Avoiding the Cliffhanger: How Your Will Reveals What Matters Most

Cliffhangers might be an amusing way to end a novel or sitcom, but it’s hardly the way to conclude your own life’s story.

Yet, this is exactly what will happen if you don’t complete or communicate your estate plans. Your loved ones will face the ultimate “cliffhanger.”

Without completing and sharing your will or trust, your family will be burdened with uncertainty about how you wanted your belongings to be distributed. They won’t have any clarity about the provisions you wanted to make for your family or for the causes close to your heart.

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On the Side: June 2021

The snowstorm out my window made a rainbow of white as we towed our 23-foot travel trailer down the mountain pass. We hoped all would stay in order: truck first, trailer second. Ironically, in those white-knuckle moments, I was telling my medical man what the Lord had been teaching me recently—to hold loosely.

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How Generous Christians Save Taxes

Savvy Giving Options You Should Know

Care to know a secret?

Generous Christians just like you are giving to CMDA in savvy ways that have tremendous kingdom impact AND reduce their taxes!

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The Cure for Your Real Estate Headaches

Reduce Taxes and Burdens by Giving Property

Sometimes the cost and hassle of owning real estate outweighs the benefits your property once offered.

Can you relate to any of these ownership headaches?

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The One Thing that Keeps Us from Gloating

For many, the iconic, self-made millionaire is the epitome of American life. The familiar, if not trite, mantra goes something like this: “Work harder than everyone else now and collect your millions later.”

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Hard Seasons and Future Grace

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24b, NIV).

Dentistry has the capacity to cause low morale. This has been evident not only personally, but I hear it from colleagues/former classmates and social media. Low morale can be attributed to all the dynamics of being a dentist, including clinic responsibilities, staff/co-workers and personal matters. Feelings of anger/frustration, despondency, diffidence, anxiety, self-doubt, depression, fear, worry, loneliness, burnout and all the like, a dentist will experience. However, the truth is that everyone will experience it throughout the course of life, and it does not matter the profession. My wife is an emergency room nurse, my dad is a small business owner, my brother is a director of strength training and my mother is a customer service agent. Over the years, I have heard them all express what is described above. However, it was those seasons and the help of my brother that led to the message of this blog.

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On the Side: May 2021

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” – Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Peace seems scarce these days. In fact, we seem to be living on a peace spectrum that runs anywhere from shaky armistice to literal dumpster fire. Even as I write these words, which you may read later, I am sure that if there isn’t something disastrous going on today, there will be tomorrow.

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On the Side: April 2021

The call came maybe five months after we moved into the house I had dreamed of my whole life. Big front porch. Two porch swings. Rockers. And the icing on the cake—azalea bushes circling the big huge trees in my new front yard. I was anticipating the first of many, many years of Easter photo sessions in front of those bushes. But for that phone call.

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On the Side: March 2021

Photo: Unsplash

The season of Lent has begun. Raised in the Baptist church, Lent wasn’t something that we celebrated, but I have always thought it was a beautiful way to prepare for Good Friday and Easter.

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On the Side: February 2021

Why Do You Follow Jesus? July 24, 2018

As I have said in the past, “As wives of doctors, we are the people, who take care of the people, who take care of everyone else.” Since 2020 has now mercifully drawn to a close, I think it’s okay for us to take a moment to look back and take stock of how we are doing and think about what we need to do going forward to help take care of ourselves.

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On the Side: January 2021

The May Day pictures from my daughter’s fourth grade moving up ceremony are some of my favorites. The girls are dressed in matching white dresses with ribbons around their waists and flower crowns in their hair. Those flower crowns alone made them appear angelic. But the fact that those little friends had skin tone ranging in every color made the photos seem like a little slice of what heaven will be. In hindsight, I was feeling pride about that. I thought we had found the way to move race relations forward in this next generation. I thought we had reached a better place—these girls cared far more about what they had in common than the skin tone that might otherwise separate them. Oh, what I was feeling was definitely pride bordering on smugness in the ease with which this could be “fixed.”

