We know that your work load and stress increase dramatically during residency and fellowship. At the same time, the needs of your family and friends remain constant. That's a formula for disaster unless you are committed to the priorities given you by God: God first, family second, career third. The CMDA Resident and Fellowship Community is designed to help you keep those priorities and grow in your faith during your residency and fellowship years. If you have information you think may be helpful for other residents or fellows, please contact Campus & Community Ministries.

So you've persevered through some very difficult times in medical or dental school—not only academically but personally—having sacrificed comfort and perhaps easier living for the dream of becoming a doctor. And now you are one! So what’s next? You’ve matched into a residency program or job that will take you through the next few years, bringing you closer to your dream of helping and serving others. As the National Resident and Fellow Council of CMDA, we have been there, and we know a great deal of excitement and anxiety comes with moving and starting a new job, especially an internship. As fellow believers and residents, we want to encourage you during this time of transition and let you know we’re here for you in the months and years to come.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV 1984).


Want to be sure to stay connected to the ministry of CMDA now that you're out of school? Take advantage of these new resident and fellow membership options:

  • $99 annual fee OR
  • $150 one-time resident or fellow package*

*With this one-time package, you'll still continue to receive the same great benefits like Today's Christian Doctor, Christian Doctor's Digest, the National Resident Council and webinars, plus you'll also receive a 10% discount on all purchases from CMDA's Bookstore (excludes logo wear and may not be combined with any other offers) and a 15% discount on registration for CMDA's National Convention.

If you're already a resident or fellow member of CMDA and would like to update your membership, please contact CMDA's Member Services or call 888-230-2637. If you are new to CMDA and would like to take advantage of this new package opportunity, please join us by visiting www.cmda.org/join.


Want to get involved with a local ministry group in your area? Find your region to learn more about what's happening in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Resident and Fellow Council (NRFC), and what is its purpose?

The National Resident and Fellow Council is a resident-driven organization within CMDA. It is designed to connect, mentor and empower Christian residents to:

  • Live out their faith authentically
  • Influence the culture of healthcare
  • Unite with other Christian residents and fellows both locally and nationally for enduring fellowship
  • Shape the future of CMDA

All CMDA resident and fellow members are invited to join to be a part of the NRFC. There is no member fee or required amount of meetings to attend. The NRFC provides a format for residents and fellows to connect to a community in their new city after medical school graduation, connect with other Christian residents and fellows from around the country, further develop leadership skills and share "best practices" of improving ministry to their colleagues and patients.

How is the NRFC connected to the national CMDA?

The NRFC is an important part of CMDA's Campus & Community Ministries. It serves as a springboard for development of future national leaders of CMDA, and will offer potential participation of its members in other national CMDA roles, such as Resident Trustee to the Board of Trustees, Resident Representative to the House of Representatives or membership of various councils or committees.

Why be part of the NRFC?

The NRFC offers committed Christian medical and dental residents and fellows a unique opportunity to connect, grow, be mentored, learn how to better minister to their colleagues and patients and impact the future ministry of CMDA and healthcare itself. If you are excited by what you read above, we invite you to join us!

What time commitment and responsibilities will involvement require?

While there is no time requirement to be involved in the NRFC, it is the goal of the NRFC to have regularly scheduled meetings, webinars, podcasts so that residents and fellows have the opportunity to connect and better integrate their faith with the daily demands of resident and fellow life. Most web-based meetings will be about an hour long and will be held on the third Sunday of every month.

Who do I contact with more questions?

Please visit cmda.org/resident-fellow for the latest news and information or email the National Resident and Fellow Council.

I want to be a part of the NRFC! What’s the next step?

Great! We’re excited to have you join us! Join the National Resident and Fellow Council.

How is the leadership of the NRFC chosen?

The NRFC is led by the NRFC Leadership Team. Each year at the annual meeting of the NRFC (to be associated with the CMDA National Convention) a new Leadership Team is elected by the membership of the NRFC itself. The Leadership Team is composed of motivated residents who are willing to sacrifice some extra time or sleep to meet on a bi-monthly to monthly basis. Their role will be to establish the vision for the NRFC for the year, work to connect graduating fourth year medical students, write for the Resident Life Facebook blog and help plan webinars/podcasts for the NRFC. The Leadership Team is not meant to be exclusive, but to define who will assume the responsibility for that year in leading this national organization.

