And so begins a New York Times article about the recent JAMA Internal Medicine analysis of physician pay disparities. The central message of the analysis is that women in healthcare, on average, earn $20,000 less per year than their specialty-matched male colleagues.Read More
Most people can do one or two of these things, but very few people can do more than that. I have always found this idea intriguing as my family and I considered how to budget the money we have been given. But it leaves out something very important we can do with our extra money, doesn’t it? We can give it away.Read More
Preparing to meet my next patient, I pick the next chart up off the counter. “Bob Smith,” married middle-aged patient, chief complaint: STD check. “Weird,” I think, “Mary Smith’s husband’s name is Bob, too. What a coincidence.” I open the exam room door, and Mary Smith’s husband, Bob Smith, is sitting inside.Read More
It was a relatively slow evening at work when I got the text. My phone vibrated on the clinic countertop as I was looking over a chart. “Are you busy? Can you talk?” I figured those words couldn’t be good, coming as they did from a young intern I mentored when she was a medical student. I found myself wondering if she had lost a patient.Read More
How many times have you gone to clinic when you were sicker than the patients you were treating? Listened to other people’s woes and stresses when your own were weightier? Given your last emotional resources to a patient whose need was less than your family member’s? Forfeited sleep while advising a patient of how curative it is? Advised a patient about nutrition and exercise right after scarfing a quick lunch from the vending machine?Read More
My eldest child left for college this fall, having chosen to attend school in Scotland. Yes, that’s right. Scotland. It’s a long way away. It’s also a place I had never previously visited. We went on a family trip to Scotland in March—partly to visit the school he now attends, and partly to have one last bang-up family vacation before we became a family that no longer lives under one roof. On that trip, we had not one, but two, flat tires on our rental car. A consequence of our struggles driving on the left side of the road, perhaps?Read More
I was looking up some information on the American Association for Physician Leadership website when an article caught my eye: “Are You a Narcissist?” I hadn’t decided what I was going to blog about this month; not surprisingly, narcissism was not on the list of things I was considering. But the article piqued my interest, so I clicked on the link and read the entire thing. There was even a quiz I could use to find out if I am a narcissist. You will be relieved to know I “passed” the quiz with a non-narcissist score! That was reassuring, but I was curious as to why this article interested me so much.Read More
As a second year medical student, a member of my medical school class committed suicide. I didn’t know him well, but his death impacted me. Made me ask a lot of questions. Why didn’t I know him better? Had I gotten to know him, could I have made a difference?Read More
According to a 2009 article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, “Approximately 10% to 12% of physicians will develop a substance use disorder during their careers, a rate similar to or exceeding that of the general population.” But while our addiction rate may be similar to the rest of the country, the characteristics and consequences of our addictions are not.Read More
Doctors have had a bad rap on the marriage front for a number of years. We’ve long been accused of having a much higher divorce rate than the general public. For many years, there was not a lot of data on healthcare marriages, but strongly held popular opinion characterized a high percentage of us as overworked divorcees whose devotion to our patients cost us our marriages.Read More
I look across the table as Ashley* tells me that there are things no one knows about her, and that her Christian friends would never accept her if they knew . . . that she can’t really believe that God can accept her, since He knows. For some reason, she decided to share them with me.Read More
Dr. Autumn Dawn Galbreath explores what a variety of secular physicians have to say about praying with patients in the exam room. It’s a topic that is vastly important to Christian healthcare professionals. Not surprisingly, there was a wide range of options among secular physicians.Read More
So began Dr. Ann Tsen’s journey from clinical practice to a nontraditional career. She is not alone in her dissatisfaction with some aspects of medical practice and her search for an alternative career path. Many physicians at varying stages of life are finding themselves considering alternative career paths—often, much to their own surprise.Read More
Healthcare has changed dramatically over the past fifty years. Theories abound as to the various causes and their effects – with managed care, the Generation X work ethic, and increased numbers of women in medicine being three commonly cited reasons for the decline of the traditional “family doc” who made house-calls and whose work hours were 24/7 as needed and the steep increase in the “physician shift worker” who figuratively clocks in and out and leaves his pager behind when he is off duty.Read More
In this Winter 2019 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, A biography of Peter Dawson, DDS, the Crisis in Nicaragua as told by Trish Burgess, MD, the Lure of Money, by Autumn Galbreath, MD, Marriage Maintenance by Patti Francis, MD, and CMDA’s new statement on Recreational Marijuana.Read More
“Achieving Balance in Life” by Autumn Dawn Galbreath, MD, MBA
God calls us to an equitable and harmonious distribution of ourselves in multiple areas of our lives. We need to be focused on Him and His scales, rather than the world and its scales.
