Overcoming Challenges as a Patient Advocate by Novi Dosanjh

Posted on: December 28, 2020Philadelphia

Becoming a patient advocate at Health Centers 3 and 4 has shown me so much in more ways than one. My role, essentially, is to advocate to companies for patients that are uninsured so they can receive medications at little or no cost to them. We have many medications that are available to patients through our program that patients can receive through us. 

File holder for medications waiting to be picked up
File holder for medications waiting to be picked up

When a patient comes to my office, they usually are there for one of the two things: pick up medication, or fill out forms. New patients will bring a prescription in which I work to find the medication in our program. I will have them and the doctor fill out the application, and fax it off to the company in which I would follow up to ensure the patient's approval. Because of the multi-step process, time is of the essence. 

I remember a time specifically when it was my first couple of weeks in the office. I was in the midst of getting everything organized and in order. I had a patient come in asking to pick up their medication. Although, I did not have their medication and I could not find them in the refill system or their file. I quickly looked up the company that supplied the medication they were looking for and it turned out they were in the company's system. Although, they were in need of a new prescription. I got into contact with the physician and was able to expedite shipping so the patient could receive their medication as quickly as possible.

to-do list for daily, weekly, monthly tasks
to-do list for daily, weekly, monthly tasks

The next few days later the medication had arrived and the patient was able to pick it up! They expressed how thankful they were that I was able to get it to them fast, as they were running out quickly. It was at that moment I realized, in my first couple weeks serving, how important and real this was. As time went on, I found more little challenges that came into place with all the little steps in the process when getting patients their medications. I found each challenge that was overcome more rewarding, as I was able to become that bridge. These were people’s treatments that helped keep them going in their day to day. Being the bridge that is able to give them what they need is something I found so rewarding in my day to day. I sought out to bring that reminder into my daily service.





About the Author:

Novi Dosanjh

Pronouns: she/her

Host Site: PDPH Health Center 3 and 4

Novi recently graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Neuroscience. She aspires to attend medical school one day and pursue a career as a physician. This year, she hopes to improve her communication and empathy skills with an under served patient population. The National Health Corps provides her with the perfect opportunity to work on these skills prior to medical school as well as gain a new perspective on an unfamiliar population.