Is attendance of the annual meeting required for involvement in the NRFC?

Participating in the annual meeting of the National Resident and Fellow Council is highly recommended; however, we understand that in general residency is one of the busiest times of life. Attending the annual meeting is where the connections to other Christian residents and fellows from across the country will be made, and these connections will often last a lifetime. The biggest impact you can have with this ministry is when you are gathered together in person, so we highly encourage you to attend. Again, we recognize that this may not be possible and do not want your not being able to attend the annual meeting to keep you from joining the NRFC.

How do I raise funds to attend the annual meeting?

Raising funds to attend the annual meeting and the CMDA National Convention is ultimately the responsibility of the NRFC member and potentially his/her local CMDA Chapter. We are also in the process of trying to raise support from other CMDA members to create a scholarship fund to help increase resident and fellow attendance at future meetings.

How often do NRFC meetings occur?

As of now, NRFC meetings will take place through web-based format every six weeks.

Are there specific events held for the NRFC members?

The specific goals and activities for the NRFC will be decided upon by the NRFC members themselves. There certainly is potential for an NRFC-based short-term mission trip, fundraisers or a specific NRFC conference. What the future looks like will be up to you!

Meet Our Leadership Team


Katie Howe, MD

NRFC Chair

About Katie

Kate is from the South. She grew up in Virginia, studied Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, then joined Teach for America and moved to New Orleans to teach middle school Social Studies. She stayed in her beloved New Orleans to earn her MD/MPH from Louisisa State University and completed an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship with a focus on nutrition and program planning and development. Now she is back in Virginia as a resident physician in General Surgery at Virginia Tech Carillion. She aims to teach surgery in the developing world. For fun, she enjoys eating delicious food, reading The Economist, breathing fire, bicycling, and watching all manner of sports, most especially soccer.

Morris Jacob 2

Jake Morris, MD

Resident Trustee 2019

About Jake

Jake Morris, MD is currently in his PGY-2 year in Emergency Medicine at the University of Alabama - Birmingham. He received his M.D. from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He met his wife (an Alabama Southern belle) on the World Race, a year-long Christian mission trip in 2011 where they traveled the world while living out of a tent and using just a backpack. While at the Mayo Clinic, they led a CMDA Bible Study and helped establish a series of other CMDA home fellowships. They currently outside of Birmingham, Alabama with their children, Walter, Evie and Harvey. In his free time, he loves to play with his three young kids, read, and go fly fishing. Contact Jake.

Kessling Liza2

Liza Kessling, DO

Resident Rep 2018-2019

About Liza

Liza is starting her second year of residency at In His Image Family Medicine Residency in Tulsa, OK. Since she was about 8 years old, she has felt the Lord calling her into healthcare missions. In preparation for that call, she completed her bachelors in nursing at Pensacola Christian College in Florida. She worked for three years as a nurse before starting and finishing medical school as part of the inaugural class of Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine. She has had the opportunity to go on several mission trips, including trips to Africa, Honduras, Haiti, and Alaska. Outside of school, she enjoys horseback riding, reading, playing sports and helping out on dairy farms back home in Pennsylvania.

Hountras Peter2

Peter Hountras, MD

Past Chair, NRFC

About Peter

Peter Hountras, MD, serves as the Chairman of the National Resident & Fellow Council and the Chicago Area Director. For undergraduate education, he attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He then went to Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. After graduation, he completed internal medicine residency at Loyola University Medical Center. He is currently in pulmonary critical care fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Sherry Ann Brown20122

Sherry-Ann Brown, MD, PhD

About Sherry-Ann

Sherry-Ann Brown, MD, PhD, has served in leadership roles in Christian fellowships and youth groups since her middle school years. She joined CMDA in 1999 during her last year of high school in Jamaica. Since then, she completed a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in physics at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She completed the MD/PhD program at the University of Connecticut Health Center. She is now a resident and future cardiology fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and she is excited about serving on CMDA's National Resident & Fellow Council. She was a Resident Representative to CMDA's House of Representatives 2013-2014, and CMDA's Resident Trustee 2014-2015. She is a physician, scientist, missionary, poet, and author, and can be reached on social media: @drbrowncares.

Kopriva Christina2

Christina Kopriva, MD

About Christina

Christina Kopriva, MD, finished her Emergency Medicine training at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2016. She first got involved with the local chapter of CMDA while in medical school at UCLA. She served as the chapter president during her second year of medical school, continued on the leadership team during her third and fourth years of medical school as well as serving on the CMDA National Student Council. She also served as the student representative to the CMDA Board of Trustees during her fourth year. She continued on to serve on the National Resident & Fellow Council during residency and continues to stay involved post-residency as an advocate of the students and residents in CMDA.


Amanda Lucashu, DO

Resident Trustee 2018

About Amanda

Amanda Lucashu, DO is currently at In His Image Family Medicine Residency in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She earned her BS in Biology from Houghton College and then completed medical school at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. While there she served as the CMDA chapter president and also became involved in National Student Council leadership serving as the Secretary followed by two terms as the President. Amanda is currently serving as the CMDA's Resident Trustee.


Randy Laine, MD

2018-2019 Resident Rep

Ian Drobish

Ian Drobish, MD

2018-2019 Alternate Resident Rep

About Ian

Ian is currently a first year resident in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego. He completed medical school at Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine, and completed his undergraduate studies at Cornerstone University. After the first year of medical school, he married his wonderful wife Melissa, a high school science teacher. They feel very blessed to be a part of CMDA and hope to use healthcare and education to share the gospel, whether that be here in America or abroad.

DeKoninck Family

Tim DeKoninck, MD

2018-2019 Alternate Resident Rep


Residency Programs
We know that finding a residency program that fits you is important. We've compiled a list of residency programs that have a key CMDA leader working with the program OR are distinctly Christian. We consider these programs worth your consideration when you are choosing your residency. For more information, contact Campus & Community Ministries.

Tips for Residents
Are you looking for helpful tips and insights to provide guidance as you travel through your residency journey? Check out these Tips for Residents we've put together just for you.

Read More

CMDA Ministry to Your Marriage
The training programs for most specialties are so demanding — they take all of your time and energy, leaving little energy left for building relationships. In future pages we will look at why young doctors succumb to the opressiveness of their training; but apprentices usually go along with their trainers to guarantee future success.

We are confident your marriage can grow and blossom while you are in your training years. It helps a lot to have a sense of humor and to recognize your need for good fun or a healthy diversion. These grow out of a biblical perspective and should be part of the spiritual resources for your life, work, marriage and family.

CMDA's Marriage Enrichment Conferences are led by proven experts—our own well-trained members and staff. They are especially designed with your needs in mind. Sign up for one today and invite a colleague-couple to meet you there. Remember that we pay special attention to the needs of dual career couples.


Is Residency Squeezing You?
Paul Cosford, while training at Ealing Hospital in London, observed that heavy on call rotations create tiredness, which squeezes out daily quiet times, church services, and home fellowship groups. "Thus both our personal time with God and fellowship with other Christians is seriously impaired, leaving us much more vulnerable to backsliding as Christians. If we're married (as I am), it can also create pressure in this area, with little time to spend with one's wife and family." Cosford suggests some specifics for maintaining a Christian life-style while in training:

  • Be known as a Christian at work. Would a fish badge be helpful?
  • Respect and submit to the authority of consultants. "Live at peace with everyone."
  • Don't get down from lack of praise. Remember, it is the Lord Jesus Christ you are serving. He has the ultimate reward.
  • Maintain good work relationships with nurses and technicians. Humility will lead us to consult their opinions.
  • Be on guard about loneliness. Residency is not the time to try to convert your non- Christian boy or girlfriend, while maintaining Christian standards in the relationship at the same time.

Dr. Earl Bowie (ENT in Pensacola, FL) chose not to marry or pursue a relationship with a life partner during residency. Individual circumstances will indicate different strokes for different folks. CMDA's Campus & Community Ministries can put you in touch with a sympathetic couple in CMDA from your area. There is available lots of wise counsel and constructive role modeling for residents by CMDA members. Seek them out!


A Resident’s Dialogue with God
By Dr. Phil Grim
(From CMDS Journal, Vol XXII, No 2)

"Okay, whew, I have a few minutes before reading this stack of journals and while my beeper is quiet. I'm going to try to read my Bible. Dear Lord, please speak to me...(but quickly; I don’t have much time.)"

II Corinthians 4:8-10...

"We are hard pressed on every side"
Boy, have you got that one right, God. Everyone wants a little slice of me. My attending wants me to do a literature search on his latest project. My patients, the clinics, the paperwork, the beeper, the conferences, and the reading...aaaaahhhhh, I do feel pressed on every side. My family needs me, the church needs me, and I just need some sleep. Sigh.

"But not crushed"
That's right, take it one breath at a time. I know you won’t allow more than I can handle.

...and confused...how can I keep it all in balance?

"But not in despair"
Well, at least not all the time...smile...I mean I do have a job.

Oh yes, God, you’ve got this one right. You wouldn’t believe all the stuff I’m expected to do.

"But not abandoned"
Although I do feel alone at 3:00 A.M. in the ER with a patient that I don’t know what to do with. I know you are always guiding me and you will never abandon me.

"Struck down"
On rounds today I couldn't even give one right answer to my attending.

"But not destroyed"
But I know my true worth is in your eyes, God...not in the eyes of my fellow man.

"We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."
To be honest, God, I do feel a little like death right now, I'm just so tired, in every way. But thank you for the encouragement that even in the midst of all this pressure...you can use me to show others...Jesus. Now, that's the best medicine I know.


Read Dr. Sherry-Ann Brown's Testimony

Why be a CMDA Resident

Why a CMDA Membership? I appreciate the legacy of CMDA and the tremendous opportunity it has been to be a member since I was 17 years old, just a few weeks before starting college. I have immensely enjoyed the fellowship, teaching, learning, growth, support, mailings and spiritual and medical/dental camaraderie in CMDA. On the National Resident Council (NRC), residents/fellows around the country are encouraged to participate in a “think tank” to expand the space within CMDA where the word and concept “residents/fellows” becomes intentionally commonplace in the vernacular at local meetings and councils, regionally, nationally and internationally.

Through the NRC, God called me to the House of Representatives, then to serve as the Resident Trustee (2014-2015). One of my goals is to continue playing my part in relinquishing the “residency/fellowship black hole” in CMDA. Linking arms with others around the country who are at my stage and also coordinating a local group of residents/fellows helps me feel connected, supported and molded as God uses mutual ministry to teach us leadership development, fellowship, community and initiative.

As a resident/fellow member of CMDA, I know that I contribute to the largest group of Christian healthcare professionals in the country. I know that I stand in unity with others who are facing persecution regarding rights of conscience, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, infanticide and other “progressive innovations” that our broken world will pursue. I support my brothers and sisters in healthcare because we are in fellowship and community with one another and love another. And I am so grateful that when the time comes that as a cardiologist I may be faced with persecution in my area of healthcare, I will have the backing of thousands of healthcare professionals around the country. None of us knows the intricate details of what is ahead or what will be proposed next in various fields, but all of us know that “together we stand, divided we fall.”

As resident/fellow members, we are together able to “stand for something, lest we fall for anything.” Our vision at this point for residents/fellows should be to develop electronic tools that we can have at our fingertips for encouragement, support, exhortation, information and connectivity. Whether it's an app with weekly CMDA devotionals written by residents/fellows or graduate faculty, or audiobooks that we are all reading together around the country, electronic availability will increase access for residents/fellows to emerge from the “black hole.” I am thrilled to be a CMDA resident/fellow!

– Sherry-Ann Brown, MD, PhD

CMDA Ministries and Resources
CMDA offers a wide variety of outreaches, resources and services that are geared to help you as you strive to integrate your faith into your profession of healthcare during residency or fellowship. Are you taking advantage of these CMDA services?

Contact Us

Are you interested in getting involved with the National Resident and Fellow Council? Contact Campus & Community Ministries for more information.

Campus & Community Ministries
P.O. Box 7500 • Bristol, TN 37621 • 888-230-2637

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