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A Fresh Start Through Tattoo Removal

Dr. David Ores, or “Doctor Dave” as he’s more commonly known, relies on only himself to run his medical practice: He is the physician, the nurse and the receptionist. He answers all his own phone calls and e-mail messages — which are seemingly never-ending.

Dr. Ores also runs what he calls the Fresh Start program, in which he removes gang- or prison-related tattoos from the face, neck or hands of his patients free of charge. Dr. Ores — who often serves uninsured and low-income patients through a pay-what-you-can philosophy — cites the stigma attached to prison tattoos and notes that those who wear them are often unable to afford removal procedures.

“There are people out there who are willing to help them if they’re willing to help themselves,” he says.

NYU Journalism’s Rachel Wise reports.