CODE YOU

Phyllis Morton and Tamara Ramirez, two nurses who developed a continuing education course for nurses to overcome burnout, discuss their ministry on this week’s CMDA Matters podcast.

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God Sightings

Dr. Trish Burgess talks about her new book God Sightings, a collection of stories of the best God sightings from GHO mission trips around the world on this week’s CMDA Matters podcast.

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Streamlining GHO

Trish Burgess, MD introduces Alicia Trivett, the new GHO Program Coordinator and discusses how they are working to streamline the ways teams are sent to minister in the name of Jesus.

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Street Medicine: Running a Free Clinic in the Era of COVID

When I contracted COVID-19 on March 18, 2020, it was so early in the outbreak of the pandemic that my illness sent shock waves of fear through Inland Vineyard Medical Mission and Free Clinic where I serve as director. Everyone on our team was worried, including our student workers. How would we keep our team safe? And how would we still treat our patients? For most of our patients, we are their main source for both food and medical care. Where would they go if we suddenly shut our doors?

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Revisiting the Topic of COVID-19 Vaccines

Dr. Jeff Barrows joins Dr. Mike Chupp on today’s special edition of the CMDA Matters podcast to revisit the topic of COVID-19 and the safety, efficacy and ethics of the vaccines.

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Vaccine Mandate Resources

Friday, March 15 is Match Day for 2019. The graduate medical education community represent the day when the National Resident Matching Program or NRMP releases results to applicants seeking residency and fellowship training positions in the United States.

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One Person at a Time

I have a soft spot for public health. True, I’ve been a family physician for 32 years, and have touched many people’s lives, but decisions made by public health practitioners have an outsized impact on health.

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Facing the Virus Overseas

When COVID-19 began sweeping around the globe in early 2020, career healthcare missionaries were faced with the option of staying in their countries of service to weather the storm or evacuating back to the United States before the borders closed. Without sufficient quantities of protective equipment for staff members, would rural mission hospitals be able to survive the pandemic? In countries where the medical infrastructure is limited at best, would there be enough resources? What about food and other supplies to help to meet the day-to-day needs if the airports closed?

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Courage through the Crisis: Stories from the Frontlines

More than a year ago, we watched as New York City and the surrounding area became the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis when the pandemic initially broke out in the United States. At this year’s CMDA Virtual National Convention, we shared stories from several CMDA members from the area whose lives and work in healthcare were impacted by the virus.

As we consider how COVID-19 has changed our world and our profession in healthcare, these stories share how God has worked in and through our members during this crisis.

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Trust in Public Health

WND recently published my op-ed designed to highlight the benefits of trusted doctors and faith-based organizations communicating on public health issues. I also noted what I considered to be several significant failures of government public health messaging.

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Ethical Implications of Stem Cell Research

Dr. Francis Collins joins Dr. Mike Chupp on this week’s CMDA Matters podcast to discuss modern breakthroughs in stem cell research and the creation of Chimeras.

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The World in Need

When John Donne wrote “No Man Is an Island,” he was lying on his sickbed, thinking, perhaps, it would be his deathbed. When he heard the church bells tolling for a person recently deceased, it got him thinking. His life­—everyone’s life—was diminished by the death of that unknown person. We are all connected.

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On Faith and Fear

During a recent urgent care shift, a young welder presented with a metal foreign body in his eye. If you work in emergency medicine, urgent care or ophthalmology, or if you weld yourself, you are already aware of this occupational hazard. I was not aware of it prior to starting work in urgent care, but I must admit that it makes any dreams I may have had of learning to weld, thereby empowering myself to do more of my own home repairs, much less attractive. Tiny hot flecks of metal landing on the human cornea quickly embed themselves and become difficult to remove. Left there for a few days, they begin to rust, leaving a small rust ring on the cornea after the metal itself is removed—a rust ring which then has to be removed with a tiny drill called an eye burr.

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ETHICAL VACCINES: Ready for a shot in the arm?

With millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses already plunged into American arms and hundreds of million more doses on the way, can healthcare professionals confidently receive the vaccines themselves and also recommend them for patients?

While responses to this question often involve important emotional factors that need to be addressed, this article focuses on three rational considerations: safety, efficacy and ethics.

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Countering COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation

Dr. Jeff Barrows joins Dr. Mike Chupp on today’s CMDA Matters podcast to discuss the safety, efficacy and ethics of the COVID-19 vaccine in the wake of vaccine misinformation.

