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Small Group Study Summaries

Clarity of Communication: Are You Speaking in Tongues To Your Patients?

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We began our discussion with sharing what words we commonly use in each of our particular specialties that may not be understood readily by our patients. Many mentioned anatomic names of the part of the body we care for such as thyroid, esophagus, a variety of bone or muscle names. Then there are the multitude of procedural names that are part and parcel of our practice that are completely unfamiliar. In addition the names many conditions and diseases are often new to many patients. All of these things are readily understood when we speak with our colleagues but when we are discussing these with a patient if we do not explain the nomenclature it is as if we are speaking in a foreign language. Read More

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A God-Directed Retirement

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Before starting our discussion of retirement, we began with a very basic question: Why do you work? There were, as expected a variety of answers. Work gives our lives a sense of purpose and a feeling of being useful and it allows us to use the talents that God has instilled in us. We derive a part of our identity from the work we do and we find the work stimulating to our lives. Then there is the very practical reason that we need to earn money to support ourselves and our families. Read More

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Made in God’s Image

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We began our discussion by sharing what we think society usually bases its judgement on of a person’s value and worth. Answers centered on their financial worth, their employment situation, how they dress or speak and what they own, where they went to school. Unfortunately society also counts their gender and race as factors all too frequently. We see this play out continuously in how some people are acknowledged in a crowd and other ignored. Studies show that women and non-white employees continue to be paid less then white men. We also discussed how sometimes when we meet a new patient in our practice we make snap value judgements based on some of these factors. Read More

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Defining Moments of Leadership

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We began our evening discussing what we might mean by a person’s ‘defining moment’ in their life. We came up with a time in which we experienced an event that in some way altered the path we were on and resulted in affecting our life’s path from there on. We then shared what we perceived were the defining moments of our lives. Events that are often mentioned are meeting or marrying our spouse, experiencing the birth of our children, or some event that determined our career path and certainly when we accepted the Lord as our savior. Whatever that event was it often leads us to a position of leadership in one realm or another – whether that be as a leader in a family unit, being called into a ministry Read More

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Miraculous Healings: Do They Still Occur?

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Each month when we gather together we exchange prayer needs and often these involve someone dear to us who is unwell and we desire to lift them up in prayer. In addition, just about every week we each get requests from friends and family to pray for a health situation. We began our evening raising the question, why do we do this? What is our expectations? It was discussed that as physicians we are men and women of science. We are clearly reared in the need to seek out the best treatments for our patients based on scientific evidence. We expect that the medicines we give and the procedures we do lead to a patient healing. So it may be more difficult for people in our profession to believe in or expect a miraculous healing. Read More

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Competitiveness in Medicine, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Competitiveness seems to be a part of human nature. We started the evening’s study by telling a story about one of my granddaughters. We were on a family vacation at the seashore last month and had a wonderful time. The evening before we left I found my granddaughter busily writing out on paper plates elaborate awards for each member of the family. Everything from who gathered the most seashells to who made the best sandcastle to who jumped the most waves. It struck me that even at her young age she wanted to point out who had done the best in every category she could think of. This made me think about competitiveness and how it is hard wired into each of us. Read More

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Which Road Are We On?

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We are concluding our study of the passages of the Sermon on the Mount with a discussion Matthew 7:13-27. We started out with a discussion as to what most people base their security on. The answers are fairly obvious – money, family, their job, their power, themselves. The problem with all of those is that they are all limited and if those worldly things fall away for whatever oadeason their life will come crashing down on them. Read More

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Judging Others in Medicine

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Tonight we used a passage from Matthew chapter 7 to continue our discussion on topics from the Sermon on the Mount. We started by asking how often do the members of the group find themselves judging other people. Most of the participates agreed that this is something that we find ourselves doing daily in some form or other. We talked about what type of judgements are we making. As physicians we are often called on to make judgements as we diagnose and put people into certain categories that may make then more susceptible to certain illnesses and this is simply part of our jobs. Read More

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Worrying – What, Why and How to stop

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This evening we continued our discussions based on the lessons from the Sermon on the Mount. We started by asking each member of the group to write out five things that they worry about. Most of the worries expressed involved concerns about our families, their health and well being. Some expressed concerns about particular aspects of their jobs as physicians. I was personally surprised that not many voiced worries about their patients and the care we are rendering them. I for one find this a particularly heavy burden and worry frequently. Though many people in our society often worry about their financial well being, we, as physicians of comfortable means for the most part, did not raise that as a particular issue. Read More

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Trying to be Perfect

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We began by discussion on how performance driven we each are. There was a consensus that as physicians this drive is sort of hard wired into just about all of us. It starts with the performance demands on us that we feel must be met to achieve acceptance to medical school, ramp up during residency where every failing can mean a black mark on your chances of success and continue on through our practice of medicine. In Matt 5:48 Jesus tells us to “be perfect”!!! Like that’s what we need – more pressure to achieve. This evening we talked about what Jesus meant by this and how that true meaning can affect our practice of medicine. Read More

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