Vanderbilt 4th year medical student Andrew Wu shares about his training experience at Siloam. Click the video to watch.
At all times—but perhaps more in times of difficulty—we need to be reminded of what is true. Regardless of what seems to be happening around us, the Eternal is good; His love and faithfulness will endure forever.
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his,
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Source: New International Version (NIV) http://www.BibleGateway.com and The Voice
Whole-person care is a word that gets thrown around inside the walls of our clinic daily. Inspired by the way that Jesus healed in the Gospels, we recognize that when a person is ill, more is ill than only the physical denominators of their health, but their feelings, emotions, heart and spirit also play a part.
Dan Fountain illustrated this brilliantly in an address he gave to the World Congress of the ICMDA in Durban in July 1998, drawing from a case study found in Mark 5: 25-34 – the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage.
Considered unclean by the social structure that surrounded her, her daily condition was one of abandonment, rejection, and despair. Her life became defined by her illness and her hope for a cure had long been extinguished. Yet hope was awakened the day that she heard stories about this man named Jesus and the accounts of the way He healed people. With no other direction out, she knew that she needed to somehow encounter this man for her healing.
One day she hears that He’s passing through her town and she steps outside of the boundaries of what was allowed by her society. She, unclean, reaches out as Jesus walks by and touches the hem of His garment, instantly healed.
Dan Fountain continues the narrative: “He [Jesus] knew she had been physically healed. We doctors are usually delighted when we have healed someone physically. Could Jesus not be content with that? No, because the woman herself had not been healed; her life had not yet been restored. Jesus wanted to heal her as a whole person, so he called her back to him. As she lay prostrate on the ground before Jesus, waiting to hear words of condemnation, she heard instead two absolutely incredible words [“My daughter…”], and these two words healed her.
… What heals the broken heart and the wounded spirit? What heals the heart is simply a word spoken to the depths of the spirit of the sick person. It is a word that is understood by the spirit of the person in such a way as to resolve the psycho-spiritual pathology – the fear, the conflicts, the anxiety, the guilt, the despair. When this word heals the inner pathology, the whole person can be healed.”
The question is: Is it possible for us to heal our patients in this way? And if so, how?
Beginning November 18th, Siloam Family Health Center will be featuring a lunch discussion on whole-person care every 3rd Tuesday of the month. All members of Siloam staff, volunteers, trainees and members of the Nashville medical community are welcome to attend.
An article will be selected that focuses on what it means to offer whole-person care with Dr. Morgan Wills facilitating a discussion around the topic presented.
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to me at Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the reading for the discussion and bring your lunch to join us while we discuss what it means to offer whole-person care.
This week we will be spending time discussing “The Healing Team” from Dan Fountain’s book God, Medicine, and Miracles.
If you would like to read the full length of his 1998 address, we encourage you to read the article here: http://www.cmf.org.uk/publications/content.asp?context=article&id=694
Editor’s Note: One of the features of completing a clinical rotation at Siloam is learning about “poverty medicine” – delivering cost-conscious care. Andrew Wu, a 4th year Vanderbilt medical and master of public health student recently rotated at Siloam. Andrew writes of his experience…
One of my first learning experiences was an opportunity to learn how to practice in a cost-effective manner. A patient needed to be screened for colon cancer, which is normally done with a colonoscopy. However, due to financial constraints for this patient population, the alternative strategy of a fecal occult test was used in lieu of colonoscopy at this clinic. I found it interesting that these “alternative” methods were actually the standard for this particular patient population. In nearly all of my training, I was used to having almost unlimited resources at my fingertips. I could order labs and procedures without thinking much about the cost since they were either allowed for educational purposes or simply because the hospital could afford it. However, practicing at Siloam has allowed me to taste a bit of the reality of the cost behind the medical practice and how to appropriately adjust for it.
Those who work in healthcare are no strangers to the struggles their patients face in the areas of suffering and addiction. As ones whose work is to heal, we are brushing against the hurt underlying the physical symptoms we diagnose, but how do we navigate the messy waters of another person’s suffering and their methods of coping?
It was G.K. Chesterton who once wrote, “The more truly we can see life as a fairy-tale, the more clearly the tale resolves itself into war with the dragon who is wasting fairyland.” Through the lens of a story, we are often provided an understanding to our own human psychology that provides unprecedented value to our approach to healing.
Joseph Pearce, writer of the recent book, “Bilbo’s Pilgrimage” and Director of the Aquinas Center for Faith and Culture, will be speaking on the connection between Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series and its way of imaginatively reflecting on reality in a lecture titled, “Suffering, Addiction and Healing in The Lord of the Rings.” This lecture, presented by St. Thomas Health, will be held on October 21st at Saint Cecilia Academy on the Dominican Campus.
