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ss triple helix - autumn 2005,  Practice by the book - A Christian doctor’s guide to living and serving

Practice by the book - A Christian doctor’s guide to living and serving

Practice by the book - Gene Rudd and Al Weir - ICMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Association) 2005 - US$16.99 - Pb 260 pp - ISBN: 0 970 66314 5

Does being a Christian make a difference to our medical practice? Probably most of us would like to answer ‘yes’, but if we take an honest look at ourselves and the other doctors around us, we may have some doubts. We may feel caught up in something bigger than ourselves, where we have little room for manoeuvre.

Gene Rudd and Al Weir, two doctors from CMDA (our sister organisation in the USA) have learned from experience that being a Christian can radically affect the way we practise medicine, but it is not an automatic process. ‘When Christ changed our lives to make us Christians, he also changed the kind of doctors that we should become. We as Christian doctors must learn to weave together our science and the Spirit of God.’

It will take careful thought and deliberate effort, if our practice of medicine is going to count for Christ; but the benefits are great and we neglect them at our peril. If we feel that the pressures of professional life are robbing us of the abundant life that Jesus promised (John 10:10), and we would like the whole of our lives to count more for Jesus, this book can help us.

The writers take us through such topics as the foundations of our daily relationship with Christ and what influences our lifestyle and career choices. We are invited to consider how Jesus’ bias to the poor and needy affects our priorities, how competence and Christlike character need to be developed, how we tackle ethical issues, how we can best use our resources of time and money, how we cope with pain in our own lives, how we protect and enhance our relationships in marriage and with colleagues, and how God can use our personal testimony.

Each chapter is freely illustrated with personal stories and contains biblical guidelines and practical suggestions. Many of the stories come with refreshing honesty and humility, and lessons learned from failure are readily admitted. Although written from the US context and sometimes in a rather American style, the material of the book is relevant and readily applicable to any doctor and will help all of us who want to rediscover our joy in Christ and be more effective for him in our professional lives.

Kevin Vaughan

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