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“Even If He Does Not…”

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your Gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18, NIV 1984).

As program director for an oncology fellowship, this week I welcomed five new fellows into their three-year training program. Two weeks before they started, one of the new fellows was Facetiming his 36-year-old brother in India. While they were speaking, his brother suffered a heart attack and died. This Friday I received word from another starting fellow. Her previously healthy father had suffered a brain hemorrhage and would be hemiplegic and aphasic forever, if he lived. (He did not.) And, as a backdrop to these tragedies, the 19-year-old son of a local pastor dove into a shallow pool last week and is now paralyzed.

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On the Side: December 2020

We don’t watch It’s a Wonderful Life every Christmas—it is always on our must-watch list, but I am pretty sure that is because it is my favorite and so the family tries to appease me. But trust me, if schedules are too busy, and we don’t get through our entire Christmas list, this is definitely the one that doesn’t get watched.

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On the Side: November 2020

In a few days, we will be voting on who will be the President and Vice President for the coming four years. To say that this is important to us all is an understatement. It is not only important to the United States of America, but it is also important to the entire world, especially in light of COVID-19 and its subsequent fallout. Countries all over the world have been affected by the pandemic and by the economic consequences of it as well.

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On the Side: October 2020

Photo: Pixabay

I once finished the Chicago Marathon. I ran right through the city uninhibited by the two million people who lived there. It was really something. I ran freely through a maze of normally congested streets. There were people pressing in on every side, yet I was unrestrained to work toward my goal. Do you know why? 

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On the Side: September 2020

The meeting with my co-leader was held two weeks before the start of the new Side By Side session. I had my planner, my Bible and the study book. She had the same. But Deb also had a box of organized, color-coded, individually-bagged Scripture reminders for each student, for every week of the semester. On top of all of this, she also had already written meticulous notes on each lesson in her beautiful penmanship.

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On the Side: August 2020

I haven’t been able to write for weeks. The peace of mind, which I so typically enjoy, has eluded me recently. Every time I’ve tried to put pen to paper, I have found horrible angry things drying in the ink on the page. I almost despaired of writing this article, but my husband, good man that he is, suggested I write about “peace of mind.” He figured I’d have to walk through some Bible verses and pray a bit to regain my peace of mind, so I could effectively write about it, and he was right…thankfully. I hope you will walk through this exercise with me.

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Never Too Late to Learn

Last month, one of my Side By Side sisters, Christon Sawatsky, pushed me out of my comfort zone. Christon asked me to post a statement for Side By Side surrounding racism and the death of George Floyd. I am not proud of my initial response to her. Frankly, I was just not sure what to say. I am thankful, however, for her insistence I write the statement. To begin, Christon urged me to examine my own life by looking in my heart for the presence of racism. She had already done this and had been doing research to more fully educate herself. Christon was gentle but insistent with me, pointing out she did not believe that I, a white woman, understood the real truth about the plight of my black sisters. She also said she had heard that Side By Side was not a welcoming place for our black sisters. I did not know why this was the case, and I truly believed it was not true. I never imagined it because I thought I welcomed and loved everyone. Didn’t everyone else?

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Father’s Day

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18, NIV 1984).

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On the Side: June 2020

“Mom, Tatonka is the only chick who wants to be held,” my eldest observes. Yes, the smallest of our chicks is often perched on a shoulder, held in a hand or hiding under someone’s knee as they sit crisscross apple sauce. The chick knows my kids are safe and, of course, she wants to feel safe.

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Lessons from the Epicenter

Photo: Pixabay

Last weekend I had the opportunity to join InterMed NYC, a network of Christian physicians and trainees in the tri-state area, to check in with CMDA students and residents and learn about the needs of their community.

