Monday, December 17, 2007

An Intersection of Faith and Medicine

Let me call to your attention this story in American Medical News about physicians expressing their religious ministries in and through medical practice (and thanks for Episcopal Life for pointing to it). It would be worthy of attention even if one of the physicians in the article were not an Episcopal priest.

The article begins, "Anecdotal reports suggest that there are several hundred physicians who are both religious leaders and medical doctors. They see a connection between the physical world of medicine and the spiritual world of faith, a perspective that can cross into the exam room." My own "anecdotal evidence" would suggest that there are several hundred just within the Episcopal Church. Off the top of my head I'm aware of four just in my own diocese.

And, the article identifies "religious leaders" with ordination or the equivalent. If we were to include physicians in lay leadership, the numbers would go much higher. And then there are the other health care professionals - but, then, they wouldn't be part of the focus of American Medical News, with physicians as the target audience.

In any case, we need to give thanks for all those physicians, and other health care providers, who express their religious ministries in their medical and health care practices. They incarnate the love and compassion of Christ, and the concerns of Christ's Body, in times and places of great suffering.

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