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Graduate Student Guide to MIT Medical

Graduate school is a challenging time—and at MIT, those challenges are often magnified by the Institute’s culture of intensity. Many of our graduate students have uprooted their lives (and their families) to come to MIT and spend long hours every day in their labs or departments. Not surprisingly, many struggle to balance their work obligations with time for family, self, and friends. With limited time to cultivate relationships, still others have trouble building strong social and professional networks. And for many international students, understanding the U.S. medical and health care system is yet another challenge.

We know that as a graduate student, your time is precious. That’s why we’ve created this guide to make it easy for you to find and connect with the information and resources you’re likely to need.

MIT Medical: What You Should Know

MIT Medical, located in E23 on the MIT campus, is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and offers care from experts trained in an extensive range of specialties. Because we also take care of staff, faculty, and retirees, we are able to offer more on-campus care options to students than other schools typically do.

Choose a Primary Care Provider

Navigating a new health care system can be difficult. To get off to a good start, the first thing you should do is pick a primary care provider (PCP). Choosing a PCP gives you access to a provider who understands your needs, oversees and manages your health information, and refers you to other care providers as appropriate.

We have a wide variety of PCPs from whom to choose. Visit the MIT Medical Services Directory to search for the PCP who best meets your needs. You may select either a physician or a nurse practitioner as your PCP. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with advanced training to diagnose illnesses and prescribe medications.

You can request a PCP or change your current PCP by completing the online Primary Care Provider Choice form or by calling Patient Registration at 617-253-6286. If you have questions, please contact Claims and Member Services at 617-253-5979 or

Understand Your Insurance Coverage

Most of your care at MIT Medical is covered as part of your tuition and fees. You do not pay for such services as medical care by your primary care provider, routine physical exams, mental health services, X-rays, mammograms, or laboratory and other diagnostic testing when provided at MIT Medical. Some medical services may require you to make a copayment. A copayment is a specific dollar amount you must pay when receiving certain covered services, even if you have insurance.

Not all services are covered by insurance, so it is always good to check with Claims and Member Services at 617-253-5979 or to find out if a service is covered before receiving the service. Answers to questions about your insurance may depend on your unique situation, so it is best to speak with a Member Services representative rather than asking your primary care provider or the front desk staff.

Students can purchase medical coverage for family members through the MIT Student Health Plan or the Student Extended Insurance Plan. Family members may include a spouse or spousal-equivalent, unmarried dependent children younger than 25, and dependent children of covered, unmarried dependents. By enrolling your family members in an MIT Medical Plan, they'll be able to access most clinical services here at MIT Medical at no additional charge.

Medical Report Requirement

Massachusetts law requires new MIT students to meet a number of medical requirements before registering for classes. To ensure your compliance with these requirements, you must submit a completed Student Medical Report Form that documents your medical history, immunization record, and physical examination results. Please return the form to MIT Medical, room E23-177. If you have questions, please refer to the Student Medical Report Form FAQ, call 617-258-7051, or send an email to

Take Care of Your Teeth

Dental insurance coverage is available for graduate students at MIT in collaboration with Delta Dental of Massachusetts. The MIT Graduate Student Dental Plan is designed to help students maintain good oral health by providing access to a network of dentists in the Cambridge/Boston area (at this time, MIT Medical's Dental Service is not part of this network). The plan offers diagnostic and preventive services with no copayment and restorative services at a pre-negotiated rate.

Keep Yourself at Peak Performance

It’s hard to concentrate and do your best if you’re not physically healthy. Eating right and exercising are some of the best ways to increase your energy, lower your stress level, strengthen your immune system, improve your sleep, and brighten your mood. Community Wellness at MIT Medical provides a range of fitness and nutrition classes throughout the year.

You can also meet with a health educator to talk about techniques for balancing work and personal life, managing stress, sleep issues, sexual health, quitting smoking, or problems with alcohol or drugs. Contact Community Wellness at MIT Medical at 617-253-1316 to set up a meeting. Visits with MIT Medical health educators are free and confidential.

Address the Stress

Everyone feels overwhelmed and anxious sometimes. It is important to address these common feelings of stress and anxiety as a normal part of managing your overall health. Community Wellness at MIT Medical provides free, scientifically based information and programs designed to help you decrease your stress and anxiety and increase your focus and concentration. Regardless of the time constraints and pressures you face, we have resources that will help you feel and function better—such as individual consultations, yoga classes, graduate support groups and classes focused on easing friction, and a multimedia library [link] full of resources and information.

Said one MIT graduate student who has benefited from our yoga classes and one-on-one consultations, “If I had known that I could feel this good, I would have done this a lot sooner.”

Graduate Support Groups

Group Name Audience
Creating Opportunities for Personal Effectiveness Graduate students
Graduate Women’s Group Female graduate students
Graduate Men’s Group Male graduate students
Communication Skills Graduate and undergraduate students with Asperger Syndrome
Making Peace with Food All female students
Alcohol & Drug Discussion Drop-In Group Open to all students
Easing Stress with Mindfulness Graduate students
ADHD Information & Skill Group Graduate and undergraduate students with ADHD
Weekly Relaxation Group The entire MIT community

A Healthy Mind

Stress is a natural part of graduate student life. Many people believe they should be able to handle their problems on their own or may have individual reservations about talking with a mental health clinician. However, the MIT community views mental health as an important part of overall health and wellness and encourages students to use our mental health and counseling resources early—before a situation starts feeling like a crisis. Mental health clinicians can answer questions on depression, offer tips on stress management, and help students with concerns ranging from relationship problems to difficulties adjusting to a new culture. The truth is that virtually everyone can benefit from a mental health consultation. In recent years, one in four students has used the Mental Health and Counseling Service during his or her time at MIT. Visits to the Mental Health Service are completely confidential and free to registered MIT students.

To schedule an appointment, call MIT Medical’s Mental Health and Counseling Service at 617-253-2916. You do not have to be in a crisis to make an appointment. The reasons people visit counseling centers are as varied as the people themselves, and much of the benefit is in the focused, dedicated exploration of issues in an atmosphere that is non-judgmental, supportive, and objective. MIT Medical’s Mental Health and Counseling Service also has walk-in hours Monday through Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. for urgent needs. All visits to MIT Medical’s Mental Health and Counseling Service are confidential.

Support for Children, Spouses, and Partners

MIT is committed to helping you, your children, and your spouse or partner thrive while at MIT.

MIT Medical’s Pediatrics Service serves children covered by the MIT Health Plan from birth through adolescence. Our dedicated team of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and other staff members work together to provide high-quality medical care that is compassionate and responsive to the individual and family. You must fill out a pediatric history form for each of your children who comes to MIT Medical for health care. The form is also available in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

Our MIT spouses&partners support network is designed to help families from all over the world connect with each other and get the information and referrals they need. The group is sponsored and coordinated by members of the MIT Medical staff.

Related Links

Office of the Dean for Graduate Education
Graduate Student Council
MIT Community Organizations and Student Groups

MITogether posters


Download, print, and put up these posters in your dorm, FSILG, department, lab, or center. For more personal and support information, go to