If you live in the Nashville area, we encourage you to consider attending Joseph Pearce’s lecture and to be inspired to see the struggles & addictions that you and your patients face in a whole new light.
Please view this flyer for more information about the event and the availability of CME.
Contact email@example.com for more information and to RSVP.
The Siloam Institute offers clinical rotations to nearly 40 health professional trainees annually. Their rotation at Siloam helps them to deepen their understanding of how to engage persons living in poverty, work cross-culturally, and learn how to integrate behavioral health and spiritual care into their practice of medicine.
Click the video below to watch Samaiya Mushtaq reflect on a particular patient encounter stating, “I did not offer them a magic solution to their health problems, but I think they felt a little more healed after that visit.” Samaiya is a fourth-year Vanderbilt medical student who plans to pursue a residency in psychiatry.
As a Christian medical professional, treading the waters where faith and medicine intersect can seem murky with the feeling of being ill-equipped to approach the topic of faith with patients. Yet it is this patient–provider relationship that provides such rich ground to plant seeds of spiritual hope in patients as they face their hours of deepest hurt and fear.
On the weekend of February 6-7th, Siloam will host Grace Prescriptions – a conference designed specifically for Christian medical practitioners to become equipped to integrate their faith with their practice. Formerly known as “The Saline Solution,” Grace Prescriptions is a training paradigm pioneered by the Christian Medical and Dental Association. Written by Bill Peel and Dr. Walt Larimore, the curriculum is designed to explore the topic of spirituality in healthcare and equip those of us in the medical profession to integrate faith into our practice.
We invite you to come and be a part of this weekend of gathering with other Christian healthcare practitioners and their teams from around the Nashville region. For more information, please visit our Events page as we announce further updates.
Registration opens October 6th.
At our Spring 2014 Fundraising event, Siloam Family Health Center had the pleasure of featuring Wendell Berry speak on “The Health of a Community.”
As a Kentucky farmer, poet, essayist, and novelist, Wendell Berry may seem like an unlikely voice to speak into the matters of health and the work of medicine, but when one leans in to hear him speak, there’s an uncanny sense of insight that unveils the shadows of our modernity and brings truths to light. His perception introduces a new way of thinking about health, where the body is more than a sum of its parts, like a machine, where the work of medicine is something much more meaningful than the tinkering of that “machine.”
His essay, “Health is Membership,” explores this idea even more as Wendell Berry wrestles between the art and science of healing.
“I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.”
With this thought that “health is wholeness,” Wendell proposes the notion that the work of medicine comes from love and can no longer fit within the confines of standardized practice alone—that seeking efficiency within medicine is a deficit when it allies with the paradigm of human health as a science alone, that the work of medicine should come from a place of love if it’s goal is healing in the truest sense of the word.
Delivered as a speech at a conference in Louisville, Kentucky in October 17, 1994, we invite you to read the full essay here.
The Siloam Institute was recently recognized by the Tennessee Medical Association for its work training the next generation of health care practitioners in whole-person care. Dr. Morgan Wills and Mark McCaw attended an awards ceremony where the video below was shown.
The Siloam Institute recently hosted an educational series taught by Dr. Morgan Wills as part of this summer’s Community Health Immersion program. Titled the “Health Care ReFramed: Biblical Theology of Healthcare,” the aim of this series is to re-frame the work of medicine with a practiced, experiential Christian theology of health care.
One of the articles featured during this series was a reflection written by a medical student, Dr. Brian Lindman, who completed a rotation with Siloam several years ago. His experiences as a former Vanderbilt student and seminary graduate give him keen understanding and raw accounts about the care-giving choices—and spiritual opportunities faced by physicians in training. Yet his reflection also gives insight into the choices we make as believers to engage or run as a practice in daily living. An engagement that Lindman defines as “a deliberate and ongoing battle to swim against the stream of forces that carry us towards complacency, apathy, faithlessness and unbelief.”
It’s through his experiences with brokenness that Dr. Lindman poignantly realizes: “I see that faith is indeed a fight and that I am ill-‐equipped to fight the fight relying on my own resources. I need the Spirit of God to fill me if I am to fight faithfully, love as I am called to love, engage the brokenness of the world with hope, and walk the narrow road that leads to the life ‘that is truly life.’ ”
He currently serves as a cardiologist at Washington University and gave this as part of an address at the commission service for Christian medical students in 2002.
You can read the full article here.