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Vaccines and Conscience Protection

It has been over a year since the first diagnosis of COVID-19 in the United States. Due to this pandemic’s effects, our society has experienced limitations in personal freedoms to a level we have never known. Social interactions and work environments have been changed by social distancing, masks, hospital and nursing home visitation restrictions and working from home. Freedom of movement about our communities and the nation has been limited by “stay-at-home orders” and mass travel restrictions. The availability of vaccines provides a sliver of hope but also raises many questions. Issues our society must address include prioritizing equitable vaccine distribution and the potential for coercive mandates on vaccine use.

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Coronavirus Vaccine

Friday, March 15 is Match Day for 2019. The graduate medical education community represent the day when the National Resident Matching Program or NRMP releases results to applicants seeking residency and fellowship training positions in the United States.

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COVID-19 Fact or Fiction?

A growing proliferation of blog posts, podcasts and online videos presenting confusing information regarding COVID-19 has increased over recent months. Many of these controversies are propagated by physicians speaking to large church audiences. In this blog post, I will address the most common disputes.

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Navigating Vaccine Ethics

CMDA Senior Vice President for Bioethics and Public Policy Dr. Jeff Barrows and I recently wrote a piece for The Public Discourse, “Is Receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Ethical?” that suggested principles to consider as we navigate ethical issues related to COVID-19 vaccines. I’ve included brief highlights below; more from the original article and also new observations will be published in an upcoming edition of CMDA Today (previously known as Today’s Christian Doctor).

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Our Duty to COVID-19 Patients

Photo: Pixabay

You see a 68-year-old male with diabetes and hypertension in the office for coughing, body aches and recent loss of taste and smell, whose symptoms started about three days ago. His pulse oximetry is 95 percent, and the lungs are clear. A COVID-19 test is run and comes back positive. He asks what can be done to decrease his risk for going to the hospital or even death. Unfortunately, you tell him, there are no easily accessible outpatient treatments for COVID-19, and you recommend he use over-the-counter treatments to help his symptoms and to let you know if he is getting significantly short of breath. There are times like this when we in the primary care realm can feel helpless or like there’s not much we have to offer for patients. But is this truly the case for COVID-19?

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Physician Support for Ethical Vaccines

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our society has had to adapt to unprecedented restrictions and limitations. During this trying time, it has been difficult to find points of optimism. The rapid development of vaccine candidates utilizing varied techniques remains encouraging.

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First Do No Harm

I got to hear Philip Yancey, one of my long-standing heroes of faith, speak in person a few weeks ago. My college-age daughter and I attended a conference (which, lest you are concerned, was sparsely attended, socially distanced and masked) where he spoke to a group of about 100 people. The minute I received the invitation, I knew I was going to attend if humanly possible. I am a huge fan of Philip Yancey, have read all his books and find him to be one of the most simultaneously encouraging and convicting Christian authors out there. I certainly was not going to miss the chance to hear him speak in person in a small group! I spent the intervening weeks in eager anticipation.

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A Plea to Our Churches

The daily rendering of the news informs us that the rate of COVID-19 infections is skyrocketing. The time it takes for the U.S. to accumulate one million cases has dropped from 44 days to just seven days. The pandemic has not only arrived; it is hitting with hurricane force and has reached a crisis point.

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Ethical Science at Warp Speed

COVID-19 has brought many challenges to us all—medical, ethical, societal. It has also intensified and sharpened the focus of some ongoing bioethical challenges, especially regarding fetal tissue research and the related topic of abortion-derived cell lines and vaccine production. We looked at both of these issues in the spring of 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Time for some updates, new information and analysis.

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Overcoming the Bombardment of COVID-19

Carpet bombing, also known as saturation bombing, is a large area bombardment done in a progressive manner to inflict damage in every part of a selected area of land. The phrase evokes the image of explosions completely covering an area, in the same way a carpet covers a floor.

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A Vaccine Trial is Not a Trial: What Participating Looks Like

I love vaccines. To those of you who have read my other articles on the subject (available here and here), this comes as no surprise. But, you may rightly say, “love” is an awfully strong word. Shouldn’t I only love people, not things?

I love vaccines because I love people. Millions of people are alive today only because they were vaccinated. Who are these people? Nobody knows, because the vaccine kept them from getting sick and dying. One of them could very well be me. Or you.

