Being an intern at Crossroad has been an eye-opening experience. As a pre-med student, I had done plenty of shadowing before coming to Crossroad, but it was always in my hometown, a wealthy suburban community. My first few weeks shadowing at Crossroad were an entirely different experience. I saw patients who couldn’t afford to pay for necessary medications, who were undocumented immigrants, and who didn’t speak English. I saw the many barriers to care that Crossroad’s patient population faces, and the many inventive solutions that people who work at Crossroad are implementing to make accessing care easier for their patients. One of those solutions, is of course, the VIP program.
As a new VIP, I wasn’t sure what to expect from patients during the referral process, but the vast majority of the people I have helped over the past several months have been kind and grateful. Some of the referrals I work on can be difficult. A patient could have multiple specialist referrals, a restrictive insurance company, or need transportation—or maybe even a combination of the three. There are few things more satisfying that following a difficult referral from beginning to end. It’s great to get the appointments made for the patients, but it’s also great to do the follow up calls and see that they attended their appointments, and that you played a role in getting them the care they need.
-- Hannah Lodin