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A Foolish Hope

He called me on my cell and asked if he could come to see me today. My clinic was light due to the virus and he was welcomed. I’ve known him for a few years as a patient and as a brother in Christ. He had a few symptoms to discuss but mostly wanted to talk. After settling into the chair beside my desk, he placed his cap in his lap and asked how long he might live, given the status of his illness. “I’m not afraid of my own death,” he said. “But I want to be sure to spend my last days well. I have people I need to see. I want to give them hope.”

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On the Side: May 2020

Let’s face it, I would never be “voted off” the island. I tell my kids this all the time, and they are smart enough to agree with me. Mostly it’s because I can cook, but also because I’m good in a crisis and have a working knowledge of first aid. My husband says that out of our entire family I would be the one person voted “Most Likely to Survive if Dropped Alone in a Wilderness Area.” He actually tells people that I don’t think a campfire is big enough, unless it can be “seen from space.”

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Be Contagious | Leading Through the Crisis

Photo: Picjumbo

He does not recall where he may have been exposed. While he works in a medical setting, every precaution was taken from the time (and perhaps a little before) it became a common mandate. Could it have been in the community?

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On the Side: April 2020

One of the perks of moving around the country is that we have added a beautiful cast of friends to our family. We often joke that the “writer” of our family sitcom thought the cast needed to be jazzed up a bit when he brought certain characters into our storyline. We love the variety of loved ones who are brought to live life alongside us!

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Share a Devotional

CMDA has provided this online forum to share devotionals for encouraging and uplifting a community of members and believers.

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Share Your Prayer Requests

CMDA has provided this online forum to express your prayer requests to a community of members and believers who can pray for you and bring you encouragement.

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On the Side: March 2020

062014Pulse

My life hasn’t always been busy. My husband’s residency, for example, was not a busy time for me. He, of course, had an overloaded schedule, but I had left the workforce and entered life as a stay-at-home mom. Difficult? Yes, beautifully difficult. Rushed? Not so much.

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On the Side: February 2020

I have spent the majority of my adult life trying to be perfect. That is a terrible admission to make, but those who know me will say it’s true. Never able to relax, and hardly ever able to lean back and rely on Jesus to be good enough for me.

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Let’s Talk Strategy: Tackling Student Loans

Photo: Pixabay

If you’re reading this, you already know this is a big and extremely relevant problem for the vast majority of dental and medical graduates under the age of 45. It’s not uncommon these days to graduate dental school with $300,000+ in debt. Heck, I have friends who graduated with close to $500,000 in debt (and when I say friends, I may or may not be referring to myself). This isn’t news.

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Help Me See What I Cannot See

“Whatever you do, work at it with all you heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV 1984).

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On the Side: January 2020

After training for a few months, I met some of my dearest girlfriends for a Side By Side reunion weekend in Minnesota a few years ago. We ran a 10K together, and by “together” I mean we were all either IN the 10K or the sister-5K but our paces were varied, so the together part was definitely at the beginning and the end.

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – December 2019 – #1

In this podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp interviews Dr. Eric McLaughlin, a family medicine missionary physician, about his book Promises in the Dark: Walking with Those in Need Without Losing Heart. Next, he is joined by Dr. Peter Saunders, the Chief Executive of the International Christian Medical & Dental Association.

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Regardless of the Opposition

As Best I Can Al Weir, MD December 26, 2018

Last year I read a book by Os Guinness entitled Impossible People. I read something that really set me back on my heels:

“The truth is that the world, as Christians have known it for many centuries, has gone—gone and gone for good…gone so decisively, any simple return or reclamation is out of the question—Christian culture warring has been in vain” (p. 45).

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – November 2019 – #2

Image Source: Pixabay

In this month’s podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp interviews Dr. Michael Davis about his work with infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS. Next, he is joined by Dr. Ray Barfield, the director of the Duke University’s Medical Humanities Program for the Trent Center for Bioethics, Medical Humanities and History of Medicine.