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Tara Sander Lee: COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Dr. Tara Sander Lee joins Dr. Mike Chupp and co-host Dr. Jeff Barrows on today’s CMDA Matters podcast to discuss how COVID-19 vaccinations are being developed and fetal cell line research.

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At the Heart of the Crisis: Personal Reflections on COVID-19

It is no exaggeration for me to say CMDA has had an influential impact on my adult spiritual life. Since 1999, I have been active with CMDA in one way or another. In 2017, my work with the New York City chapter was significantly increasing, and I found myself more interested in ministry activities than even my own private practice in surgery. After a couple years of praying and planning, I officially began my full-time ministry as the NYC Area Director on March 1, 2020. There was no way humanly possible we could have foreseen what would occur in NYC that same month.

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Redefining Essential in the Midst of a Pandemic

Am I essential? As general dental professionals, we do not imagine many of you have asked yourselves this question. By choosing dentistry as a profession, it is safe to assume a certain level of job security and financial stability. Though both of those factors may have been initial lures into the field, what inspires us daily to practice dentistry is the impact we have in the lives of our patients, each created in the image of God. As dentists, all that we work to achieve is essential to the health and well-being of our respective communities. And yet, in the midst of the Coronavirus global pandemic, it feels like oral healthcare was deemed non-essential. States recommended dentists limit their offices to emergency patients only. No handpieces were running. No cavitrons were cleaning. Some dentists were even finding themselves unemployed! Oral healthcare seemed low on the priority list, and any momentum we had made in terms of advocating prevention felt lost.

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Thomas Okamoto, MD: Mental Health in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Thomas Okamoto joins Dr. Mike Chupp on today’s CMDA Matters podcast to discuss how COVID-19 is affecting the mental health of healthcare professionals.

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Heroes, Wistfulness, Roles and Faithfulness

Photo: Pixabay

The viral attack hit especially in the major metropolitan epicenters, and many doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other healthcare professionals stayed at work in the trenches, came out of retirement or traveled long distances to volunteer their services to aid those in distress.

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Chris Hook, MD: COVID-19 Public Policy Statements

Dr. Chris Hook joins Dr. Mike Chupp in today’s CMDA Podcast to discuss CMDA’s Public Policy statements related to COVID-19, Duties of Christian Health Care Professionals in Pandemic Infection and Triage and Resource Allocation. Dr. Hook’s comments are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Mayo Clinic.

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Responding to Anti-Christian Animus Revealed in the Pandemic

Courtesy: Samaritan's Purse Facebook

In New York City, pronouncements against the volunteer work of the Christian relief group Samaritan’s Purse revealed venomous anti-Christian attitudes. Because Samaritan’s Purse, led by Franklin Graham, the son of the late evangelist Billy Graham, adheres to a biblical view of marriage, some New Yorkers would have had the group kicked out of the city rather than allowed to help save lives.

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Our Calling in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Few of us trained to treat sick communities and continents. Unfortunately, that is our task during a pandemic. The origin of the word comes from the Greek pandemos, where pan means everyone and demos means population. Pandemics confront us with not just one sick individual but with hundreds of thousands of ill patients. The responsible pathogen overwhelms both individual immune systems and community healthcare systems. The toll is individual and collective.

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Anxious? Me, Too. How To Lean On God When Feelings Don’t Cooperate

I’ve been a family doctor in the same location for 30 years, so many of my patients have been with me a decade…or two…or three. Following people through their life stages has been a joy. We’ve grown older together. I’ve been acutely aware of this in the last two weeks as I’ve called patients to reschedule them. I’ve wanted to call them myself to make sure they don’t need anything, because I’d rather they avoid any medical facility for the next six months.

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Thinking of Ultimate Things

After 10 weeks of avoiding people, I realize how much I miss them. People, that is. I always thought I disliked crowds, but now I find myself missing crowds also. People bring me pleasure. People are precious.

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Peter Saunders, MD: COVID-19 International Crisis

On the podcast today, Dr. Mike Chupp is joined by Dr. Peter Saunders, the Chief Executive of the International Christian Medical & Dental Association (ICMDA) who provides an inspiring message of opportunity with an update on COVID-19 from a global perspective, as well as an update on the amazing things ICMDA is doing to support Christians in healthcare and hospitals around the world.

