to prove immunity through a blood test for Hepatitis B only.
  • Then, why do you require vaccination series documentation?
    Many rotation sites require this documentation before you can rotate there. If this documentation no longer exists, we will waive this requirement as long as your titers return positive.
  • One or more of my titers came back negative, equivocal, or borderline. Now what do I do?
    If you have had your full vaccination series, but your titer came back negative, equivocal, or borderline, get a booster shot and retest the titer after 30 days. If the titer remains negative, equivocal, or borderline, please make an appointment at the Eric Cohen Student Health Center to discuss your options and obtain clearance.
  • I had titers done three years ago. Are they still valid?
    Yes they are. Titers show us whether you are immune to a disease. We just need proof that you were tested for immunity at some point in your life and that your results came back positive. We do not need them done at a certain time.
  • What are the test numbers for the titers?
    • Measles IgG (Quest #964, LabCorp #096560)
    • Mumps IgG (Quest #8624, LabCorp #096552)
    • Rubella IgG (Quest #802, LabCorp #006197)
    • Varicella IgG (Quest #4439, LabCorp #096206)
    • Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Quantitative Only (Quest #8475, LabCorp #006530)

OBTAINING TESTS AND PHYSICAL EXAM

  • I do not currently have health insurance, where can I get my clearance completed?
    At the Eric Cohen Student Health Center, we provide titers and vaccinations for incoming students, but cannot provide a physical exam for students who are not currently taking classes at USC. We recommend that you use your health insurance and visit your primary care provider or visit a CVS Minute Clinic near you.  
  • I had a physical done two years ago. Is that still valid?
    No. We need a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner to fill out the form in your health clearance packet.

HEPATITIS B

  • I am a known Hepatitis B Carrier. Do I need any additional testing?
    Yes. Please make an appointment to see one of our physicians as soon as your classes start. 

USC STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY PARK CAMPUS

  • I am a student at the main campus. Do you already have my medical records?
    No. We do not share medical records with the main campus. In fact, we do not share medical records with any departments at USC. This includes departments at the Keck Medical Center. This is in place to provide confidentiality for our students. Please contact Engemann Student Health Center to request that your medical records be sent to us.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

  • What are my TB testing requirements?
    If you were born or lived outside the US as a child in a high incidence TB country, you are required to have a blood test called an IGRA. Either the T.Spot.TB® or the QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test are acceptable. 
  • Do I need to get a chest x-ray?
    A chest x-ray is only required if your IGRA test result is “positive” or you have undergone INH treatment.

BUT MY DOCTOR TOLD ME…

  • But my doctor told me I don’t need a second PPD.
  • But my doctor told me I don’t need a booster shot.
    Many clinicians follow standards that are not based on requirements for health care workers. Please follow the requirements we have given you or we will be unable to give you immunization compliance. We use the standards set by the LA County + USC Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, as well as those standards set by schools and hospitals across the country.