University Students: Registering at the Doctors
When heading off to university there are many exciting opportunities and experiences to be had, from making new friends to exploring a different city. Despite the extra freedom this brings, there are also many mundane aspects to consider when moving away from home for the first time. One of these is registering with a new local doctor.
This step is advisable for all new students, especially in the first few weeks where they might be more susceptible to illness and need medical advice. The convergence of large numbers of people from various locations, poor diet choices, heavy consumption of alcohol, stress, tiredness, and other activities linked to starting university, can all weaken the immune system, and culminate into what is known as the dreaded ‘freshers flu’ – a battery of illnesses that might include a fever, headache, and general discomfort.
As well as signing-up to a local practice in anticipation of any illness or injury, stocking up on bathroom cabinet essentials, such as first aid kits, vitamins, painkillers and personal hygiene products, will ensure that self-medication options are to hand if you really can’t muster the strength to get out of bed.
At Chemist Direct we looked at how many university students actively plan to register with a new local doctor when they move away from home to attend university, and how it compares across the UK.
Would Students Sign Up to Local Doctors When They Move Away from Home for University?
We asked university students from across the UK: ‘Would you sign up to a local doctor when moving away from home to go to university?’ From the available answers of ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘not sure’, we found that around one in five (21.6%) of students were not actively planning to sign up to a doctor.
The findings also suggested that females are more likely to register than males, with 83.76% of females saying they definitely would, compared to just 59.82% of males saying the same thing.
By nearest city
Those attending university in and around Oxford, Sheffield and Worcester were the most likely to plan to sign up to a local doctor – in these three locations between 90 and 100 percent answered ‘yes’ when asked whether they’d sign up to a new local doctor’s practice. In these areas, it was specifically students attending Oxford Brookes University and the University of Worcester which were most likely to do so, with an impressive 100% ‘yes’ response for each.
At the other end of the scale, by nearest city it was students in and around Portsmouth that were the least likely… as well as having the lowest level of ‘yes’ responses (43%), they were also the most unsure about their plans, with another 43% choosing this option rather than a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Not far behind for the lack of ‘yes’ answers were Edinburgh, Bristol, Leicester, and Liverpool, where just 63%, 68%, and 70% respectively said ‘yes’ they would actively plan to change doctor.
By individual universities
When looking at universities individually however, there were a few discrepancies – both between different universities in the same city, and related to the wider student population findings by nearest city above.
For example, in Liverpool, 100% of respondents at Liverpool John Moores University said they’d sign up with a new local doctor, while only 80% at the University of Liverpool said they would. In Sheffield the same was true, with 50% at the University of Sheffield saying they wouldn’t sign up while 100% at Sheffield Hallam said they would.
While Portsmouth was highlighted as the city where student residents were both the least likely and the most unsure, it was specifically students attending The University of Aberdeen that were the worst, with only a third of students planning to register, and the remaining two thirds stating that they would not be bothering at all.
Impressively, students attending Cambridge University, Coventry University, Leeds Metropolitan University, Oxford Brookes University, and the University of Worcester had 100% of respondents say they would sign up to a local doctor.
Image courtesy of iStock.
*Based on nearest city