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The Polarizing Pandemic

We are living in a highly polarized society. Disagreeing opinions have very little overlap, making compromise difficult. People talk more than they hear, and they hear more than they listen. People rally and argue and protest, but they rarely build bridges across the divides. Political candidates represent the extreme ends of their party’s platform, and those in the middle are accused of being weak on issues. Opinions on social media are strongly worded and leave no room for useful discussion. Family members have broken fellowship over the Trump v. Clinton election. Friendships are strained over differing definitions of social distancing. The world we live in is broken, and people are afraid. Fear, in fact, is the most insidious form of brokenness. It penetrates the very marrow of our character and changes our motivations. The values and ideals we hold dear are corrupted by fear such that we no longer act based on what we believe, but rather out of avoidance of what we fear.

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Faith in Times of Uncertainty

COVID-19 has upended our routines, but the spirit-filled life remains as accessible as ever. I am, by God’s grace, optimistic. Ask the people who know me best, and they’d all agree I tend to find the sunniest take on nearly everything, sometimes to the point of annoyance.

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Immunizing Conscience

Ethical considerations should have a priority place in science and medicine. Promoting sound bioethics promotes confidence in doctors and scientists and their work, among peers, the public and policymakers. This is certainly seen in the recent ethically-guided decisions around federal funding of research with fetal tissue from elective abortions. Ethical guardrails help focus precious research funds on projects with best chance of success and benefit for all. Even in a crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, illumination of the ethical vs. unethical proposals can educate and serve to focus attention and resources on the paths that will benefit all.

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A Touch of Compassion

Emergency appointments are a big part of our duties and schedules at Christ Community Health Center where I work in Memphis, Tennessee. We have a walk-in day once a week at four out of our five clinics, and we also take several walk-ins on other days at each of our clinics. So, transitioning to only emergencies did not feel too weird, it just made our schedules lighter. During this pandemic, I’m thankful we as dentists can provide much-needed emergency services to treat pain, keep people out of the emergency room or give someone a quick-fix to hold them off until they can have more work done.

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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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Christian Healthcare Professionals and Coronavirus: A Global Ministry During a Global Pandemic

Photo: Pixabay

Since the start of 2020, our world has seen a viral pandemic sweep through and ravage countries and nations. COVID-19 and its medical sequelae has uprooted and deeply impacted mankind, regardless of the assembly of the human race—the young and the elderly, the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor. Many are speaking out and also searching for answers amidst what some people fear as God’s judgment on His people.

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Be Prepared. Not Scared.

Photo: Pixabay

As a board-certified family physician and hospital medical director with over 25 years experience in emergency, hospital and nutritional medicine, I want to encourage you to do everything you can to stay as healthy as possible during this devastating epidemic.

As the U.S., state and local governments and healthcare professionals labor tirelessly in compassionate and effective efforts to protect American citizens from the spreading COVID-19 Coronavirus, governments in certain countries instead are reportedly exposing persecuted religious groups to the threat.

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COVID-19 Ramblings and Reflections

The world is caught up in the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus has changed our lives, and it will continue to change the lives of people all over the world for years to come. Schools, churches, businesses, restaurants, sporting events and entire countries are closed or are placed under lockdown. Shelter-in-place, an old term, unknown to most, is now widely used, and it affects, by some estimates, more than half the country. At any hour of the day or night, one can find the most up-to-date tallies for morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and around the world. This led me to three observations.

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COVID-19 in NYC

On the podcast today, Dr. Mike Chupp is joined by Drs. David and Janet Kim, who are working to fight COVID-19 at ground zero in New York City. Their ongoing prayer and hope is that their story shows they are still trusting in a God who is a perfect Shepherd, even as they walk obediently through the valley of the shadow of death.

In addition, we have included in this week’s podcast a “Quiet Moment” with Ken Jones from CMDA’s Center for Well-being. Ken asks the question, “What are you doing?” He encourages that a time of reflection is needed in order to answer that question and three additional questions he asks in this “Quiet Moment.”

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CPR in the Times of COVID-19

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is universally applied in cardiac standstill, unless a physician order is given to Do Not Resuscitate (DNR). CPR is the only procedure that can be performed without a physician order; a nurse cannot give aspirin, start an IV or feed a patient without an order. However, CPR is the automatic default when the heart stops. This universal application has created several ethical issues, and the current pandemic now has us questioning if CPR should be the automatic default.

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A Healthy Fear

Photo: Pixabay

Our lead caregiver is Mohammed, a compassionate, wonderful Afghan man who has been serving the poor and sick in the most difficult areas of Afghanistan for more than 20 years. Mohammed is a devout Muslim.

