Medical Approval Process

Medical Approval Process

As part of enrollment in an SFS program, all students must complete a full medical review. This review is designed to inform SFS staff on the medical and mental health needs or accommodations that may be required. The review is not meant to exclude, but to inform and allow support systems to be put in place. Should SFS have any concerns about accommodations for a particular physical or mental health condition, the student and the student’s physician or mental health provider will be contacted to discuss strategies for successful program participation. Should SFS have any concerns during the process, the student and the student’s healthcare provider will be contacted to discuss the student’s capacity to participate on-program. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please contact SFS Student Life

Inaccurate or incomplete information on any of the SFS medical forms may be grounds for rescinding an offer of admission, recalling a student from the program, or restricting student participation in certain on-program activities. In addition, students are responsible for informing SFS of any changes to their health status or medication that occur after submission of SFS medical forms. Program acceptance is contingent upon medical approval.

MEdical Forms

The SFS Medical Forms can be found in the students’ SFS Application. Any questions regarding the medical review process can be directed to studentlife@fieldstudies.org or the students’ admission coordinator.

MEdical Forms Required of All Students

  • Health History Form: Set of self-disclosure forms completed by the student.
  • Physical Examination and Authorization Form: To be completed by a physician, physician’s assistant, or registered nurse practitioner who is not related to the student.
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendation and Policy Acknowledgement
    • This is an electronic acknowledgement designed to inform each participant of the COVID-19 recommendations and related policies SFS maintains.
    • All SFS program participants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. SFS program locations do not currently maintain entry-requirements related to COVID-19. However, participants who join their cohort without a COVID-19 vaccination may be barred by local authorities should COVID-19 requirements be reinstated at any point while abroad.
    • More information can be found here.
  • SFS Medical Acknowledgement
    • This is an electronic acknowledgement designed to inform each participant of the personal responsibility for preparing for their international experience.

Medical Forms Required As Applicable

  • Mental Health Provider Evaluation: To be completed by the student’s mental health practitioner. Required if a student has been in counseling for any reason within the past two years.
  • Psychotropic Medication Form: To be completed by the student’s prescribing physician. Required if a student is currently taking a psychotropic medication.
  • Lifesaving Medication: If the student is prescribed any lifesaving medication (Epi-Pen, Rescue Inhaler, Insulin, Post-Seizure Medication, etc.), the Lifesaving Medication Form is required and must be completed by the students’ allergist, neurologist, or physician who manages this condition. 
  • Medical Specialty Provider: (Physician, PA, NP): If the student has visited a medical specialist for any health reason in the last two years and/or if they are under long-term care of a specialty provider for any reason.  
  • Divers Medical Questionnaire (Turks & Caicos ONLY): Required for all students who intend to SCUBA dive. A complete guide to completing the DMQ form can be found in the SFS Application for TCI Students. 
  • Spirometry and/or Pulmonary Function Test Results (Turks & Caicos ONLY): Required depending on student medical history.

Program Specific Items

Depending on the program, students may be required to submit additional medical forms, vaccination documentation, or letters of medical clearance.

  • Immunizations: Some SFS programs require students to receive a specific vaccination prior to program participation. For these programs, students must submit documentation of the completed vaccination(s) in their SFS Application. Students should consult the Field Guide and the MEDICAL PREPARATION FOR THE FIELD: A Guide to SFS (School for Field Studies) Medical Approval Process found in their SFS application page for information on SFS vaccinations requirements for program participation. Students should also consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Traveler’s Health website for a list of recommended vaccinations.
  • Follow-up Call: As part of the medical review, students may be required to complete a phone call with one of our team members to discuss preparation and expectations for the program. The SFS Student Life team will contact students directly to schedule this call after submission of the required medical documents.

MEdical Approval Process

All SFS medical forms and any required vaccination documentation should be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Summer I or Summer Combined: April 1
  • Summer II: May 1
  • Fall Programs: June 1
  • Spring Programs: November 1

All medical paperwork will be reviewed by SFS. Students must be able to meet the physical challenges presented by SFS programs without undue risk to themselves or others. Academically qualified individuals may be disqualified from participating on medical grounds. Students will not be allowed to join an SFS program without providing details of their current medical insurance prior to participation on program.