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“How [Resilient] Thou Art”

Cancer is a meddlesome yet surmountable disease. During my internal medicine rotation at York Memorial Hospital in York, Pennsylvania, I worked with patients in the hematology/oncology unit. It was a difficult few weeks. However, as I spent more time on the wards, I grew comfortable learning medicine and, more importantly, growing closer to patients.

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For Glory and Glorification: Part 2

“Everyone who is called by name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7, NIV 1984).

In Part 1 of this blog series, a search for the meaning of life was presented. That was due to observations of recent events suggesting a concern for humanity’s appreciation for life. In that search, a scientific basis for the meaning of life was presented, but then it was argued to be self-limiting. In contrast, a Christian worldview was presented, and a clearer meaning for why God created us was introduced. Simply, God created us for His glory. As I mentioned in Part 1, being informed that our existence is for some known or unknown God’s glory may instill negative emotions. However, the purpose of this blog is to grow in greater understanding of what it means to be created for God’s glory. To better understand that meaning, let us first look at the biblical meaning of the word “glory.”

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – November 2019

In this month’s podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp interviews Dr. Eleanore Kue about her work serving the underserved in Michigan. Next, he is joined by Pastor John Ensor about his book regarding resources for crisis pregnancy intervention.

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On the Side: October 2019

Image: Unsplash

Paddington and Winnie, I know them well. As a mom, I’ve read a few chapter books aloud and these bears, Paddington Brown and Winnie-the-Pooh, are two favorites. And what’s not to like? The epitome of their problems revolves around honey and marmalade. As I read, I have confidence it’s going to be okay. Chapter after unfolding chapter, everything is hunky-dory.

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – October 2019

A Deeper Faith Al Weir, MD May 21, 2019

In this month’s podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp is joined by Dr. Ruth Haley Barton, the CEO of the Transforming Center, about her book, Pursuing God’s Will Together. Next, he interviews Barney Davis, Jr., MD, a general psychiatrist, about the importance of sabbath and rest.

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On the Side: September 2019

When Wade and I were going through our pre-marital counseling, our beloved minister had us take a personality test. It was more than just our thoughts on ourselves, though. I had to fill one out on Wade, and he me. We had to have several friends fill out the test and mail them in, and then all the results were sent to our minister who carefully went through a weekend retreat with us and two other couples to discuss how our unique personalities would affect our relationship, our interactions with each other, our view of the world. It was amazing. And a bit jarring.

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – September 2019

Overcomers Al Weir, MD December 4, 2018

In this month’s podcast, CMDA’s new CEO Dr. Mike Chupp interviews author and physician Dr. Walt Larimore about his new book, Fit Over 50. Next, Dr. David Stevens is joined by Drs. Timothy and Maureen Gaul, the leaders of Medical Education International’s teams to Macedonia. Finally, Vice President for Campus & Community Ministries Bill Reichart interviews Dr. Ron and LeAnne Blackmore about their recent trip to Macedonia.

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For Glory and Glorification: Part 1

“…To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11, ESV).

Everywhere I go I carry a little brown NIV Bible. This particular Bible possesses significant sentimental value to our family. Firstly, it is the Bible my father used during my wife’s and my wedding. In between the pages are love notes from my wife, drawings from son, an ultrasound of my daughter, our wedding vows and other cherished memories that are all used as bookmarks. Furthermore, inside the cover is a note written by my father. This note details some of his emotions regarding his role as a first-time officiant of our wedding. Despite his fears, he found comfort in the fact that his role was ultimately “all about God.” In other words, it was a moment for God’s glory and our glorification of Him. That is the ultimate message that will be discussed in this blog series.

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On the Side: August 2019

By now, some of you have just finished your first month in a new job, which also may have meant a new home and a new city.

I empathize. My husband and I moved 3 times in 6 years in between med school and career. Each location seemed more remote and further away from family than the last. Finally, we reached the exotic location where we would live for the next 30 years; Lincoln, Nebraska. When we got here, we told our real estate agent that she was our best friend in town. (She was the ONLY person we knew in town!)