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Coronavirus Archive

Friday, March 15 is Match Day for 2019. The graduate medical education community represent the day when the National Resident Matching Program or NRMP releases results to applicants seeking residency and fellowship training positions in the United States.

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Coronavirus Response Reveals Character of Governments

American novelist James Lane Allen wrote, “Adversity does not build character; it reveals it.” The response by the governments of countries around the world to the COVID-19 Coronavirus is revealing the fundamental character of those governments.

As the U.S., state and local governments and healthcare professionals labor tirelessly in compassionate and effective efforts to protect American citizens from the spreading COVID-19 Coronavirus, governments in certain countries instead are reportedly exposing persecuted religious groups to the threat.

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Tim Goeglein: American Restoration

Dr. Mike Chupp is joined by Tim Goeglein, the author of American Restoration: How Faith, Family and Personal Sacrifice Can Heal Our Nation. And then CMDA’s Vice President for Campus & Community Ministries Bill Reichart joins him to talk about how the unique challenges COVID-19 crisis has had on campus and community ministries across the country.

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In the Midst of Uncertainty

It happened so quickly, it seems. One moment it was business as usual: reviewing lab cases, getting ready for boards, opening our practice doors for patients to arrive, joking with staff and colleagues throughout the day and planning to attend the next mission trip, church service, conference, wedding or other event. It feels as if we all became affected at the same time. In an instant those jokes were replaced by concern as dental boards were put on hold, our office closed to routine dental care, we became unemployed or we put some of our staff on unemployment to keep the practice afloat in the midst of uncertainty. Our plans got cancelled one by one, our normal way of life crumbled. It’s now challenging to find one broadcast, social media post, YouTube video, email or conversation that does not mention “virus,” “pandemic” or “COVID-19”.

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Anxious? Me, Too. How To Lean On God When Feelings Don’t Cooperate

I’ve been a family doctor in the same location for 30 years, so many of my patients have been with me a decade…or two…or three. Following people through their life stages has been a joy. We’ve grown older together. I’ve been acutely aware of this in the last two weeks as I’ve called patients to reschedule them. I’ve wanted to call them myself to make sure they don’t need anything, because I’d rather they avoid any medical facility for the next six months.

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Philip Yancey: Fearfully and Wonderfully

Dr. Mike Chupp is joined by CMDA CEO Emeritus Dr. David Stevens to discuss how Christian healthcare professionals can respond with courage during these ominous days of COVID-19. Following that interview, he speaks with Philip Yancey on his updated book Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God’s Image, which is a fresh update of Philip’s collaboration with Dr. Paul Brand, one of our heroes in medicine.

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A Beacon in New York City

Photo: Pexels

According to the New York Times, New York State has roughly 5 percent of coronavirus cases worldwide, and New York City, a disease epicenter, has over 25 percent of all COVID-19 patients in the U.S.

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A Guide in the Middle of COVID-19

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

My 21-year-old son attends university in Scotland. Scotland is a beautiful country filled with some of the loveliest people I have met in my travels. They are warm, friendly and willing to help a stranger, even if you can’t always understand what they are saying to you. Those thick Scottish brogues can be difficult! Just sayin’.

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Coronavirus and Ebola

Reverend Dr. Stephen Ko, a pastor and former CDC medical officer returns to CMDA Matters this week with an update on the Coronavirus. Dr. Rick Sacra, a CMDA member who is a missionary to Liberia and an Ebola survivor, talks with Dr. Mike Chupp this week recounting his experience with Ebola and how God used it to open the door for ministry.

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From a Physician on the Frontlines

Photo: Pexels

For years and years the media has tended to sensationalize every little thing, which is making it very hard to hear the voices that are sounding a REAL alarm. We doctors don’t tend to be alarmist.

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Coronavirus

Friday, March 15 is Match Day for 2019. The graduate medical education community represent the day when the National Resident Matching Program or NRMP releases results to applicants seeking residency and fellowship training positions in the United States.

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Stephen Ko, MD: COVID-19 Update

This week’s interview on CMDA Matters with Dr. Mike Chupp features Reverend Dr. Stephen Ko, a pastor and former CDC medical officer. With a real and present danger of widespread community COVID-19 in the U.S., Dr. Ko gives insight into how Christians can be the hands and feet of Christ without fear while taking necessary precautions.

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