“Am I Living With Joy in My Life?” by Al Weir, MD
God wants us to live with joy in our lives; however, today, doctors face pressures from many sources that can rob them of the joy of Christian living. As Christians we are followers of Christ who happen to be doctors, not doctors who happen to be Christians. We must discover our mission in life and not allow distractions to rob the joy.
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. Human trafficking is most commonly defined as:
Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age
The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.
A victim does not need to be physically transported from one location to another in order for the crime to fall within these definitions.
There are several types of human trafficking including forced labor, sex trafficking, forced child labor, bonded labor, involuntary domestic servitude, debt bondage among migrant laborers and child soldiers. Human trafficking occurs in every part of the world, from less developed countries to more developed countries. As such, it is a crime under U.S. and international law. Victims can be any age, any gender and from any economic standing in life.
CMDA offers continuing education for healthcare professionals to learn more about human trafficking and how to provide healthcare to victims. To get started, visit www.cmda.org/tip.Read More
It is tempting to think sexual harassment is a problem that happens to other people in other places. Sadly, that is not the case. According to Medscape’s 2018 survey of 6,200 physicians, 7 percent of physicians have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the last three years.Read More
I love the opportunity to write for CMDA on a regular basis. I always sit down at the computer and words flow out of my heart and out of whatever I am experiencing at that point in time. It has been a new experience to struggle so much with my blog entry this month. I have written four or five entries—and every single one of them is depressing and discouraging, and also very similar to the one I wrote on my last assigned blog date. I keep trying, and I keep coming up pretty empty. It’s only after attempt number four or five that it occurred to me to think about the emptiness itself.Read More
Our family has an unofficial mascot—a little bendable Gumby doll. I have no idea where Gumby came from or how exactly we acquired him. He started out as a little game in which various family members move Gumby to different places around the house. When you find Gumby, you move him somewhere else where he awaits discovery by another family member. Over the years, we have adopted an unofficial motto that goes with our unofficial mascot: “Semper Gumby” (always flexible). As is true of numerous other healthcare professionals, flexibility is not my strong suit. I am really good at focus, goals, determination and persistence. Flexibility, not so much. So “Semper Gumby” is a motto for me as much as anyone else in the house. A reminder that flexibility is a necessary part of doing life with other people.Read More
We are living in a highly polarized society. Disagreeing opinions have very little overlap, making compromise difficult. People talk more than they hear, and they hear more than they listen. People rally and argue and protest, but they rarely build bridges across the divides. Political candidates represent the extreme ends of their party’s platform, and those in the middle are accused of being weak on issues. Opinions on social media are strongly worded and leave no room for useful discussion. Family members have broken fellowship over the Trump v. Clinton election. Friendships are strained over differing definitions of social distancing. The world we live in is broken, and people are afraid. Fear, in fact, is the most insidious form of brokenness. It penetrates the very marrow of our character and changes our motivations. The values and ideals we hold dear are corrupted by fear such that we no longer act based on what we believe, but rather out of avoidance of what we fear.Read More
The American Journal of Psychiatry (AJP) printed a rare and important correction this month. A study claiming to be the “first total population study of transgender individuals with a gender incongruence diagnosis” was published in the October 2019 AJP titled “Reduction in mental health treatment utilization among transgender individuals after gender-affirming surgeries: a total population study.” Seven letters to the editor from 12 authors, myself included, resulted in a data reanalysis and subsequent correction statement that no improvement was demonstrated with surgical treatment. Now for the setting and major points of my team’s published letter.Read More
With recent discussions about allocation of scarce resources with the COVID-19 pandemic, concern has been raised about ensuring justice across all ethnic and political lines in caring for our patients. If allocation is determined based on anticipated quality life years based on treatment, then an inherent bias is baked in against the elderly. If likelihood of good outcome is a major criterion, then patients with higher levels of pre-existing disease will lose out. An example of this would be that among certain ethnic/racial populations there is at baseline a higher proportion of people with underlying heart, lung, metabolic or environmental disease. The African American population, in general, has a lower life expectancy, based on these factors, so if one weighs the allocation models to provide support for healthier patients, they will disadvantage people of color in distribution of ventilators, ICU beds and hospital admissions. Similar claims are made regarding people from other minority groups based on religion, gender, socio-economic class, educational attainment, etc.Read More
What is the foundation of your moral principles?
