Clinician On-Call

Please note that the Clinician On-Call will be unavailable for the summer starting on Friday May 27th. Click here for more summer info.

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. 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 212-854-2091.

When Should I Call?

The Clinician On-Call should be used for those urgent situations that cannot wait until Primary Care is open again. Please note that the Clinician On-call is NOT for routine health questions that can be answered during normal PCHS business hours. Some examples of when to call would include: severe abdominal pain; particularly if it is localized to one area; high fever (>101) that does not respond to acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil); nausea/vomiting or diarrhea lasting greater than 2 days and not responding to a diet of only clear liquids; deep cuts that do not stop bleeding; symptoms of a urinary tract infection (frequency and pain with urination), especially on a weekend; any truly emergent condition (seizures, profuse bleeding, serious injury, etc.) for which Barnard Public Safety/Security has been called. There may, of course, be many other serious symptoms for which you will need to call.

The Clinician On-Call is designed to provide health advice connected with an urgent medical condition, not to answer insurance or administrative questions. Conditions that have persisted for weeks or months without change can also usually wait until the Health Service is open.

When Will They Answer?

Calls are triaged based on urgency of the situation. It is important to leave your phone line open and remain in your room so that we can call you back! If you have not received a response within 30 minutes, please call again and contact your RA or GA for assistance.

Who May Use The Service?

The Clinician On-Call is only for currently registered Barnard students. We are not able to give advice for non-Barnard friends, relatives, graduates, Columbia students, etc. Also, we will not discuss your medical situation with family, friends or other health care providers without your permission.

Can I Call For Another Student?

Generally the most appropriate advice is given when the Clinician On-Call can speak directly with the student who is ill. You may call for your friend (as long as she is a Barnard student), but she should expect to speak directly with the clinician when she/he calls back.

What Will The Clinician On-Call Be Able To Do For Me?

Since On-Call advice is a telephone assessment only, treatment is targeted toward assessing how serious your illness may be. Often, you will be given self-care advice and encouraged to be seen in Primary Care when it is open. If your problem cannot wait, for example you have a very high fever or a deep cut that needs stitches, you may need to be referred to an emergency room. The Clinician On-Call will be able to select the most appropriate referral for you, depending on your symptoms. 

Since there is no access to your records during the times Primary Care is closed, you will need to be aware of any medications (names and doses) you may be taking, pertinent medical history, allergies to medications, etc.

What Do I Do If I Am Very Upset Or Have A Problem That Requires A Mental Health Consultation?

If a counseling-related emergency occurs during office hours, call the Furman Counseling Center at 854-2092, or Primary Care at 854-2091. Regular office hours are 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday.

If a counseling-related emergency arises after hours or on the weekends, telephone consultation is available by calling the After-hours Psychological Emergency Line at 855-622-1903.

We hope you stay healthy day and night… but if an after-hours emergency arises, the Clinician On-Call is available to help.