Life as a Physician
A large part of who I am is wrapped up in the “Doctor Mentality”. Growing up my mom watched ER every day. It drove me nuts, but anytime I spent more than 3-4 minutes watching it, I found myself glued for the rest of the episode. Years later I began recording the two episodes that were on TNT everyday. I’ve seen nearly the entire series. It actually was the cause for my original passion for Africa, over 3 years ago when I wanted to be a doctor. I happened to have seen the first episode again the other day. A green resident is overwhelmed by a serious trauma and goes to get air. The veteran Doctor Greene steps out with him to give him some advice. His advice is this:
“There are two kinds of doctors. Those who get rid of their feelings, and those who keep them. If you are going to keep your feelings, you are going to get sick from time to time, that’s just how it works. People come in here and they are sick, dying and bleeding and they need our help. Helping them is more important than how we are feeling. It doesn’t make it any easier though.”
I found that incredibly insightful. Let me share what I got from it.
1. As Christians we are spiritual doctors to a dying world. The bible tells us that our tongues hold the power to speak either life or death into someone.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. ” Proverbs 18:21
This is something we should never take lightly. If we aren’t speaking life into someone, we might as well be killing them. We need be both intentional and responsible with what we say and do. Just like a doctor in the midst of the sick, we are far too few to waste time. We must act and we must do all we can with what we have.
2. We will get sick sometimes. Christians cannot throw out their feelings, we will quickly become legalistic if we do. We are forced to keep our feelings. Jesus promised joy, but he never said it would be easy. It is lonely, frustrating, heartbreaking work trying to chase after Christ in a cruel and perverted world. Thankfully we have Him to rest upon.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
Don’t try to take on the burden of the world on your own. It’s too much for any human to bear. Find rest in the Lord.
3. We need to help others despite our feelings. Doctors sometimes have to help people who don’t want help. Sometimes they have to help people they don’t want to help. They must do it though, because it’s their job, it’s who they are. We must do the same. We will see people who don’t see their sin, they refuse help. Often times they’ll be so rude or hateful that we don’t want to help. We are different though. We are the image of Christ in all situations and we must not fail to do all we can. Just as a doctor would face consequences for failing to act when capable, so too will we.
“When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.'” Ezekiel 3:18
There is no time to play games with our life. We have all the tools, knowledge and ability needed to begin helping those in need. There are ER doctors, pediatric doctors, doctors in cities, doctors in villages. It’s not about where they are, it’s that they are doing their job, and if someone is in great distress, doctors don’t sit on the sidelines. As a young poet Ezekiel (not the biblical one) said, “Speak life or death will volunteer itself.”
“A physician is obligated to consider more than a diseased organ, more even than the whole man – he must view the man in his world.”