If you consider that a simple question, you’ve never really thought about it much.
The gut reaction of most Protestants would be “Scripture”—certainly a fitting place to begin—but when one drills down into the details, things get complicated rather quickly. For decades, theological liberals have dismissed biblical teaching on sexuality because they dismiss the Bible. In more recent years, a newer contingent rejects traditional Christian teaching on sexuality arguing that “the Bible never taught it in the first place.”Read More
Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) has tackled race issues in healthcare proactively, gathering members together for prayer and fasting, webinars, public policy statements, articles, discussions, video presentations and more while pledging to “continue seeking to oppose racism in healthcare and society and pursuing justice in access to healthcare and equitable outcomes.”Read More
Is reality subjective or objective?
A new hermeneutic of reality is arising: converting objective physical reality into subjective reality.
The rapid rise of the transgender movement and the denunciation of physical reality inherent in that movement has stunned countless conservatives and especially evangelical Christians. Transgender ideologues are not interested in prioritizing one aspect of physical reality over another. Instead, they want to subvert objective reality to a new subjective reality defined by the individual and the movement.Read More
When this pandemic started, I, at least, had heard of Zoom. My husband Don, also a family physician, had no clue. We’re both in our 60s and feel simultaneously confused and outdated whenever a new form of technology emerges. Picture a donkey leaning back on the rope held by someone trying to drag it forward. You get the idea.Read More
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on June 12 that it had “finalized a rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that maintains vigorous enforcement of federal civil rights laws on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, and sex, and restores the rule of law by revising certain provisions that go beyond the plain meaning of the law as enacted by Congress.”Read More
Conscience rights are constitutional priorities as well as professional and personal necessities for free people, and these enjoy strong and historic support from the legislature, executive branch and judiciary. They are worth defending, especially when misrepresented and misunderstood.Read More
OK. The ad is hypothetical, I’ll admit. But only a little. A just-released report on human sexuality issued a clarion call for Christian apologists to step up and counter the increasingly toxic cultural narrative on human sexuality. That narrative—or perhaps narratives, since some are severely at odds—has led to increasing radicalism and polarization, leaving a tide of refugees in its wake.Read More
The viral attack hit especially in the major metropolitan epicenters, and many doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other healthcare professionals stayed at work in the trenches, came out of retirement or traveled long distances to volunteer their services to aid those in distress.Read More
In New York City, pronouncements against the volunteer work of the Christian relief group Samaritan’s Purse revealed venomous anti-Christian attitudes. Because Samaritan’s Purse, led by Franklin Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, adheres to a biblical view of marriage, some New Yorkers would have had the group kicked out of the city rather than allowed to help save lives.Read More
Ethical considerations should have a priority place in science and medicine. Promoting sound bioethics promotes confidence in doctors and scientists and their work, among peers, the public and policymakers. This is certainly seen in the recent ethically-guided decisions around federal funding of research with fetal tissue from elective abortions. Ethical guardrails help focus precious research funds on projects with best chance of success and benefit for all. Even in a crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, illumination of the ethical vs. unethical proposals can educate and serve to focus attention and resources on the paths that will benefit all.Read More
Since the time of Job, people have struggled with depression. Depression isolates, as it causes sufferers to withdraw from others. Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding depression often reinforces the isolation. Not only do others stigmatize those who are depressed, but depressed individuals often believe these misunderstandings about themselves and experience shame. This shame arises from ignorance and misunderstanding about the nature of depression.Read More
Seeing the pandemic as an opportunity to pump up profits from abortions, the abortion industry and its advocates in state governments are lobbying to loosen abortion-related FDA safety requirements.Read More
Per Alliance Defending Freedom: “Freedom of conscience means you are free to carry out your moral duty without fear of government coercion or punishment.”
Also, it need not be faith-based to count. Conscience is conscience, and these rights protect our atheist colleagues as they do us. Canadian philosopher Edward Tingley explains that conscience rights protect those who object to the norm of what even a majority thinks is right, and they apply when (1) a cogent claim can be made that (2) grave wrong is done. The claim of wrong needs only to be serious and defensible.