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Follow the Lord

As you practice your faith, the words “follow the Lord” are often heard and shared. The direction of the Lord does not have a yellow brick road. The words are meant to send you to prayer and develop your sense of discernment. As a dentist, dozens of people will ask you to follow them. These requests are loud and clear and often do have a yellow brick path. Some follow their golden paths before them. God blesses each of us with guidance, and for some it is easy to determine the guidance because many of us in the dental profession can use wise counsel and success to guide our steps. There are roles in every community for successful dentists. I respect the best in my community and love all my colleagues for their shared commitment to excellence. The dangers of greed and ethical challenges are to be lifted up to the Lord likewise to turn our steps to bless those around us. We are guided by the Lord’s work in our hearts, often to avoid missteps as often as we discover blessings.

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Abiding in Albany

Photo: Photo credit: ruifo on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SACopy

As the director of a healthcare ministry in one of the largest medical communities in the world, I am constantly thinking through obstacles and evaluating the goals we wish to accomplish as the ministry develops. One of the biggest hurdles that I’ve encountered in this ministry is time. In my experience, the healthcare student and provider schedule is often jammed with events and activities. Constantly, they are confronted with new challenges where they are forced to expend voluminous amounts of energy to accomplish their tasks.

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On the Side: July 2019

Scared to Life October 2, 2018

Our new home is not exactly a new house. It has been standing here for almost 100 years. Never having owned an old home, I was concerned about the home inspection prior to our closing. My girlfriend looked at me and said, “Relax. That house has been standing forever. It is fine.”

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – July 2019

Christian Doctor’s Digest – July 2019

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens is joined by Dr. Tyler VanderWeele to talk about the link between religious upbringing and health. Next, Senior Vice President Gene Rudd interviews Dr. Ron Bryce about his book Fingerprint of God. Finally, listen and learn more about Dr. Bill Griffin, CMDA’s new Dental Director.

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Preaching to Myself

A Deeper Faith Al Weir, MD May 21, 2019

Like most of my writings, much of what I have to say is me preaching to myself. Recently I have been struck by several encounters with patients who were either very irritated or irritating. Either way, what should our response be? When someone is being demanding or has unrealistic requests and is upset when we cannot fulfill them? Or maybe they are just plain rude? What do we do?

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Discipleship Deserves Our Investment

Lightstock 60299 Small Scott Rimell

Thank you for your review, feedback, and shout-outs given toward last month’s newsletter. It was our first newsletter for this ministry and we pray that it blessed you. I give a personal shout out to my colleague and graphic designer Mariah, whose talents helped our content to shine. I pray that this month’s content blesses you as you read the story of one of our medical students who shares her journey of faith and how CMDA, her godly community and her peers have helped to disciple her faith.

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Richard A. Swenson, MD

Author | Contributor Richard A. Swenson, MD

Richard A. Swenson, MD, received his B.S. in physics (Phi Beta Kappa) from Denison University (1970) and his M.D. from the University of Illinois School of Medicine (1974). Following five years of private practice, in 1982 Dr. Swenson accepted a teaching position as Associate Clinical Professor within the University of Wisconsin Medical School system where he taught for fifteen years. He currently is a full-time futurist, physician-researcher, author, and educator. As a physician, his focus is “cultural medicine,” researching the intersection of health and culture. As a futurist, his emphasis is fourfold: the future of the world system, western culture, faith, and healthcare.

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Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD

Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD

Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD, received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his ThD from Duke University Divinity School. He is assistant professor of psychiatry and pastoral and moral theology at Duke University Medical Center and Duke Divinity School. He teaches and mentors divinity students, medical and other health professions students and psychiatry residents at Duke.

