College Hall, a building with columns and a steeple, on a spring day, and a banner saying, Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning

Hi everyone, I hope you are well! In this blog, I’m going to write a bit about the health services that are available to us in Amherst, MA. This is not a comprehensive list, but I hope it helps easy any anxiety you may have about health services in rural(ish) western MA. If you have any questions, please email me at!

At Amherst College

At Amherst, there are two principle ways to get medical care: through the health center, and through ACEMS. The health center is right on campus, and is open during the week but unfortunately closed on weekends. It is very easy to make an appointment, and they also take walk-ins. They have multiple doctors and nurses, and my experiences with them have been comfortable and validating. I’ve never felt unsafe while I was there, and they helped me make informed decisions about my medical care. They also do runs to the pharmacy at UMass five times per day to pick up prescriptions for students, so you can grab your prescription from the health center on campus instead of having to make your way to UMass. During the night and weekend, when they are closed, there is still a nurse on-call for emergencies.

In addition to the health center, there is a student-led health program called Amherst College Emergency Medical Service (ACEMS) on campus, where students are trained and certified as EMTs and answer calls for students who need help. They are a great option in emergencies (but obviously calling 911 is also good! There is a fire station very close to us who can help!)

Near Amherst College

UMass has an urgent care service called United Health Services (UHS) that is open on weekends. Amherst students are welcome to go there. I’ve gone multiple times on weekends when I have incurred running injuries, and it has always gone very smoothly.

There is also a hospital about 20 minutes away in Northampton called Cooley Dickinson Hospital with an emergency room – I volunteer there, and the doctors and nurses and techs are very very nice. I’ve never had to go there for my own health reasons, but I know several people who have. In the event of a health problem that is too serious for urgent care, the emergency room there is a great option.

There are also several private health services near Amherst (including in Springfield) that range from dentistry to physical therapy to OBGYN. I’ve used a private physical therapy place down the road from Amherst that I loved – I needed a referral, but they have been great. My only advice when considering private healthcare is to make sure that it is in-network for your health insurance, so you don’t have to pay as much.

I hope this helps ease any anxiety!!