Conscience rights exist precisely to protect someone who disagrees with majority consensus. They specifically protect unpopular opinions. The objection needs only to be serious and defensible.Read More
The world is caught up in the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus has changed our lives, and it will continue to change the lives of people all over the world for years to come. Schools, churches, businesses, restaurants, sporting events and entire countries are closed or are placed under lockdown. Shelter-in-place, an old term, unknown to most, is now widely used, and it affects, by some estimates, more than half the country. At any hour of the day or night, one can find the most up-to-date tallies for morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and around the world. This led me to three observations.Read More
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is universally applied in cardiac standstill, unless a physician order is given to Do Not Resuscitate (DNR). CPR is the only procedure that can be performed without a physician order; a nurse cannot give aspirin, start an IV or feed a patient without an order. However, CPR is the automatic default when the heart stops. This universal application has created several ethical issues, and the current pandemic now has us questioning if CPR should be the automatic default.Read More
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…You…were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself…’” (Galatians 5:1a,13-14, NIV 1984).Read More
Renowned British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge once said: “All news is nothing more than new people experiencing old things.” Over the last weeks accumulating into months, the word “unprecedented” has quickly become a favorite and frequently used description of the COVID-19 times we are living in.Read More
Beacon Christian Community Health Center (www.beaconcchc.com), in conjunction with personnel from South Korea and Europe, created a first-of-its-kind comprehensive outpatient protocol at the start of the height of COVID-19 cases in New York City.Read More
Since the start of 2020, our world has seen a viral pandemic sweep through and ravage countries and nations. COVID-19 and its medical sequelae has uprooted and deeply impacted mankind, regardless of the assembly of the human race—the young and the elderly, the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor. Many are speaking out and also searching for answers amidst what some people fear as God’s judgment on His people.Read More
As a board-certified family physician and hospital medical director with over 25 years experience in emergency, hospital and nutritional medicine, I want to encourage you to do everything you can to stay as healthy as possible during this devastating epidemic.
As the U.S., state and local governments and healthcare professionals labor tirelessly in compassionate and effective efforts to protect American citizens from the spreading COVID-19 Coronavirus, governments in certain countries instead are reportedly exposing persecuted religious groups to the threat.Read More
American novelist James Lane Allen wrote, “Adversity does not build character; it reveals it.” The response by the governments of countries around the world to the COVID-19 Coronavirus is revealing the fundamental character of those governments.
As the U.S., state and local governments and healthcare professionals labor tirelessly in compassionate and effective efforts to protect American citizens from the spreading COVID-19 Coronavirus, governments in certain countries instead are reportedly exposing persecuted religious groups to the threat.Read More
I’ve been a family doctor in the same location for 30 years, so many of my patients have been with me a decade…or two…or three. Following people through their life stages has been a joy. We’ve grown older together. I’ve been acutely aware of this in the last two weeks as I’ve called patients to reschedule them. I’ve wanted to call them myself to make sure they don’t need anything, because I’d rather they avoid any medical facility for the next six months.Read More
My 21-year-old son attends university in Scotland. Scotland is a beautiful country filled with some of the loveliest people I have met in my travels. They are warm, friendly and willing to help a stranger, even if you can’t always understand what they are saying to you. Those thick Scottish brogues can be difficult! Just sayin’.Read More
Should ethical considerations have a place in science and medicine? Should ethics reviews be a standard part of science proposal reviews? Some scientists have said one reason they don’t consult ethicists or think about the ethical implications of their research is because ethicists usually say “no” to new technologies or because ethics is arbitrary. But what they are really avoiding is the necessity of setting rational limits on science, thinking they can thereby avoid any limits on their work. Limits that protect all human beings—even nascent human life—are neither arbitrary nor irrational. Such limits offer essential protections against abuses that could actually tarnish the image and standing of science, and limits also provide us opportunities to appreciate our shared humanity. These limits are not barriers but rather channels to move the scientific endeavor onto more productive ground. Science and ethics are not diametrically opposed approaches. In fact, in most cases the two walk hand in hand, enjoying each other’s company and benefitting from the shared journey.Read More
Barna research has reported that “Half of Christian pastors say they frequently (11%) or occasionally (39%) feel limited in their ability to speak out on moral and social issues because people will take offense. The other half of pastors say they only rarely (30%) or never (20%) feel limited in this way.”Read More