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William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD

William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD

William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD, is professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic and an expert on disorders of the autonomic nervous system. At Mayo Clinic in Florida he chairs the Ethics Committee and leads the Program in Professionalism & Values. The neurology department chose him as teacher of the year in 2015. At CMDA Dr. Cheshire chairs the Ethics Committee.

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Dónal P. O’Mathúna, PhD

Dónal P. O’Mathúna, PhD, Author

Dónal P. O’Mathúna is Senior Lecturer in Ethics, Decision-Making & Evidence in the School of Nursing & Human Sciences at Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland, and Chair of the Academy of Fellows at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity in Chicago. He is a member of CMA and the Paul Tournier Institute speaker’s bureau. He is the Chairperson of the DCU Research Ethics Committee and a member of the St James’s Hospital Ethics Committee in Dublin.

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Dale A. Matthews, MD, FACP

Dale A. Matthews, MD, FACP

Dr. Matthews practices general internal medicine in McLean, Virginia and is a staff physician in the Primary Care Division of the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group (Arlington, VA). He conducts research and lectures nationally and internationally on the doctor-patient relationship and the psychological and spiritual dimensions of medicine, including the role of faith, religion, and prayer in clinical care and healing. He has served on the general internal medicine faculty at three medical schools: Yale University, University of Connecticut and Georgetown University. He also teaches continuing medical education courses for the Continuing Medical Education, Inc. University at Sea program. He is the author of The Faith Factor: Proof of the Healing Power of Prayer (Viking, 1998).

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Reginald Finger, MD, MPH

Reginald Finger, MD, MPH

Reginald Finger, MD, MPH received the Doctor of Medicine degree in 1981 and a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology in 1983 from the University of Washington in Seattle. For much of his career, Dr. Finger has worked in disease prevention and health promotion in state and local health departments. Dr. Finger has been a CMDA member since 2003.

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Kenneth M. Dudley, MD

Kenneth M. Dudley, MD

Kenneth Earl Dudley, MD teaches Ethics and Epidemiology at Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine as an associate professor. His PowerPoint presentations have been outreach events for medical and college students, or tailored to CMDA and church audiences. He has a BA in Bible-Theology from Moody Bible Institute, a BS in Biology and an MD from MSU. He has practiced as a board certified Family Physician since 1983.

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Jeffrey Barrows, DO, MA (Ethics)

Jeffrey Barrows, DO, MA (Ethics)

Dr. Jeffrey Barrows is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist who in 1999 joined the staff of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to help administrate a medical education mission outreach called Medical Education International (MEI). While working with the Christian Medical Association, he was asked by the U.S. State Department in 2004 to research the health consequences of Human Trafficking. From 2005-2008, he compiled and submitted an annual report to the Director of the State Department’s -Office to Monitor & Combat Trafficking of Persons. This research resulted in the article Human Trafficking and the Healthcare Professional published in the May 2008 Southern Medical Journal.

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Autumn Dawn Galbreath, MD, MBA

Autumn Dawn Galbreath, MD, MBA

Autumn Dawn Eudaly Galbreath, MD, MBA is an internist in San Antonio, Texas, where she lives with her husband, David, and their three children. Though they met in medical school, David now owns a restaurant in the San Antonio area. Between the two of them, they have experienced multiple career transitions, and weathered the resultant stresses on their marriage and family.

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Sam Molind, DMD

Sammolind

Team Leader, Global Health Outreach
Dr. Sam Molind left his Montpelier, Vermont practice in 1998 to begin Global Health Outreach (GHO) and directed it for 12 years. Prior to his work with GHO, Dr. Molind served as Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Vermont Medical School and had a private oral and maxillofacial surgery practice in Montpelier.

