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Best Health Care for Starving Artists

  • The Miller Healthcare Institute for Performing Artists

    355 W. 52nd St., seventh fl., 646-778-5550

    The audio in the waiting room at the Miller Institute is not Muzak but opera—no surprise, since the medical director, Dr. Mitchell Kahn, is also the house doctor at the Met. Here, hardworking and underpaid dancers, singers, actors, and musicians with little or no insurance can receive top-tier medical care on a sliding scale. Four staff physicians are backed up by a bevy of part-time specialists—an orthopedist, a psychotherapist, a hand therapist (especially for the musicians), and a physical therapist. Kahn also tries to negotiate reduced rates for outside treatments on behalf of his patients. Moreover, if you’re willing to pay full fare, you don’t have to be a starving artist to visit the clinic: Half the clients—many in the extended cultural-arts community—could go elsewhere but come here for the expert care. Performers must show proof that they are in the profession—a union card, a Playbill, something like that—and verify financial need. “They don’t have to audition,” deadpans Kahn.

From the 2006 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine