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The Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA) has developed this policy on “medical marijuana” with both an inherent belief that the Bible is the Word of God–that it speaks into our time and culture and that God gave us his creation to use to its fullest potential—and with the incorporation of scientific evidence which provides a window into the truths about God’s creation.

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US Department of Health and Human Services

Conscience-guided healthcare professionals and students received a healthy dose of positive federal policy advances in the last few months. CMDA played a role advocating on behalf of our members in each of the following federal policy reforms that relate to conscience freedom, gender issues and abortion.

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What choice will you make when you come to a fork in the road? Will you choose to stand up for what you believe, or will you stand by and conform to the world around you? When I was a medical student, I pondered when the time would come where I had to make that decision and if I would remain faithful to my belief.

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I know what it is like when the “cure” doesn’t come. At the age of 17, I made a careless dive into shallow water and broke my neck between the fourth and fifth cervical level. For years I prayed fervently to regain the use of my hands and legs, but that healing never came.

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In this fall 2019 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Joni Eareckson Tada shares her journey of trusting God and finding purpose when “cure” doesn’t come. Plus, you can earn up to three hours of continuing education credits, learn more about how your conscience freedoms are being protected and more.

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Fanning the Flames of a CMDA Leadership Legacy

I attended my first CMDA National Convention in April 2012 and heard devotional speaker Luis Palau make this statement: “Big doors open on small hinges.” He explained how seemingly small events in our lives may serve to open big doors that God intends for us to walk through in order to enjoy incredible blessings that follow. A small hinge in my life was a letter Dr. David Stevens wrote to me after I had served at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya in early 1988 for two months during my fourth year of medical school.

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Backward and Forward

Franklin Graham, my boss, and I had just finished a meeting in the early 1990s when I walked into my office at World Medical Missions and found a letter marked “Personal and Confidential” on my desk from the Christian Medical & Dental Society (CMDS, as the ministry was called at that time). As I opened it, little did I realize it was the first step in a journey that would result in me leading CMDA for 25 years.

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Todays Christian Doctor Spring 2019 Cover

In the spring 2019 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, you can earn continuing education credits with an article from Dr. Thomas Okamoto about doctor suicide and how healthcare is responding to the increasing rate of doctor suicides in the U.S. This edition also includes articles about focusing on health, leading a Bible study and more.

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We just need someone to help us find our way,” the patient’s wife pleaded as she sat at the head of the table in our procedure room nearly four years ago. She was facing away from the surgical field where I was working meticulously on her husband to suture the vas deferens together using microsurgery under the Zeiss surgical microscope hanging above the table.

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I’ve heard people say, “The Scripture jumped off the page at me.” Or I’ve heard them say, “I’ve read that before, but this time it just ‘spoke’ to me.” Indeed, I have had the same experience as well. God often speaks to us through a phase in life or a particular circumstance along with His Word. And then sometimes we see the Bible come to life right before our very eyes!

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I had no idea what burnout was until it happened to me…twice…on two different continents. Actually, I knew what it was the second time, and I felt like I should have known better and seen it coming.

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The first drug wave was the opioid epidemic. In 2016, more Americans died from drug overdoses (67,000) than during the entirety of the Vietnam War (58,200).1 The second and more insidious wave is coming—it’s the marijuana wave.

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Sexual Harassment in Healthcare

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.

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Shelby Montgomery

In this article from the Winter 2019 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, we feature Shelby Montgomery, a third year at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. She received my bachelor’s of science in kinesiology at LSU in Baton Rouge, spending her junior year of undergrad at the University of Hawaii at Manoa on the island of Oahu through National Student Exchange. After graduating from LSU, I worked for one year at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge as a research coordinator for the Heads Up project.

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Facing the Pit of Evil

In this article from the Winter 2019 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, David Stevens, MD, MA (Ethics) shares when we follow our human nature, we are tempted by a desire to bunker down and protect ourselves from evil. The Bible tells us to flee this temptation, but just as importantly, we should also fight evil.

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Today's Christian Doctor Winter 2018 Cover

This Winter 2019 issue of Today’s Christian Doctor deals with some of the evils in our world today: sexual harassment in healthcare, drug use, and human trafficking. It also focuses in on healthcare professional burnout, which is happening in epidemic proportions and causing many to leave the ministry God called them to in healthcare.

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When I asked him if there were any other hopes he had at this stage of his life, he just shrugged and said, “Nope, all my hopes are in you guys – the medical profession.” He died three weeks later tragically clinging to tomorrow’s news.

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How should Christians come to the end of life? What is the appropriate use of technology to prolong life? How can we assure that when our time to die comes we will do it in answer to the call of God rather than because all of the technology of modern medicine has been exhausted?

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Q&A with David Barbe, MD

In this article from the winter 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, CMDA has an exclusive interview with David Barbe, MD, the President of the American Medical Association.

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CMDA Member Dr. Cindy Anthis found herself facing an unexpected situation when her local community in Texas was flooded by Hurricane Harvey. In this article from the winter 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Anthis shares how her clinic responded to the hurricane and its aftermath.

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Today's Christian Doctor Winter 2017 Cover

In the winter 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Mark Crouch explores the role of Christian healthcare professionals in authentic community development. Other topics include CMDA’s newest missions conference, relief work after Hurricane Harvey, the Psychiatry Section and an exclusive interview with the President of the American Medical Association.

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Renewing the Mountaintop Experience

In this article from the spring 2018 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Bryant Stoudt shares seven ideas that you can use to apply what you learned on a mission trip in your busy, everyday life.

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Author Ben Palpant encourages you to view culture as a garden to cultivate in order to see true change in this article published in the spring 2018 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor.

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In this article published in the spring 2018 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Stephen Manchester outlines how you can integrate spiritual care into opioid treatment in your practice. Plus, for the first time in the magazine’s history, you can earn continuing education credit with this article. 

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Today's Christian Doctor Spring 2018 Cover

In the spring 2018 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Stephen Manchester outlines how you can integrate spiritual care into opioid treatment in your practice. Other topics include standing up against physician-assisted suicide, cultivating culture and applying what you learn on a mission trip to your everyday life.

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Eagerly approaching the end of her Certified Nurse Midwife education, CMDA member Sara Hellwege decided to seek a position where she could minister to medically underserved patients without compromising her life-affirming convictions.

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In this article from the summer 2018 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. David Prentice discusses how genetic engineering has the potential for great benefit and great harm.

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In the cover story from the summer 2018 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Al Weir discusses an important question for all healthcare professionals: when is the right time to retire from practicing?

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Today's Christian Doctor Summer 2018 Cover

In the summer 2018 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Al Weir discusses an important question for all healthcare professionals: when is the right time to retire from practicing? Other topics include the latest bioethical issues in gene editing, finding community in healthcare and standing up for your beliefs in the workplace.

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Did you have a sling shot when you were a kid? I did, and I used to pick up rocks and pebbles from our driveway to use as ammunition when I plinked tree trunks, scared birds away from eating our garden and knocked cans off a stone wall.

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Side {by} Side: Changing Lives for 30 Years

After an interviewing trip in 1987, my husband announced he wanted to complete his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. To this day, I still remember hearing myself say, “That’s fine, honey. We could go there and have a ministry to internationals because many people from all parts of the world come there for training and then return to their homeland. It would be a great reverse mission field!”

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Sued or Fired? Riding the Emotional Rollercoaster

Would you prefer to endure a medical malpractice lawsuit, or would you rather be terminated from your employment? Is there much difference in your emotional rollercoaster ride with either option? Would you want somebody who has ridden that rollercoaster before to assure you that the hellish ride will eventually finish?

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Today's Christian Doctor Fall 2017

In the fall 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Walt Larimore explores ways you can incorporate spiritual care into your busy schedule. Other topics include the importance of spiritual training, overcoming burnout and more.

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Today Christian Doctor Fall 2018

In the fall 2018 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Kenneth Lim, MD, considers how to sustain a lifetime of emotionally healthy spirituality in medicine. We look at CMDA’s Medical Malpractice Ministry, our Side By Side ministry, our VIE Poster Sessions, and Dr. Stevens discusses facing California as we fight Physician-Assisted Suicide.

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Where Did My Joy Go…and How Do I Get It Back?

Looking over the edge of burnout, Dr. Betsy Manor had to ask herself, “What changed?” Did she make the wrong career choice? Does she care about people less? Is healthcare changing too much? In this article published in the fall 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Manor shares how she overcame burnout to find joy again in healthcare.

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Most of us have been involved to varying degrees with different types of training: training for our specialties, to run a race, to get in shape, to eat healthier, to get better in our areas of interest. We put tremendous amounts of time into our professional training. But what about our spiritual training? Dr. Jeff Amstutz discusses this topic in this article published in the fall 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor.

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What do you do when a patient asks for prayer but you’re too busy to take the time? In today’s world of healthcare, where efficiency is the driver, how do you take the time to include your faith in your practice? In this article published in the fall 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Walt Larimore explains how you can offer both efficient care and spiritual care in your practice.

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There was a time, a few decades ago, when most everyone interested in bringing together healthcare and the Christian faith was familiar with Dr. Paul Tournier and his work. In this article published in the fall 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Wilson Grant explores how Dr. Tournier’s message and style of medical practice is increasingly relevant to today’s healthcare professionals because he anticipated the loss of personal touch in the practice of healthcare.

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We were approaching the end of our fourth and final day in Alianza, Honduras, and our team still had a lot of flippers (partial dentures) to make. We were particularly focused on a flipper for 16-year-old Maria. Her top two front teeth were extracted and the other two front teeth filled because of extensive decay. Unfortunately, soda is cheaper than bottled water in Honduras, and decay is rampant.

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Photo by Daniel Frank

My favorite part of medicine is the moments I spend in direct patient care and in talking with specialists about patients. All the rest of it I find pretty unsatisfying. I feel limited by my inefficiency as well as pretty painful hand arthritis, so I had mixed feelings about the prospect of increasing my hours doing medicine after my kids were launched.

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Interview with an American Ninja Warrior

In 2015, Richard Shoemaker, MD, an emergency room physician living and working in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, found himself in the national spotlight while competing on American Ninja Warrior. On this NBC show, competitors battle through a series of challenging obstacle courses in both city qualifying and city finals rounds across the country.

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Finding Your Mission in Dentistry

As I entered “Ms. V’s” room, I could see her neck and leg braces, and as I came around the dental chair to greet her, I could see pain in her face. Two days before, she was hit by a car while crossing the road and her two front teeth were broken all the way to the nerve. It was obvious her entire body hurt, but she said the pain from her teeth was simply unbearable.

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Todays Christian Doctor Spring 2016

The spring 2016 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor helps you journey through CMDA’s Dental Residency program through the eyes of one of its first dental residents, offers steps to evaluate career options beyond clinical practice and more.

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Five hundred million heathens have not yet been evangelized, so it is computed! Yet our great Missionary Societies have reached high water-mark, and if they have not already begun to retrench they are seriously thinking of doing so. Meanwhile, the heart of Asia, the heart of Africa, and well nigh the whole continent of South America, are untouched with the Gospel of Christ.

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A Return to Cuba: Opening Doors for Christ

Twenty years ago, God called me to return to Cuba, the country where I was raised by my parents before it was overtaken by a communist regime that vehemently opposed my belief in Christ and severely discriminated against people of faith. And yet, it was the country that desperately needed to hear about the love of Christ.

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Preparing to Thrive Among Dust and Thorns

That was something we heard repeatedly from overseas workers as we prepared to move to North Africa. It’s easier to see the truth in that now, as I sit writing this on a bed covered by a mosquito net and listening to the loudspeaker from my neighborhood mosque, all from within my house surrounded by sand and Muslims.

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A Glimmer of Hope: Reaching the Unreached

The patient had been paralyzed four months earlier by a gunshot, leaving him unable to move or even talk. The young man’s wife had lovingly been providing complete care, hoping her husband would recover, but Dr. Judy knew there was no chance of improvement.

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Today's Christian Doctor Summer 2016

In the summer 2016 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Don Thompson shares how healthcare missions overcomes barriers. Other topics include how to plan to serve in cross-cultural ministry, changing the healthcare of an entire continent and more.

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I quit medicine. I was only five months out of residency and I was leaving medicine. I was finally a full-fledged physician with the big paycheck but absolutely no fulfillment. Not only did I leave the office night after night completely frustrated, hopeless and exhausted, I showed up each morning in the same state, if not slightly worse.

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CMDA affirms the historic and enduring Christian understanding of humankind as having been created male and female. CMDA has concerns about recent usage of the term “gender” to emphasize an identity other than one’s biological sex, that is, a sense of self based on subjective feelings or desires of identifying more strongly with the opposite sex or with some combination of male and female.

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Praying With Our Patients

We had completed a full workup for chronic pain for Susan, a patient of mine, and I could not find a physical or emotional etiology. Though she initially resisted discussing her social and spiritual health, she eventually became willing to talk after I questioned her again.

