A story in AMA News tells how more medical schools are teaching spirituality to medical students.
Here are some very appropriate comments on this news, as well as the topic of spirituality in medicine, by my good friend, Al Weir, MD:
Patients want and need spiritual support in their illnesses, and doctors should be providing that support as a part of competent, whole person medicine.
We should be teaching this to our students in our medical and dental schools. This is all good science.
The next step for Christian doctors to decide what kind of spiritual support we should be providing.
Neutral spirituality is like yolkless eggs. It fluffs well but provides little nutrition.
Christian doctors need to provide authentic spiritual support that comes from the truth of life. As we fully respect each patient’s right to choose his or her own faith, we should find ways to share this truth – authentically, candidly and without pressure.
We should be intentional before our God to act in such a way that our patients may come to know Him.
The Saline Solution, a CMDA symposium (written by Dr. Walt Larimore and William Carr Peel), teaches us to do this in a way that respects the ethical boundaries of our patients while fulfilling our divine imperative.
If you (are a Christian Healthcare Professional, and) have not taken the course, you should. Give us a call if you want to be plugged in: 1-888-230-2637.
Dr. Weir is Vice President for Campus & Community Ministries at the Christian Medical and Dental Associations.