Jan 17, 2010

The Great Physician

Today I accompanied my parents to the church I grew up in. Reading through the prayer requests, I was struck by how the great majority of them focused on a physical ailment. Loved ones who suddenly died of heart attacks. So-and-so with Parkinson's. A newly diagnosed breast cancer. A kid with brain tumors refractory to chemo and unhealed despite gamma knife surgery.

The church prays for God's healing hand on these people. My heart has a different prayer: "Help me become a good doctor." I believe sometimes God does miracles, and can heal people. More often, I believe that he provides medicine to do that for him.

As I thought about this, I reflected on the idea of Christ as The Great Physician. Luke recorded this phrase, probably in reverence (and some jealousy?) as he himself was a physician. Jesus was a doctor with many specialties. Some that come to mind are:
  • Dermatologist: he heals men of leprosy (Luke 5)
  • Orthopedic Specialist: crippled men are healed (Mark 2, Luke 7)
  • Otolaryngologist: he heals a deaf person (Mark 7)
  • Opthalmologist: the cure of a blind man (John 9)
  • Pediatric Intensivist: the healing of a dying child (John 4, Luke 8)
  • Hematologist: curing a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years (Luke 8)
  • Neurologist: the healing of an epileptic (Mark 9, Luke 9)
  • Pyschiatrist: healing of mental illnesses (Matthew 4)
The quality of all these encounters was caring, listening, clear directions, and effective treatment...all the aspects of a patient visit that a good physician wants to create. As I consider my career in medicine, with Medicare cuts, health care reform (?), and uncertainty in the profession, I pray that my life in medicine is modeled after the Great Physician.


  1. Amen :) God is good all the time. Great post!! I find myself nodding in agreement with lots of what you've stated. Without Jesus as the model of the type of physician I would like to be I would be at a loss.