Jill Grimes, MD, FAAFP, is a nationally recognized medical media expert, award-winning author, medical editor, and Board-Certified Family Physician. Her passion is prevention, and her message spans print (Parenting Magazine, Glamour, etc.), online (Refinery29, Foxnews.com, etc.), and television and radio talk shows (Sirius XM Doctor Radio). After two decades of private practice, Dr. Grimes now enjoys seeing patients at the University of Texas in Austin. She is a proud mom to two awesome collegiate daughters. Academically, Dr. Grimes enjoys educating healthcare professionals by speaking at national AAFP, Pri-Med®, and Harvard Medical School conferences, and remains on clinical faculty at UMASS Medical School.

The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook: Your Guide for Everything from Hangovers to Homesickness  – by Jill Grimes, MD, FAAFP

The COVID pandemic has focused our attention on health like never before, and soon millions of students will graduate from high school, excited to fly the nest and begin their college careers. As these young people begin to take responsibility for their own health, they will be dealing with the added challenges of issues like homesickness, close quarters of dormitories, test anxiety, and even hangovers, in addition to illness and injuries. As a physician in the urgent care department at the University of Texas and mother of two collegiate students, Grimes began writing helpful tips and creating first aid kits for common college ailments, which steadily evolved into The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook (May 5, 2020, Skyhorse Publishing).

Dr. Grimes makes it clear from the beginning: the book is not intended to replace your next doctor appointment. However, armed with quality information, students will know when to seek medical help, how to describe their condition, what questions to ask, and what dorm-friendly tips and tricks might help before they are seen. The book is organized literally from head to toe and goes far beyond “Dr. Google” to provide the knowledge of evidence-based medicine every college student should know.


  • This book is for college students and their parents 
    • Parents: Gain confidence that your student has a trustworthy source to help deal with anxieties, illness & accidents, and know this book holds your go-to answers (and the necessary follow up questions) for those times when your student defaults to sending you a frantic late-night text! 
    • Students: Learn when and if you need to seek care. College students face unique medical risks such as: living in close quarters with other students, the stress of being away from home, public speaking and/or test anxiety, and possibly new levels of physical intimacy, alcohol usage or drug experimentation.
  • Parents often make all the doctor appointments and closely manage their children’s health right up until they go to college, which may leave students poorly equipped to navigate the healthcare system on their own and/or unsure of basic health care decisions such as choosing which over-the-counter remedies are appropriate for an illness or injury.  
  • Telemedicine is being widely used as an emergency measure during the pandemic, and will likely continue for certain ailments moving forward. While telemedicine certainly provides easy access to a healthcare professional, this type of care obviously cannot provide any physical exam (and typically only limited testing) so the benefit of easy access must be weighed against the risks of misdiagnosis and/or over-prescription of antibiotics. Mental health visits, on the other hand, are very well suited to telemedicine. The privacy inherent with online visits often removes barriers to treatment and actually facilitates counseling, especially after contributing physical factors have been ruled out by an in-person visit with a primary care clinician.  
  • Avoid unnecessary doctor visits! Tight schedules and rising costs of healthcare make it even more important for college students to learn which symptoms they can treat on their own.
  • Students don’t know what they don’t know…so this book teaches them about a few less common but potentially life-threatening medical problems (like spontaneous partial lung collapse or developing blood clots and subsequent serious chest pain from birth control pills.)


  • May 1- National College Decision Day
  • May – High School (and College) Graduation
  • May – Mental Health Awareness Month 
  • May – Texas Writers Month (Jill lives in Austin.)
  • May 10 – Mother’s Day 
  • June – Summer Safety Month
  • August – Fall 2020 Semester Begins