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Ripple Effects: The Steury Scholarship

In our first million years in heaven, I think we are going to find out all of the things we said or the things we did that impacted people’s lives here on earth—off-handed comments we spoke in passing, events we had no idea happened, actions we never considered to be important that God used for His glory.

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Today's Christian Doctor Fall 2016

In the fall 2016 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. David Stevens showcases the ripples of the Steury Scholarship. Other topics include putting spirituality in your practice, CMDA’s transgender identification statement and how to combat burnout.

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Engage Your Government

By the time you read these words, America will have finally chosen a new president after seemingly endless years of primary races, campaigning, debates and grudge matches pitting candidate against candidate. Chances are, whether you voted for the eventual winner or not, you shoulder at least some measure of concern for the future of our country.

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Engage Your Church: Outside the Walls

A few months ago, a student came up after our CMDA weekly campus luncheon and exclaimed, “I am so glad for CMDA! This is my church.” That statement is great affirmation of the work God is doing in our local groups and in the lives of students. However, it also raises an important question about the role of CMDA within the broader body of Christ—the church.

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Engage Your Campus Student

Around 6 p.m. on any given Tuesday night from August to May, cars begin to line the street in front of our house and medical students from Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine parade into our home. Together, we share a home-cooked meal, praise God with worship songs, participate in a Bible study and hang out afterward for a time of fellowship.

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Engaging with Your Family

You’re on call, you’ve got a sick patient looming on the horizon, a ton of dictations wait for you and your spouse wants you home for dinner with the family. Which one of these causes you the most frustration? I thought so. Maybe it’s better not to answer that question out loud.

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“Can I ethically immunize my kids with a vaccine that has been produced using cells from an aborted baby?” The caller asking the question seemed to be sincere. During Stand to Reason’s call-in podcast, the questions vary widely—the nature of God, evangelism, ethics—and host Greg Koukl does a great job thinking on his feet and applying a biblical worldview.

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My story starts out pretty normal, and you’ve probably heard stories just like this from others. As a child, I was raised in a good Christian home. I went to church on Sundays, was active in youth group and loved the Lord. I was saved when I was 11 or 12 years old, and I stayed involved in church until I graduated high school.

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Sasser Detail Image

We could give you a list a mile long with statistics about the work we do around the world. But those numbers don’t really show the amazing things God is doing through us as we seek to be “Transformed Doctors, Transforming the World.”

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Every year, thousands of physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses and other volunteers give up their precious time and money to serve the underserved in healthcare. Why would they become involved when they know there will be no monetary benefit and, frankly, many of those served are “unhygienic” and unappreciative of their efforts?

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Today's Christian Doctor Winter 2016

In the winter 2016 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Dr. Scott Keller shares how one local chapter is actively serving the local community. Other topics include engaging with your family, your campus and more.

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Imagine

In 1971, John Lennon published a song by the title “Imagine.” In a slow, dreamy cadence, the Beatles musician invites the listener to, “Imagine there’s no heaven; it’s easy if you try; no hell below us; above us only sky.” He continues, “Imagine there’s no countries; it isn’t hard to do; nothing to kill or die for; and no religion, too. Imagine all the people, living life in peace.”

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A Life Broken by Overmedication

In my previous life, I was Dr. Sandy Dettmann, the director of pediatric emergency services at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I lived in a 6,000 sq. foot, custom-built home in the affluent suburb of Ada, had a gorgeous husband, was mother to five beautiful babies, served as president of my young children’s PTO and was my daughter’s Girl Scout leader. It was an idyllic and seemingly perfect life. But it didn’t last.

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Send Them, & Go With Them

In July 2012, I was lying in an emergency department in Destin, Florida, wondering how a little gallbladder could cause me so much pain. I prayed for the pain to stop, and thankfully it did. The problem, however, did not go away. And as I headed home from the beach the next day, I grew more and more anxious about the upcoming healthcare mission trip to Haiti I was scheduled to go on in just two weeks with CMDA’s Global Health Outreach (GHO).

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Transforming Ecuador

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “Short-term mission trips are a waste. They do more harm than good. Americans only go on mission trips to help feel better about themselves and their lives. Short-term teams aren’t trained to serve cross-culturally.

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TCD Spring 2017 Cover

In the spring 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, we examine the foundations of professionalism in healthcare. Other topics include a new program for neurologists, vaccines, fully surrendering to God and more.

