My name is Swairah Rehman and I have only been at Crossroad health center for a short amount of time, but I have already started to understand the impact of our job as volunteer interns. When I first started working at Crossroad, it was at the OTR location, where I was given the opportunity to shadow Dr. Van Milligan. What resonated the most with me was how she always had a smile on her face and attended to her patients with the warmest of greetings. I didn’t understand how she could constantly, patient after patient, keep up with the individual stories of each patient. She congratulated a patient on completing a half marathon and sympathized with another for the loss of a family member. Through these small interactions, she humanized the situations of the patients who entered the room. I was given the chance to see patients on a more intimate level, I was able to see them open up to a doctor.
Many people dread going to the doctor’s office, whether it be for financial reasons or medical realities that they may face. However, at Crossroad the patients were eager to come in and talk to the physicians, they connected with them on a level that is not seen in many physicians’ offices. These patients, who may be juggling two to three jobs or may be taking care of multiple family members, didn’t always have to time to call different hospitals and doctor’s offices to schedule appointments or chase down medical records. However, at Crossroads we worked to help and understand the patients’ situations and accommodate their schedules. The humanity I saw here made me realize I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else as an intern. My job as an intern was making the lives of these patients a little bit easier and I am truly grateful that I have been given this opportunity to make a difference, no matter how small or big.
` Now, as a second year student at the University of Cincinnati and living in Cincinnati on my own, my eyes have been opened to the conditions of many of the individuals in the area. Being able to understand the stories of those around us is crucial to integrating into the community we live in. My major is in Biological Sciences on a pre-med track, with aspirations of becoming a family care physician. My time at Crossroad, has pushed me towards pursuing a certificate in minority health which is something that I have decided on in order for me to better serve underrepresented populations and give them a voice within healthcare. I want to thank Crossroad for showing me how important family care physicians are and how every community deserves adequate care no matter how impoverished.
-- Swairah Rehman (Sway)