Pre-Clinical Drug Testing

Pre-clinical drug testing is required for all CUIMC students that engage in clinical responsibilities as part of their professional training and education. The drug testing policy provides an opportunity for early identification and intervention before the consequences of substance use adversely impacts a student’s health, professional growth, and patient care. Early intervention also provides an opportunity for successful treatment without the involvement of formal disciplinary action or other sanctioning.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my drug screening results from another location?

Drug screening for CUIMC must be completed from start to finish through CUIMC Student Health on Haven.

How much will the drug test cost me?

There will be no additional cost to you to complete the test. The cost of the drug test is included in the Health and Related Services Fee (HRSF).

How much time do I have to complete my drug screening?

You will receive an email with a link to your registration. You must register for the screening within 5 days of receiving the email. You will then have 22 business days from the date of registration to complete your drug screening. Please note that other deadlines may be instituted by your clinical site or your academic program.

What happens if my drug test expires before I complete it?

If you do not complete your drug screening in the allotted time, your test will be considered positive. You will be required to meet with the Director of Addiction Information & Management Strategies (AIMS). Furthermore, failure to comply may warrant notification to your Student Affairs Dean.

My registration link expired. What should I do?

If your registration link has expired, please reach out to the Director of Addiction Information and Management Strategies (AIMS). The circumstances will be reviewed and then a new registration link will be dispatched upon approval.

What over-the-counter medications, foods, or substances might cause a false positive?

There is varied information available about what will cause a false positive. We encourage students to do their own research from validated sources. This is part of a practice in professionalism as a health professional completing a drug screening.

Will the results of my drug screening be kept confidential?

Drug screening results will be held in strict confidence in the student’s medical record unless released at a student’s request or under certain specific circumstances: a danger to self or others, including risk to patients, or failure to follow up with a mandated program following a positive test.

What if I am taking a prescription medication?

If you test positive, you will be contacted by the Medical Review Officer (MRO). The MRO will ask if you are prescribed medication that could have been responsible for a positive screening. If so, the MRO will ask you to produce verification documents. Upon verification, the results will be recorded as negative. The only exception is in the case of medical marijuana. See below for more details.

What if I have a prescription for medical marijuana? How will that be processed during the drug screening?

Any positive marijuana screening will be reported as positive regardless of prescription status and/or individual state laws. The medical review protocol is aligned with federal mandates that classify marijuana as an illicit substance. We encourage you to reach out to the AIMS program for a confidential conversation to discuss any questions or concerns

If I have other questions that have not been answered, who can I contact for further information?

For more information, please contact the Director of AIMS at sg3052@cumc.columbia.edu or 212-305-3400.