Leon Darghosian is a research fellow at Vanderbilt University who volunteers at Siloam as an Arabic interpreter. He writes of his experience…
A friend introduced me to Siloam Family Health Center when I was looking for a place to volunteer ten months ago. Being a physician from Syria and doing research work at Vanderbilt, a volunteer role at Siloam would help me better know the community where I’ve lived for the last two years.
At first, Siloam sounded just like any other medical clinic that treats people but the longer I’ve been there the more I’ve come to realize that it is an extraordinary clinic. I’ve always thought that the spiritual element does not factor into a physician’s career. But it has become clear to me during my time at Siloam that the spiritual dimension can take place in treating patients. During one busy shift, I saw Dr. Morgan Wills, whom I describe as a humble doctor, pray over his patient. This was a very touching gesture that moved me to understand that as a doctor and as a person, I can serve and share God’s grace to everyone who comes in for healing. This has changed the way I look at my career.
Two months ago, I was interpreting for Dr. Kristin Martel who was seeing an elderly patient who was coughing and holding her abdomen in pain. After Dr. Martel’s treatment, I could tell by the look in the patient’s eyes that she was given extraordinary care. All these experiences heightened my enthusiasm to practice medicine and incorporate the experiences that Siloam gave me.
My volunteering taught me the fundamental lesson of treating the whole person and treating every patient with compassion. Being an international fellow, Siloam is home to me. I am at ease working with other volunteers and doctors. There is something in the clinic and in the people inside of it that gives me a big reason to go and serve after my work.
Siloam is place where I experienced God’s presence.
Siloam is a place where God works through people.
Siloam is a place where you and I would want to be.