Making a difference

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me during the past few weeks as I’ve transitioned from research to something much more concrete. I was petrified at first, but I’m now at peace.

I gradually realized something over my first week in my return to my old career. Advances in medicine require two types of people: those who study molecular biology in the abstract, and those who take care of patients. Both are necessary for new cures to become available, but it is extraordinarily difficult to be both. On the one hand, doing basic research has great potential for finding new discoveries. It’s necessary, and without it, we would still be living in a world where we were beholden to the vagaries of disease. We can treat much more than we could 30, 50, 100 years ago. But, on the other hand, the day-to-day life of a researcher is often sheer drudgery. Experiments may not work; “positive results” may not occur for months a time. Science for its own sake is critical to progress in medicine, but it takes a special person to do it.

I may not be that person. I’m glad that I have the training in basic research to be able to understand new advances as they come, but to help just one sick person in the short term is more rewarding–to me–than the illusive potential to help many people over the long term. So, when on Thursday I met with someone before surgery, assisted (ever so slightly) in a five hour operation to remove a deadly tumor, and monitored that same person before discharge the next day, well on the road to recovery, I discovered the allure of clinical medicine.

My fear, and my new request for prayer, is that I am falling in love with a specific type of medicine that would require long hours and would provide the temptation to make God, Church, and family second, third, and fourth. We shall see.

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4 Responses to “Making a difference”


  1. 1 The Other Chad July 7, 2007 at 10:36 am

    I watch Grey’s Anatomy, so I know how hard being a surgeon can be!

    =P

  2. 2 Bekah July 7, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Glad that prayers for your transition are being answered! 🙂 New prayers that you will be open and discerning in finding God’s path for your career.

  3. 3 Argent July 8, 2007 at 10:17 am

    How were the knots?

  4. 4 my view April 9, 2014 at 12:39 am

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