What Are Your Rights and Responsibilities?

Many schools list patients’ rights and responsibilities on their website. The list of rights will generally let you know that you will be treated with respect, privacy, and confidentiality. The goal of patients’ rights and responsibilities is to create a mutually respectful relationship between the student and the provider/health or wellness center.

Patient rights include things like:

  • having the right to receive treatment no matter who you are
  • having the right to confidential medical records
  • having the right to know the credentials of those treating you 

Patient responsibilities include things like:

  • informing those treating you of your medical history
  • showing up for scheduled appointments and canceling them if needed with ample notice

In addition to having rights as a patient, you also have responsibilities. The health center at your school likely has a list of patient responsibilities. This may vary by institution, but they might include things like:

  • Being honest about your medical history. Your provider is not there to judge you, so be honest about your medical history, your alcohol and drug use, and share your concerns. This will ensure the best treatment for you.
  • Not missing appointments. If you schedule an appointment, show up. If you need to cancel or reschedule, give the health center plenty of notice (not 10 minutes before your appointment).
  • Showing up for appointments on time. When you’re late, that could impact the entire schedule, affecting other students who require care. 
  • Meet your financial obligations. Basically, pay your medical bills if you have them. And pay them on time. Otherwise, this could impact future care or (at some schools) your ability to register for classes.

Check with the staff at the student health or wellness center for a list of patient responsibilities.