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Jonathan Imbody

Jonathan Imbody

Jonathan previously served as CMDA’s Federal Policy Analyst and as CMDA’s liaison with the federal government in Washington, D.C. A veteran writer of more than 30 years, Jonathan authored Faith Steps, which encourages and equips Christians to engage in public policy issues. He has published more than 100 commentaries in The Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times and many other national publications. Jonathan’s writing focuses on public policy issues including freedom of faith, conscience and speech; human trafficking; abortion; assisted suicide; stem cell research; the role of faith in health; international health; healthcare policy; sexual risk avoidance and HIV/AIDS. Jonathan received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and speech communications from the Pennsylvania State University, a master’s degree from Penn State in counseling and education and a certificate in biblical and theological studies from the Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. Jonathan’s wife Amy is an author and leads the Redemptive Education movement. They have four children and four grandchildren.

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Walt Heyer

Walt Heyer

Walt Heyer was a husband, father and corporate executive who underwent gender reassignment surgery at the age of 42, going from man to woman.

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Omari Hodge, MD

Omari Hodge, MD

Omari Hodge is originally from Brooklyn, New York but moved to Stone Mountain, Georgia in his teens. He attended college at the University of West Georgia where he met his wife Kiera Hodge. Through his wife’s hard work and support he was able to attend Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. By the time medical school was finished there were a total of four kids in the Hodge family. He spent three years in Greenwood, South Carolina for residency and has since relocated to Marietta, Georgia. He and his wife have served on a number of trips with CMDA and have recently decided that God was calling them to lead an annual trip in Ethiopia.

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Ryan T. Anderson, PhD

Ryan T. Anderson, PhD

Ryan T. Anderson, PhD, is the William E. Simon senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and he is the founder and editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey. He is the author of When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Momentand Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom, and he is the co-author of What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense and Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination.

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André Van Mol, MD

André Van Mol, MD

André Van Mol, MD is a board-certified family physician in private practice. He serves on the boards of Bethel Church of Redding and Moral Revolution (moralrevolution.com), and is the co-chair of the American College of Pediatrician’s Committee on Adolescent Sexuality.

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Allan Josephson, MD

Allan Josephson, MD

Allan Josephson, MD, is Professor and Chief, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the Department of Pediatrics with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

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Walt Larimore, MD

Walt Larimore, MD

Walt Larimore, MD, Award-winning Family Physician and Best-Selling Author, Nationally-Recognized Family Physician and Educator Dr. Larimore has been a practicing family physician for over 30 years (delivering over 1,500 babies).

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Robert Orr, MD, CM

Robert Orr, MD, CM

Dr. Robert Orr received his MD, CM from McGill University in 1966, did residency training in family medicine and practiced in Vermont for 18 years. He was named Vermont Family Doctor of the Year in 1989.

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On the Side: June 2019

On the Side: June 2019 Marathons and Medicine by Shelly Wyrick

With the weather warming, I now can wear my favorite sun visor. The words “Missoula Marathon” are written across the headband with a silhouette of a moose that has running shoes dangling from his antlers. It’s super cute. But as I wear it like a trophy, people don’t realize the backstory.

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – June 2019

The Future Today July 2, 2018

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens is joined by Dr. Steve Sartori to talk about CMDA’s new Center for Well-being. Next, he interviews Dr. Matt Montgomery about his experience on mission trips with CMDA’s Global Health Outreach.

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Spirit of the Everlasting God

Spirit of the Everlasting God May 29, 2019

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, ESV).

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Why Do We Follow Jesus?

Why Do We Follow Jesus? May 15, 2019

Why do you follow Jesus?

These are answers I hear a lot: The Bible says so. I grew up in a Christian home. I had an experience with God.

But we are told our lives will be more difficult. That does not sound good. There will be a reward, but not necessarily in this lifetime. Jesus is not always a “nice guy.” Do we want to believe what is pleasant and easy, or what is true? Even though I don’t like my phone bill, I know it is true.

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On the Side: May 2019

On the Side: May 2019

“Doctors make the worst patients,” or so the saying goes. Being trained as a physician myself, I refuse to comment, because I am a little biased. But, since I am also married to a physician, I can say that doctors are often non-compliant patients. I could tell you stories that would prove this, but I won’t do so here. You probably have your own examples!

