August 2019
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Congratulations from Children's Medical Office to everyone headed off to college in the upcoming weeks.
It's a big transition from high school to college, and there are lots of adjustments to be made. We wish everyone the best of luck and every success.


In addition to negotiating with your new roommates about how to share your living space and trying to figure out how to get from place to place on campus, you're going to be assuming full responsibility for your own health. Even if you're still living at home, it won't be your parents role tonag gently remind you to eat breakfast, get some kind of exercise and all the other things that help maintain your health. But those things will still be important.


As you undertake your studies, we hope you still find the time to eat three meals a day (even if the first one is at 11), stay physically fit, and get plenty of sleep. And whatever the social scene at your school, we obviously encourage you to remember all the lectures helpful information you've received in all the health classes you've attended over the years.


Good luck! We hope the next few years of your life are amazing.



You are still a CMO patient whether your college is in California or North Andover, so please use our for non-urgent questions or concerns through the semester.

Flu Clinics!!! 

Flu Clinics will be available soon to schedule online
through your  MyChart account

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MyChart for School/Health Forms
MyChart  enables you to view your medical record, including notes from medical visits and lab tests, get past immunization history, view and pay your bill, and even to download camp and sports forms. Parental access differs depending on the patient. Patients 13 years of age and older are eligible for their own account.
Labor Day Weekend Hours
CMO will be open normal business hours Sunday September 1, 8:30am-12pm  and Tuesday September 3, 7am-7pm.  

The office will be closed in observance of Labor Day Monday September 2. Our providers are to see you for urgent medical issues even when the office is closed.

As always, our providers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any problem you feel is urgent.  
Call us first!  978-975-3355



Myths About Starting College


Myths About Starting College

1. Everyone is SO thrilled & excited about starting college, right?  Wrong.

This is just one of the many myths about the transition to college that warrant discussion.

Here are some more myths:

2. Everyone adjusts easily to college.

3. Most kids don't get homesick.

5. Everyone parties at college so I have to too or I'll feel like an outcast.

4. Friends abound almost immediately at college.

6. I've got to pick a Major asap or my future career is in jeopardy


Let's tackle these one at a time...

Everyone is SO thrilled & excited about starting college.   

Sure, there usually IS excitement, but just as intense & common are feelings of nervousness, anxiety, or sadness. Maybe you're well aware of such feelings, or maybe you're noticing physical signs like unease, your heart racing, nausea, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or headaches. These are possible signs of distress & anxiety, but are quite typical when facing a big life change. You may feel ashamed having such feelings or worries. Actually, most kids heading off to college don't share these reactions with each other since it's hard to admit even to oneself, let alone to someone else. Sharing these concerns with someone you trust is often a huge relief, even if it doesn't change the reality. Other things that help include reminding yourself of all the ways you've coped well with past challenges, new situations, & stressors, & hopefully what you gained or how you grew as a result. With all the worry you are feeling now, you may fail to notice the ways that you are resilient, so take stock. Notice what helps you feel stronger under stress, & keep these in mind to use now & when you're at college.

Everyone adjusts easily to college.   Again, what you see on the surface is not always what is true. Most kids struggle with the adjustment & just don't want to feel embarrassed talking about it. Of course, the more outgoing you are by nature, the less stressed you may feel when faced with the prospect of having to make new friends, manage unknown roommates, & navigate a bigger, new setting. But even outgoing kids may feel scared or sad as they leave home & old friends & familiar turf. It's just a fact that every single kid you will meet is feeling some element of this, to one degree or another. This dovetails into the next, related Myth...

Most kids don't get homesick.  How homesick you feel in the beginning is in no way an indication of how much you'll end up liking college & forming friendships. Homesickness is normal, no matter how old you are. Expect it; especially at night when you're drifting off to sleep, walking to class in the morning, or during downtime. That's why so many kids throw themselves into a lot of activity: it helps to distract yourself from feeling homesick or anxious, & that's a really good coping tool that also helps you make connections with other people & more readily find your niche. Rather than frequently calling home, try also confiding in someone at college; this will help you form stronger connections where you are.


Everyone parties at college so I have to too or I'll feel like an outcast.   Sometimes in a flurry of activity to distract from feeling nervous, homesick or sad, kids throw themselves into activities that aren't so adaptive-like partying too much. At many colleges, you'll find it's the freshman who tend to do this much more than the older students, & that's one reason why. The other reason of course is that it can feel liberating at first to do what you want without concern about parents' supervising you & restricting your drinking & late-night hours. Just know that many freshman have no real desire to party a lot & are hoping that there are other kids like them. To find such kids, go to activities on weekends that don't revolve around partying. When you're at a party, look for the kids who are consuming moderately or not at all; they truly exist. And let's face it, the frat parties often attract those activities, so even which party you choose to go to affects how much you'll feel like you fit in.

Friends abound almost immediately at college. 

T hat's absolutely false. Many kids take a full year or two to find some good friends. You may find acquaintances early on that you meet up with here & there, but we all know the difference between feeling like you have a close friend vs passing time with others. Connecting on a deeper level with people is wonderful, precious, & by its very nature special-so it can't happen so easily. Some people just make it look easy because they're outgoing. The world is filled with extroverts & introverts, & both types still take time finding their special circle of friends; the introverts just take a lot longer. If you're an introvert, don't beat yourself up: it's not an indication of your worth, your success in life, your eventual capacity for close friendship. It just takes you longer to find your kind. Push yourself to get out of your room; use organized activities to structure your social time so you have something to share & talk about with other kids; give yourself permission to feel lonely for a while; & remind yourself that you can handle this.


I've got to pick a Major asap or my future career is in jeopardy.  Unless you're going to a specialty school (of Engineering, Art, etc), it's just a fact that kids often have no clue what career path or major they're going to end up with, & many change mid-stream. So relax. Now that you successfully got in to college, you have nothing to prove about this. But, do seek out a college advisor sooner rather than later, & tell them your situation. Ask them to help you keep an eye on the bigger academic picture & key decision-points along the way.

Though the Myths exist & college adjustment isn't always a piece of cake for most kids, do reach out for help if your moods, anxiety, sadness, or actions worry you. Every college has a counseling center. Tell your parents, ideally, or your doctor. Let some adults help you sooner rather than later.

And, as always feel free to consult by phone or in person with the Behavioral Health Psychologist at CMO.  

Meningococcal Disease and College StudentsMenB
CMO recommends the Meningococcal Vaccine (MenB) for our 16- 23 year old patients.

Meningococcal disease is a serious illness caused by a bacteria called Neisseria meningitides. It can lead to brain and spinal cord infection and septicemia. Even when meningitis is treated 10-15 out of 100 people who get it die from it. 
We already give Menactra,  another meningitis shot to prevent other common serogroups of meningitis.

We hoping to give this vaccine series to all of our older teens ages 16-23. It is a series of 3 vaccines given at 0, 2 and 6 months ideally.

Please make an appointment to get vaccinated, especially if they are going to college or boarding school this fall. There are other circumstances we may give this vaccine even if our patients are not in the age range mentioned above. If you have any questions please contact your primary care provider. 


Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Providers and staff at Children's Medical Office