British general practitioner Sally Howard wondered in The BMJ, “…the significant majority of children do resolve their gender ID in favour of their natal sex by adulthood. Where is the advocacy for the mental health needs of that majority?” Where, indeed.Read More
Definitions are important for what they say—and for what they do not say. Consider the definition of human trafficking. “Trafficking in persons” (TIP) is defined by the U.S. Department of Defense as “the use of force, fraud, or coercion to compel persons to provide labor or services or commercial sex. TIP involves exploitation of all types. TIP can include elements of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for the purpose of exploitation.” The U.S. Department of State declares, “Human trafficking deprives millions worldwide of their dignity and freedom. It undermines national security, distorts markets, and enriches transnational criminals and terrorists, and is an affront to our universal values. At-risk populations can face deceitful recruitment practices by those bent on exploiting them for labor or commercial sex….” Interestingly, there is no mention of exchanging human beings for money as a definition of human trafficking, yet it seems that buying and selling humans would qualify as “human trafficking.”Read More
On October 27, 1997, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Many Americans were shocked and dismayed at this development. Over time, more and more people have accepted physician-assisted suicide, and it continues to gain momentum.Read More
The abortion industry launched a lawsuit after the state of Louisiana passed Act 620, which required “that every physician who performs or induces an abortion shall ‘have active admitting privileges at a hospital that is located not further than thirty miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced.’” To many observers, such a requirement obviously would help protect women who experience adverse events from an abortion.Read More
I came across two journal articles in November that grabbed my attention. One was in The Lancet, while the other was in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS), which is my general surgery specialty’s journal. These articles further opened my eyes to the pollution of medical science by political ideologies. Some of you may be thinking, “Hey, Chupp, where have you been?!”Read More
How does a Christian measure the substance of a life? By what was accumulated? Not hardly. At least no serious Christ-follower is going to pick that answer. What about by influence? Now that is something that may resonate. By influencing others, we carry on our earthly work beyond our lifetime.Read More
I sometimes feel pretty low. I might be the only one…but I’m guessing not. Emotions are a part of what it is to be human, right? So, I imagine all of us feel down at one time or another. For me, the first couple of weeks after the holidays are always a down time. Something about coming off the merry-go-round of activity, fun, people, parties, food, drinks and general busyness, taking down the decorations and returning to real life. This year, those feelings were compounded by sending two kids back to college and then being in bed for a week with the flu (despite my flu shot!). What a return to reality.Read More
The story of the gene-edited babies birthed in China continues to reverberate around the world. To review, the Chinese scientist He Jiankui disclosed in late 2018 that he had used gene editing tools to create genetically-modified human embryos, and he then gestated the embryos to birth. He discussed his experiments on the twin girls at an international genetics meeting co-sponsored by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. While most of the scientific community condemned the experiments, some of the outrage seemed feigned. Nonetheless, in the months following his announcement, there were calls from leading scientists and ethicists for a global moratorium on human heritable genome editing and wide-ranging discussions on the ethics of manipulating the human genome. Over 60 global leaders wrote to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, saying “We write as scientific, industry, and bioethics leaders who are committed to translating the promise of gene editing into medicines to help patients in need, to express our views strongly condemning the recent reports of the birth of CRISPR-edited infants in China and to urge you to take action.”Read More
Since CMDA opened its Washington, D.C. federal public policy ministry office in 2000, God has opened doors for influence that have far exceeded all that we could ask or imagine. The following few highlights of last year (organized by months, with the most recent first) illustrate how God is using this ministry to advance kingdom values in our government.Read More
Free trade between Canada and the United States has been a reality since the 1980s. Thaddeus Pope, on his Medical Futility Blog, recently posted a video that shows a Canadian female physician who obviously wishes to export a dangerous idea to her southern neighbor. Although Canada does not hold the corner on the market of assisted suicide or euthanasia, Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD) in Canada is not an import we need in the United States.Read More
Yesterday I attended a seminar at our hospital entitled “Immigration Ethics.” I was hoping to be enlightened on this complicated topic. Unfortunately, the only messages I got were that immigrants are people, too, and we should be humane in dealing with them. I heartily agree with these two points, but the issue is complex and entails a number of points on which many people cannot agree. One major question in discussing this is whether we are referring to legally documented or undocumented immigrants. Most of us are grateful for the legal, highly skilled immigrant engineers, scientists and physicians who make our lives better in many ways.Read More
