“I need to see a doctor but where to go…”

By: Cody Frank

Every individual needs to see a doctor at a time in his or her life. As dancers we tend to think we are invincible or that the body will last forever. Doctors and science have told everyone for quite some time that this is false.  Dancers believe that something mild isn’t worth going to get checked out by a licensed professional. In most of my experiences, what I thought were minor injuries/illnesses turned out to be the most chronic or severe situations. These could’ve been prevented if I would’ve talked to a doctor and asked questions in a timely matter.

The Fly in Fly Gyal isn’t always at its best. We all need help at times, it’s just knowing who/how to ask when something is amuck. As dancers, illness and injuries occur. Heck, even as a person it’s inevitable. Dancers should be more aware of their body because it is their instrument. Without it, there’s no dancing, period. Personally, I’ve been in the situation too many times wondering where to go – most of the time I wait too long before I seek help. The questions that ran through my mind were:  Where to start? Who to ask? Who can I get into in the time that I have? What about money? Do I really need to see a doctor? Below is some of the information I have learned from  numerous artists or doctors and research via the internet.

One of the most common questions is where to go? Luckily, in a city like NYC there are a few options to get health care at a reasonable cost without insurance. If you do have insurance then the best way is to call the company directly or to go online and see what doctors and hospitals are covered for you. Click on the links below to learn more detailed information.

In NYC the Al HIrschfeld Clinic  offers free health care to entertainment industry professionals that are uninsured or underinsured. The professionals must be able to provide documentation of their entertainment employment. Click on Al Hirschfeld Clinic to find out more information and details of the procedure.

Phone: 212.489.1939

Hours: Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5pm

Location :  475 West 57th Street on the corner of 10th Avenue in Manhattan

*No walk-ins allowed.

In addition in NYC, City MD is a place to go for NYC urgent care. I’ve gone there before and it was a quick in and out trip to get what you needed. It costs $125 for a visit, however compared to a hospital visit it is inexpensive.

Phone: 212.772.3627

Hours: Monday – Friday 8am -10pm Weekend: 9am – 9pm

Location: Various locations in Manhattan (City MD locations)

*Walk-ins allowed, accepts uninsured and insured.

I understand a lot of you are thinking (or perhaps talking to yourself, we have all been guilty) well yeah the doctor’s appointment is only the beginning. The cost of pharmaceutical drugs can be daunting. For instance, my niece has Cystic Fibrosis. One of the types of medicine she takes costs around $10,000 before insurance. The medicine is mandatory for her body to function normally. Via the website Dance Magazine I discovered a few websites that were created to help people find assistance programs to get affordable medications or for free: 1.  NeedyMeds 2.  PPARx.

NeedyMeds is a non-profit information resource devoted to helping people in need find assistance programs to help them afford their medications and costs related to health care.”

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need for free or nearly free.”

I have not used either of these websites yet. It is a process, and not as easy as running into Duane Reade or a CVS Pharmacy. if you need medication with no way to pay, discover if you’re eligible for prescription drug coverage.

That’s all the for this week, check back next week for more information.

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