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TCD Summer 2017 Cover

In the summer 2017 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor, Ron Brown highlights the results of Global Health Outreach’s long-term strategy in missions. Other topics include the opioid epidemic, fellowship in healthcare and sharing experiences with students.

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Todays Christian Doctor Main

Today’s Christian Doctor is a full-color, quarterly magazine devoted to today’s issues in healthcare, including inspirational testimonies from fellow Christian healthcare professionals, public policy updates, glimpses into the future of healthcare and examples of how to integrate your faith into your practice.

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Walt Larimore Image

It was bound to happen. And it did, on a Thursday morning. But let me give you some background first. My best friend and practice partner, John Hartman, MD, and I were seeing patients in our family medicine practice from, as they say, conception to cremation. We had been working to introduce a variety of simple spiritual interventions that allowed us to practice not just as healthcare professionals who were Christians, but as Christians who happened to be healthcare professionals.

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By the time you read these words, America will have finally chosen a new president after seemingly endless years of primary races, campaigning, debates and grudge matches pitting candidate against candidate. Chances are, whether you voted for the eventual winner or not, you shoulder at least some measure of concern for the future of our country.

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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.

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Transgenderism is a hot topic in today’s culture. We feel it is important to respond appropriately in a Christian manner when faced with this topic of discussion, as well as when dealing with it in the healthcare profession.

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Two years into their marriage, CMDA member Dr. Adam Lewis and his wife, Kim, decided it was time to have children. Their high hopes soon descended into desperation, an experience shared by over two million couples in America who face the challenges of infertility.

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Today’s Christian Doctor – Fall 2015
After lots of prayer and planning, the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) opened its doors in 2003 with a vision to become a leader in embryo donation and embryo adoption. Now, just 12 years later, they are celebrating the momentous arrival of their 500th baby and the NEDC is the leading comprehensive non-profit embryo donation program in the U.S., with more pregnancies through embryo adoption than any other like-minded program.

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Calling me over to her bed in the ICU, she fumbled to grasp the lapels of my white coat. With surprising strength she drew me close to her face and said vehemently, “I don’t care what my doctor says, or what my family says, I just want to be kept comfortable until such time as I am no longer alive.”

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Ward 3, the locked psychiatric unit where I began my residency in psychiatry, was an utterly unattractive place, a tired fluorescent network of wall fabric and tile, fragrant with cleaning solution and stray bodily fluids. Its pajama- clad inmates, expelled from comfortable 21st century American culture by the demons of chronic mental illness and addiction, would stabilize, rest, detoxify, regroup and then—eventually—leave. It was a place of great pain, of small victories and sometimes, astonishingly, of irrepressible hope.

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The Erosion of Tolerance

Be encouraged to take a stand for Christian ethics in this article from Dr. John Patrick published in the fall 2014 edition of Today’s Christian Doctor.

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If someone offered me a parka in a blizzard, I’d take it. Same with a hat in Death Valley, soup during a famine or a parachute in freefall. I’d not only take these things, I’d lunge for them. You would too. When desperate, we accept help.

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Four years ago, the inauguration of the first African-American president in United States history closed with a benediction from Pastor Rick Warren. Warren, author of the bestselling Purpose Driven Life, might be the most well-known evangelical pastor in America. Among the things well known about Warren at the time of his inaugural invitation was his stance on the definition of marriage.

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My journey with medicine began when I was only eight years old. As I listened to a missionary speak about the need for the next generation to continue the work and become missionaries, I felt God impress upon me that He wanted me to become a missionary doctor to Mexico. From the beginning, missions and medicine were intrinsically linked for me. So when I started school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem, New York in the fall of 2011, I knew that I wanted to be used by God even before I got to the “mission field,” but I had no idea how much of a mission field I was walking into.

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From My Viewpoint: Healthcare Reform

For months, it seemed like the country was holding its breath. With baited breath, some waited in anticipation and others waited in dread. Experts and analysts outlined countless “what if” scenarios, examining and scrutinizing various sides of the argument.

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As Roberta Flack softly coos her 1973 Grammy-winning song in the background, the 2011 TV commercial slowly unveils a stunning, color image of a developing, gently moving baby in utero. The baby’s tiny arm curls upward, framing her glorious face.

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Remember to remember is a recurrent divine command. God wants us to remember the past in order to celebrate the good and learn to avoid evil. Equally recurrently, the children of Israel forgot to remember and the consequences were usually severe, including exile and slavery.

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