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – May 2019

Feeling the ‘Burn’ in Burnout February 28, 2017

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens interviews healthcare missionary Dr. Eli Horn about his experiences with burnout. Next, he’s joined by Dr. John Chuck about personal health for healthcare professionals and how to create a balance between work and life.

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Gethsemane’s Light on Transitions

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

“And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” (John 17.10, NKJV)

Resurrection Sunday blesses the calendars of our lives uniquely this Sunday.  It lifts up the life of our Lord as a model for so many transitions we face along the journey into which Christ has commissioned us.  The passion of our Lord’s heart – poured out in His high priestly prayer of Gethsemane’s Garden – reveals how Jesus evaluated the preparations He made for the transition He would face.

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On the Side: April 2019

Image by zoosnow from Pixabay

Her eyes met mine as she poured out her heart: “I have a great husband. A wonderful child. We matched and already sold our house. So, why do I feel so depressed?”

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – April 2019

Christian Doctor’s Digest – April 2019 background

In this month’s podcast, Dr. David Stevens is joined by Dr. Steve Manning, a physician from North Carolina who made the jump to Direct Primary Care. Next, he interviews Dr. Tim Elmore about his new book Marching Off the Map.

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – March 2019

Photo: Freerange

The March 2019 issue of Christian Doctor’s Digest… we’re talking about getting together with old friends from organizations that we have worked with for many years. Our guests are Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, CEO of Nurses Christian Fellowship and John Stonestreet, host of Breakpoint.

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Chasing the Wind

Chasing the Wind March 6, 2019

In dental school, several of my instructors would mention their theory of why the suicide rate among dentists was so high, sometimes as a joke or some for serious reasons. One professor’s theory made the most sense to me: Work itself can become very redundant and most restorations eventually fail. You can feel like you’ve worked so hard to bring someone’s mouth into health and restore their smile, but if they don’t take care of their mouth, all of your hard work can fall apart. He also mentioned that if you’re in it for the money, that will fail you too. If all you’ve built your life on is your work and your things, then it’s going to be a big disappointment.

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This Forgiveness Thing

Useful Prayer, June 5, 2018

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:25, NIV 1984).

We were sitting in a circle, the windows around us open to the East Tennessee Mountains, a group of Christian healthcare professionals sharing personal prayer requests. Andy is in his mid-seventies. He hemmed and hawed a bit before he paused and spit it out, “I need prayer for this forgiveness thing we’ve been talking about.” He paused again, as if almost holding it in, and then continued, “I’ve been divorced 21 years. I know I have forgiven her a number of times for leaving me, but it keeps popping up and interferes with all my thinking. I need your prayers to just settle it.”

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On the Side: February 2019

On the Side: February 2019

The Bible talks about the Keys to the Kingdom.

After Peter’s confession that Jesus is “…the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus told him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:16, 17-19 (NASB)

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Sheep, Wolves, Serpents and Doves

Sheep, Wolves, Serpents and Doves February 19, 2019

Let’s face it. Not everyone in the dental “industry” has a passion for oral healthcare. For some, dentistry is a moneymaking opportunity. Christian owners of businesses are sometimes overwhelmed, sometimes misunderstood and sometimes conflicted.

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On the Side: February 2019

On the Side: February 2019

The Bible talks about the Keys to the Kingdom.

After Peter’s confession that Jesus is “…the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus told him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:16, 17-19 (NASB)

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Christian Doctor’s Digest – February 2019

Photo: Unsplash

The February 2019 issue of Christian Doctor’s Digest…A look into hospitality as a way to evangelize within the home. Conservative Christians admit that they do not speak out on political or cultural issues because they do not know how to support their beliefs from a biblical basis. We’ll look at how to defend the Gospel. And finally, the demands of cross-cultural ministry can be overwhelming and draining, leading to discouragement and burnout. We’ll learn how to live the holy, faithful lives God intends for us.

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