This month’s blog provides updates on two Christian Medical & Dental Associations federal lawsuits. The following case updates are information and help for healthcare professionals who have experienced discrimination on the basis of their faith and conscience.Read More
In medical school, were you taught to treat all patients with equal care and concern? Were you taught that it is unethical to discriminate against patients—refusing to treat someone or treating them less thoroughly—based on race, nationality, religion or even ability to pay? Were you taught to respect the beliefs of each patient, even while trying to explain how some of those beliefs might be harming their health?Read More
Medical breakthroughs are routinely touted in the media, whether they are actual breakthroughs or promising, potential information. Press outlets often make no distinction between real, evidence-based progress that can impact patients versus wished-for projections that can influence funding of projects. Rarely are the ethical choices noted regarding use, or development, of the research.Read More
I recently spoke outside the Supreme Court in the face of raucous protests on the day of oral arguments in a case involving transgender individuals and alleged sex discrimination, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Speeches had resumed outside the court after a bomb scare had prompted police to clear the area.Read More
This is my first opportunity to write for The Point since joining CMDA’s executive team in September 2016. That was a huge transitioning summer for my family, moving from Tenwek Hospital in Kenya to Bristol, Tennessee by way of St. Joseph, Michigan, where I had been a general surgeon partner in a multispecialty practice for 23 years.Read More
The “Parent Resource Guide: Responding to the Transgender Issue” is a just-released project of the Minnesota Family Council available gratis at www.GenderResourceGuide.com. Print copies can be purchased as well.
It is endorsed by organizations right (Heritage Foundation and Family Policy Alliance), center (Kelsey Coalition and Parents of ROGD Kids) and left (Women’s Liberation Front). Their stated common concerns are the “negative consequences that result when society regards bodily sex as irrelevant,” and the belief that “public schools should never feel pressured to force boys and girls to sacrifice their bodily privacy, promote unscientific theories about human biology, or celebrate ideas that place young children on a path to chemical sterilization or cosmetic ‘gender confirmation’ surgery.” I was honored to be one of many who were invited to help shape its content.
Imagine instructing your patients to tell their problems to a little yellow, happy-faced, big-blue-eyed robot instead of you. On the face of it, it seems an obvious way to reduce costs—no salary for the robot, no health insurance and no 401(k). And the robot does not take up space in the hospital or office. It is a home-body.Read More
If you ever want the entire world to know about the skeletons in your closet, run for political office. In the last year or so, we have heard countless accusations thrown at almost all of the potential presidential candidates, judicial nominees and current senators and representatives. A few of these may even be true! We may never know. Nonetheless, our country continues to function reasonably well under the guidance of these allegedly flawed leaders.Read More
Faith-based health professionals care with compassion and respect for all patients, but they will leave medicine rather than violate their conscience if forced to participate in morally objectionable procedures and prescriptions.Read More
Waiting…I’m terrible at it. My guess is I’m not the only one. In fact, among an audience of healthcare professionals, I feel certain the terrible wait-ers make up the majority. We are generally goal-oriented, focused, committed, get-her-done sort of people. Just the sort of people for whom waiting is an agony.Read More
There continues to be a push to “make better human beings” using genetic modifying technologies. This includes the use of gene editing enzyme tools such as the much talked about CRISPR-Cas system, as well as large scale heritable genetic technologies such as creation of three-parent embryos. As discussed previously, one aspect of gene editing has a very positive aspect: actually attempting to treat patients with genetic conditions and other maladies. Those clinical trials include potential treatments for cancers, sickle cell disease and even the first in-body gene editing to treat blindness. These are truly therapeutic trials, attempting to alleviate diseases in affected patients.Read More
Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) and Freedom2Care (our center for freedom of faith, conscience and speech) recently submitted official comments on three federal regulations that significantly impact faith-based organizations and conscience-guided health professionals. We also have engaged in court cases, described below, related to two of these regulations.Read More
In this week’s blog post, Dr. Autumn Dawn Galbreath shares about visiting Poland, what she does to prepare for a trip to another country and how what happened in Auschwitz pushes her to think about suffering for Christ and her desire to pursue Christ above everything else.Read More
