If I said that medical school was all about revision and exams, on the face of it I wouldn’t be far off the mark. Barely a week goes by without one year group or another becoming stressed, focusing on the minutiae that come up in the dreaded MCQs. Often, the overarching concern throughout our studies is simply not to fail; in these times, it’s difficult to concentrate on much else, least of all to remember why we entered medical school in the first place.
Further down the line it becomes worthwhile; it’s exciting to see pieces of theory fall into place and increasingly grasp the bigger picture. Perhaps for me, this is the second most rewarding part of my previous four years. By far the most rewarding part is seeing that this knowledge can be used to help those who are sick in hospital, something I hope to put into practice in 18 months.
There is no doubt that medicine, in the eyes of many, is still a noble profession. However, with the current debate of the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill in the House of Lords, I wonder whether this impression will remain the same. In its simplest, distilled form, it is about putting an acceptable face on killing patients. While there is no specific biblical guidance on the subject of euthanasia, Scripture condemns the killing of innocent human life. It will be a sad day if this Bill passes. Let me urge you to write to the select committee in the House of Lords, as it will affect us as doctors in future: full details can be found on the CMF website (www.cmf.org.uk).
There are also other ways we can make a difference as students. Kevin Vaughan helps us to understand what being a witness means at medical school, reminding us that our patients on the wards are not only subjects from which to learn (pp22-28).
The students at UCL Christian Union offer an example of standing firm in the face of opposition (pp5-7). Through their testimony they encourage us to do the same.
Paul Nelson looks at intelligent design on pp13-21. This exciting new movement demonstrates the empirical evidence of supernatural design within the living world and is a further blow to the naturalistic philosophy that pervades so much of medical school teaching. How true it is that creation demonstrates God’s power and his own nature (Rom 1:20)!
Finally, Mark Pickering and Peter Saunders revive our previously dormant apologetics series (pp29-36) covering another deadly question, this time on miracles: in doing so, they point us to the greatest miracle of all - the resurrection of Jesus.