Chandler Morris first heard of CrossOver in 2013 during his freshman year at VCU. Initially, he says, his interest was practical—volunteering would be good preparation to apply to medical school down the road. “But once I got here and met patients and staff and volunteers, it became something more.” There’s a kinship at CrossOver, Chandler says. “It’s family.”
Chandler graduated from VCU in 2017. He’s been working as a medical scribe and is currently in the process of applying to medical school. When COVID-19 began to affect medical practices’ operations in March, Chandler’s scribing hours at his job were cut. He suddenly had much more free time, and he decided to give that time to CrossOver. Since March, Chandler has given over 239 hours to serve at CrossOver’s Richmond Clinic, where he works at the front desk.
Working the front desk at CrossOver gives Chandler experience he doesn’t get in his scribing work. While scribing is certainly valuable for his future in the medical field, it doesn’t provide opportunities to interact directly with patients. He likes the challenge of speaking Spanish with our Spanish-speaking patients and of working to communicate with patients who speak other languages as well. “I’ve enjoyed struggling to improve my ability to communicate that way,” he says. He feels particularly honored when patients choose to share with him about their lives, and he works hard to minimize the stress they may be experiencing as they seek medical care.
Volunteering at CrossOver has changed the way Chandler thinks about his future medical career. He is interested in going into surgical oncology, but he says, “Whatever field I end up in, I see myself finding a place like CrossOver where I can volunteer my time.” CrossOver has also developed in Chandler an interest in global health. He remembers learning from medical director Dr. Murchie about the diversity represented by CrossOver’s patients. “Fifty languages and 100 countries! When Dr. Murchie told me that, my mind was blown!”
In all, Chandler has given 558 hours over five years of volunteering at CrossOver. “He is compassionate, professional, and humble,” says Dr. Murchie. “I’ve been inspired by his dedication.”