Mission Highlight: Thank you, Diane, for sharing with us both the challenges and rewards of the medical and scientific research fields! For those of you who missed it, here is what she shared:
"Beautiful morning, Christ Church. My name is Diane, and my husband Nathan, and I have had the joy of being married for six months and members of Christ Church for the past year. We are both fourth-year medical students at UCSF, and Janice asked me to share briefly about the opportunities and challenges as Christians in medicine and scientific research. I thought I would first give a few snapshots as a composite of what the day-to-day can be like.
On the best days, patients get better and are safely discharged. Fifteen-minute visits happen like a dream. Rounds are efficient, and ideas and research grants flow like milk and honey. My patients and their families are grateful, and I feel gratified to be a healer and moved to witness people’s lives and stories.
On the worst days, patients continue to suffer and the electronic medical system stops working. Clinic visits pile up. Colleagues bicker; papers are rejected; papers pile up. My elderly patient vomits blood and is wheeled to the intensive care unit. My other patient tells me I have failed her; I feel overwhelmed and helpless. That day, none of my notes get done.
At this point, I have to ask God to humble my heart and remind me that I am not in control. I have to ask God to give me eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart that hopes in who He is and what He is doing because sometimes all I can see is the brokenness: that death and suffering were not part of His plan; that power, privilege, and racism shape the hierarchy of academic medicine and research; that people do the right things (serving others) for the wrong reasons (to serve ourselves); and that we are broken-hearted patients and often burnt-out providers in a system where meaningful change can seem impossible.
So this bleakness, where is there room for grace, redemption, or hope? Thankfully God clears the scales from my eyes and the hardness around my heart. And I think part of the answer is this: is my identity in the work that I do or in the God who loves me and gives me the capacity to love and to serve others? Brothers and sisters in medicine, in health, in research and in science: today, will you re-examine with me the heart motivations for why we do what we do? That our hope would not be in the works of our hands, our productivity, a promotion, not even in our ability to meaningfully impact or change the lives of others, not in the gratitude of patients nor the approval of colleagues, but in God alone whose compassion and mercy know no end and in whom there is the truest healing for our hearts, minds, bodies, families, communities, structures, and systems. And by grace alone, we are challenged each day to lay down our expectations, our education—our sense of worth, our purposes, plans, even our dreams and disappointments—to say that God is more than enough. To follow Jesus then is to follow the best example of loving, healing, forgiving, and reconciling that I know, and for His sake I can endure and hold on to the promise that He is moving and shaping not just my life but of those around me.
Please join elder George and me in praying for those in medicine including Becky, Gary, Michelle, Clifford, Catherine, Melody, Nathan, and those in research/science including Jacob, Rebecca, and Stephanie."
Let's continue to pray for those in this field and remember and act as if we are called to be wherever we are spending our time and working and serving in!