How often do you rest? If you’re anything like me, your answer is, “Not often enough!” Most of us are overwhelmed with things that can be outside of our direct control—a busy practice, a crashing patient, an EMR that requires 1,000 clicks per chart, a healthcare system that increases the RVU requirement every year or two, a prodigal child, a distant spouse. Of course, we have input into the things which we allow to fill our time. But very often, we don’t have control over them. Other people’s requirements and expectations place demands on us that are difficult to simply discard or ignore. And, as healthcare professionals, we are doing good. Our work benefits people. We minister to others in their times of greatest need. Good busyness is the hardest kind to fight because it’s easy to justify.Read More
Drunk, rowdy, and foul smelling, he came into a busy clinic last night. He was roomed immediately to get the disruption out of the waiting room, but his volume penetrated the walls and disrupted multiple other clinic rooms. He had no ID, wouldn’t tell us his name and had no chief complaint.Read More
How do you feel when it’s time to get ready for work? Are most mornings full of excitement about which patients are on your schedule and what you have to offer them? Or are most mornings filled with dread? If it’s the latter, you are not alone.Read More
How do you feel when you have a patient who is also a physician? Or a patient whose close family member is a physician? I have been pondering this idea as I explained some medical information to several family members. In what ways can I be helpful to the situation, and where do I want to avoid making more work for the doctor caring for my family?Read More
An article crossed both my inbox and my Facebook feed this week entitled “Here’s Why Women Doctors Need Time Together.” It certainly wasn’t an academic study, but, as a woman physician, I was intrigued by the title. One sentence summarizes the author’s major premise: “There is an amazing power in gathering, shared experiences and decreasing isolation.” And I agree. When I watch my kids play sports or perform, I gather with other parents who share that experience—and we cheer as loudly as we can. When my marriage needs refreshment, my husband and I gather with other couples who share the experiences, both joyful and difficult, of marriage—and the isolation of our challenges is decreased.Read More
As Christians, the idea of gathering, sharing experiences, supporting one another and living in community is foundational. Isn’t that what Hebrews 10:24-25, among other passages, commands?Read More
Are you as a healthcare professional too harried, too rushed, too focused and too overworked to find true joy in your chosen profession? Not just happiness or contentment, but true joy. Dr. Autumn Dawn Galbreath discusses this topic in this week’s blog post for The Point.Read More
In our technological world, it’s easier sometimes easier to have conversations with computers than with people. Dr. David Stevens just spent 35-minutes having a conversation about end of life options with Emily, an artificial intelligence robot. He shares how this is bad for you, as both a healthcare professional and as a patient.Read More
I am very much a can-do person—attacking the tasks in front of me with an astonishing willpower. We’re all like that, right? We wouldn’t have made it through medical school and residency otherwise! But when push comes to shove, I am not necessarily grateful or optimistic. I can tend toward the negative if left to my own human nature. In contrast, I know some people who just seem to have been born genetically positive and optimistic. They are resilient in the face of difficulty, always expect the best from every person or situation, and seem to have an easier time trusting God in their daily lives than I do. Maybe it’s just the outside appearance, but those positive people seem to enjoy life more than I often do.Read More
Excerpted from “Study: Doctor burnout may increase effect of biases on care,” UPI. January 13, 2016 — A national survey of doctors shows job burnout and personal bias have continued to increase in recent years, and researchers suggest the growth of both could affect the quality of care patients receive.Read More
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him” (Psalm 40:1-3, NIV 2011).Read More
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32, NKJV). This has become a really important verse in my life over the last 10 or 15 years. I don’t know if any of you can relate, but I’ve had a bit of struggle with performance and with basing my identity on how much I was able to do. I’m not totally sure, but I think this started as a young child – maybe even at birth.Read More
I’m guessing (and hoping) that I’m not the only one…not the only WIMD-er who sometimes runs into identity issues with being a woman doctor/dentist…not the only one whose kids’ friends can’t remember to call her “doctor”…not the only one whose patients sometimes express their concern about whether or not I’m old enough or practiced enough (or male enough?) to take care of them…not the only one whose kids have been told by someone “only boys can be doctors.”Read More
Healthcare has changed dramatically over the past fifty years. Theories abound as to the various causes and their effects – with managed care, the Generation X work ethic, and increased numbers of women in medicine being three commonly cited reasons for the decline of the traditional “family doc” who made house-calls and whose work hours were 24/7 as needed and the steep increase in the “physician shift worker” who figuratively clocks in and out and leaves his pager behind when he is off duty. Managed care brought financial pressures to bear on physicians in solo practice. Generation X brought a tide of newly graduated physicians whose definition of balance was quite different from that of their parents’ generation.Read More