Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents:

General FAQs

Appointment FAQs

Insurance FAQs

Medical FAQs


Where is the Primary Care Health Service located?

The Primary Care Health Service is located in Lower Level Brooks Hall, in the basement of the Barnard Quad, and is accessible via both the Sulzberger and Brooks entrances.


Is the PCHS wheelchair accessible?

The PCHS is accessible by wheelchair from the elevator on the first floor of Brooks Hall.


When is the PCHS open?

The PCHS is open for clinical care during the academic year. Our regular hours are Monday - Friday from 9AM to 5PM. Please note that the PCHS closes every Thursday from 11AM - 1:30PM for a staff meeting.


How do I request a copy of my immunization record or medical record?

To request a copy of your immunization or medical record, please complete the Authorization to Release Medical Records Form.

You can mail, fax or drop the form off at the PCHS. Please note processing times can take up to 1 month depending on the amount of records requested. Current students may receive a copy of their medical records at no charge. There is a charge of seventy five cents per page for all non-current students.


What types of appointments can I schedule at the PCHS?

PCHS offers a variety of appointment types, outlined on our Appointment Types page.


How do I schedule an appointment?

There are three ways to schedule an appointment with the PCHS:

Please note that not all appointment types are available for online scheduling.


What should I bring to my appointment?

All students must bring their insurance card (either the physical card or a print out of the front and back of the card) every time they visit the PCHS.

There is no co-pay or visit fee at the PCHS. However, the PCHS does charge for medication, vaccines and medical supplies which must be paid for at the time of the visit via Visa, Mastercard or check. The PCHS does not accept Discover, American Express or cash.


If the services at the PCHS are free, why do I need to bring my insurance card?

While there is no per-visit fee or co-pay at the PCHS, referrals, lab tests and diagnostic tests are billed to your insurance.


What is the Open Communicator website?

The Open Communicator website is the PCHS's secure online portal. On the Open Communicator website you can schedule certain types of appointments, cancel any PCHS appointment, receive secure messages from Primary Care clinicians and Furman counselors, submit certain required forms, and access your immunization records. For more information please see our Open Communicator page.


What type of appointments can I schedule online on the Open Communicator website?

You can schedule the following appointment types on the Open Communicator website:

  • Contraceptive Management
  • Gynecological
  • Physical or Form Completion
  • Medical Visit


What type of appointments cannot be scheduled on the Open Communicator website?

You cannot schedule the following appointment types online. Please call or come into the office to schedule the following appointment types:

  • Flu shot
  • Immunization
  • PPD placement or reading (for tuberculosis screening)
  • Travel appointment
  • Nutrition appointment
  • EKG
  • Lab work (from PCHS or Furman Counseling providers only!)
  • Allergy shot appointment
  • Health Education appointment
  • Any Furman Counseling appointment


How do I cancel an appointment?

There are three ways to cancel an appointment:

You can cancel any scheduled PCHS appointment via the Open Communicator website in the Appointments Section, regardless of whether you made it online, over the phone or in person!

Appointments cannot be canceled via voice mail, gBear/personal email or Open Communicator Secure Messaging.


Does the PCHS charge a fee if I miss my appointment?

Yes! The PCHS charges a $25 no show appointment fee for all appointments which have not been canceled before the start of your appointment.


Does the PCHS have walk-in hours?

The PCHS offers walk-in hours every morning during the academic year.

We are open for walk-ins from 9-11:30AM Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, and from 9-11AM Thursday. The earlier you arrive, the more likely you will be seen.

Walk-In hours are for urgent medical and gynecological issues that cannot wait until a scheduled appointment is available. Patients are seen in order of urgency and then time of arrival.


What if I’m not sure if I need to make an appointment or can walk-in?

If you are unsure as to whether you need an appointment or can walk-in, please feel free to contact us at 1-212-854-2091. Except in emergencies, students who arrive without an appointment should be prepared to wait.


I don’t have the Barnard student insurance. Can I still be seen at the PCHS?

Yes! ALL currently registered Barnard students have access to the services at the PCHS, regardless of what kind of insurance they have.


I lost my Aetna Student Health insurance card. Can I request a new card?

Students can print their insurance card from the Aetna Student Health website.

You will need your 7-digit Barnard ID number in order to print your card.

To request a new physical card, please contact Aetna Student Health at 1-866-725-4396.


Who can I contact if I have insurance questions?

For all insurance questions please contact Elliot Wasserman at or 1-212-854-8305.


What if I’m sick when the PCHS is closed?

The Barnard Primary Care Health Service recognizes that serious illness will not always be confined to weekday, daytime hours. For those urgent or potentially dangerous situations that cannot wait until Primary Care re-opens, telephone advice is available throughout the academic year, including Thanksgiving, and spring breaks.

Clinician On-Call: 1-855-622-1903

The Clinician On-Call is not available during winter or summer break. Please note that the Clinician On-Call is only available when PCHS is not open. During regular business hours, please call Primary Care at 1-212-854-2091.


Will my family, or anyone at the college, know that I was seen at the PCHS?

No. All health information is confidential and yours alone. This information is never shared with any family members or representatives of the college. We require written consent from you to release your health information to any person.


What if I have an emergency and can’t get to the PCHS?

For all emergencies that occur during PCHS office hours, call public safety at 1-212-854-3362.


I was sick and I missed a class. Does the PCHS provice class excuse notes?

The PCHS does not provide class excuse notes. If you are seen in the office we can provide a note stating the date that you were seen, but it will not contain any medical information. If you have an on-going illness that requires accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services .


Can the PCHS help if I have a chronic illness?

Yes! Please make an appointment with a PCHS provider to discuss your medical history and needs while at Barnard.


Can the PCHS refill my prescription?

An appointment is necessary to refill any medication at the PCHS.


Can I purchase medications or first aid supplies from the PCHS?

An appointment is necessary to purchase any medications or supplies from Primary Care. The front desk is not able to dispense any medications or supplies, including over the counter medications and supplies such as ice packs and bandages.


Does the PCHS offer counseling or mental health services?

For mental health services, please contact the Furman Counseling Center.


Are psychiatric medication refills available through the PCHS?

No. There are psychiatrists on staff at the Furman Counseling Center but generally they do not refill psychiatric medications without a full evaluation.


What if I want to see a medical specialist?

The PCHS maintains a list of specialists in NYC. For a referral, stop by during walk-in hours or call the office at 1-212-854-2091 to make an appointment.


Can I go to Columbia Health Services if the Barnard PCHS is closed?

Barnard students cannot be seen at Columbia Health Services when classes are in session. 

Barnard students can only be seen at Columbia Health for urgent care problems during winter, spring and summer break when the PCHS is closed. There is a $75 visit fee that will be reimbursed to you if you have our student health insurance. If you have an outside insurance plan, you will need to check with the insurance provider to determine if you will be reimbursed.


Does the PCHS sell the morning after pill/Plan B?

Yes! To purchase Plan B either come in during our walk-in hours or call 1-212-854-2091 to schedule an appointment.


Where can I find safer sex supplies?

Primary Care provides free condoms and lubricant, available in the waiting room whenever we are open. The Well-Woman program offers condoms, lubricant, and dental dams in a basket outside of the office in 119 Reid. For contraceptive options like the pill,  intrauterine device (IUD), ring, or implant, please make an appointment with PCHS.


How do I get an intrauterine device (IUD)?

Students who would like to get an IUD from PCHS must first have a clinical appointment for medical clearance, and then a health education appointment to answer any additional questions and to fill out paperwork to order the IUD. Appointments for insertion are scheduled once the IUD is delivered to Primary Care. For more information, please see our Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives page.