To go or not to go, that is the question
I am sure you, like me, have faced this question on countless occasions. In our busy professional lives, we are constantly being reminded of annual society meetings. We joined them for professional enrichment and acknowledgement of credentials. Possibly our paper is accepted to be part of the program. And yes, we do get some CME...
To go or not to go, that is the question.
I am sure you, like me, have faced this question on countless occasions. In our busy professional lives, we are constantly being reminded of annual society meetings. We joined them for professional enrichment and acknowledgement of credentials. Possibly our paper is accepted to be part of the program. And yes, we do get to attend some workshops and have a chance to socialize with colleagues. But do we go or not? Life is so, so busy, and the kids’ school and athletic events are right at the same time. I’d have to get someone to cover my practice and my church commitments. I think I am spinning too many plates!
So why would I even think of encouraging you to attend yet another conference? Let me explain why this is so important. We are more than our professional lives. We are more than our church lives. We are even more than our family lives. We are God’s creation for a purpose, and we need to be reminded and strengthened in the lifeline that connects us to Him and His plans for our practices, our witnesses and our families. The CMDA National Convention on May 2-5, 2019 at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, North Carolina is just the place to do that.
I want to share a couple of personal experiences to help you understand, especially if you have never attended, the importance of this convention.
In 1998, I attended the CMDA National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. My wife was home with the three children. It was a tough time in our household with three daughters, all with their own set of “issues.” I was in a busy surgical practice and very active in church ministry. I was fried and not able to get my head (or heart) around all of my responsibilities. As I listened to Stuart and Jill Briscoe address the convention attendees, I felt as though they were speaking God’s truth to me in my situation. God was using them to speak to me about my emotions and confusion. I simply wept (not part of my routine!), and God spoke to my heart and mind. I left that convention with no new scientific data or practice skills. However, I left knowing it was God’s plan for me to hear Him in the context of a medical family that I was struggling to live in. I left with a tangible presence of God being before me and behind me and holding my hand.
The CMDA National Convention in 2001 was to be in San Antonio, Texas. Once again, would I go? Once again, it was going to mean leaving Kristen at home to handle all the family responsibilities. I really do not like going to meetings by myself, but she gave her blessing, and I went. In another state, the wife of a physician was asking the same question, to go or not to go. That was the question as it revolved around her health issues. The decision was made to go. At the conference, a friend of mine said he had someone he wanted me to meet. You guessed it, it was the woman who, despite some health issues, decided to attend. As we sat on the San Antonio River Walk, God revealed the reason we were to meet. A huge hole in my family’s life was now being put in understandable terms. As she said, “This is why God told me to come to the San Antonio meeting.”
No, it is not always about you (or me). It is possible God will direct you to an encounter that impacts another person. You may not even be aware of how your prayer with them and for them, your plan to join their mission trip or your concern for what is troubling them will impact them. You may not even be aware that the “encounter” took place—but it did, and it was for a purpose. Sometime after the National Convention in 2012, which was held in Ridgecrest, I received a call from a CMDA member who wanted some medical advice. He called because he remembered a conversation we had in an elevator! That turned into a transforming prayer time with him and a connection with a physician who could help answer his questions.
These stories illustrate some of the unique encounters that happen at a CMDA National Convention. God is in it, and you can be part of it!
This year the plenary speakers will be John Stonestreet (President, Colson Center for Christian Worldview), Nancy Pearcey (Author of Love Thy Body), and Dr. David Stevens (CEO of CMDA). Rev. Stan Key will be our Bible teacher, and Stephanie Seefeldt will lead worship. There will be six workshop tracks (dental, ethics, family, optometry, medical and psychiatry) with a wide diversity of topics within each track.
Visiting the booths in the Exhibit Hall will put you in contact with everything from residency programs and medical schools to mission opportunities around the world. We all gather for meals in the large dining area where round tables comfortably seat eight people, and every meal is a chance to make new friends and catch up with those you have not seen since the last convention! You will make new friends, encourage medical students and experience God refocusing the vision for your practice.
Finally, the emphasis for the conference is “Celebrating God’s Faithfulness.” We will be doing that very thing as we recognize the amazing legacy and impact Dr. David Stevens and Dr. Gene Rudd have had on CMDA and its mission. We will indeed be celebrating God’s faithfulness! And join us as we welcome Dr. Mike Chupp into his role as the next CEO of CMDA. This will indeed be an unusual celebration, and you will want to be part of it.
For more information and to register, visit www.cmda.org/nationalconvention.