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Small Group Study Summaries

Being Salt and Light in Medicine

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Tonight we start a five month study of the Sermon on the Mount and its implications for our lives and our practice of medicine. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) Jesus teaches a ton about the Kingdom of God and how God intended us to live in it. Jesus makes three over-riding points about the kingdom that we will emphasize throughout this study:

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Dealing with Clinical Errors in Practice

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We have all made some mistakes in caring for patients. We started our evening by speaking in general terms about what type of errors we have made along the way in our careers.  Some of these are rather simple mistakes in choosing a medication or not knowing a drug interaction. Some are errors of clinical judgment that we only come to realize when the patient suffers a complication.  In reality there are innumerable ways each of us can and have screwed up over the years.  We then discussed in general terms the root causes of errors that can be made. These can include lack of knowledge, technical expertise, inattentiveness, and judgment.  Rarely, we see medical mistakes made due to willful neglect.

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Opioid Addiction and The Practice of Medicine

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We began our discussion by reading the opening versus of Psalm 88. This is a psalm in which the afflicted cry out to the Lord. We discussed what emotions verses 1-8 relate. Words like despair, hopelessness and anguish were used. We discussed personnel instances in which we have experienced such emotions. It was then suggested that these type of emotions can often be those of someone trapped in opioid addiction.

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The Impact of Common Grace

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The discussion opened this evening with a query as to whether any of the attendees have been asked by their patients, friends or relatives who know they are christians for the name of a christian physician of some particular specialty so they could see them for their particular problem. This happens to many of us occasionally. We spent some time talking about why these patients might prefer a christian doctor and what their expectations might be. It was generally agreed that these patients are looking for someone who they believe they will have an additional bond with, someone who will understand them better because of their shared belief in Christ. It was also agreed that it is not for some mistaken belief that non-christians are somehow not as good doctors as christians. Clearly there are many outstanding doctors who do not profess a faith in Jesus Christ.
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Medicine and Your World View

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We are coming near the end of our discussion of Timothy Keller’s book Every Good Endeavor (2012).  Tonight’s session I centered on how to apply our faith to our work in medicine. We started tonight’s discussion with clarifying how a person’s world view affects how they see the world and how they interact with it. Your world view will affect every aspect of life including how and why you do your work.

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