You may still be wondering what CMF is all about. Well, there are nearly 40 CMF medical student groups in the UK and Ireland and a growing number of nursing groups.
Church? CU? CMF?
The CMF group is not a church, nor is it the same as a Christian Union (CU).
We think that it's vital that all Christian medical students are committed to their local church, and to their CUs. The aims and tasks of a CU are very similar to some of CMF's aims, and CMF groups can be seen as faculty sub-groups of a CU and part of their wider mission, praying for and reaching your friends with the gospel. But CMF is complementary to church, not an alternative.
CMF is for life
Medicine is vocational; nearly all of us will go on to be doctors of some description. And so CMF is not just a sub-group of CU, it is also a professional group. We want to fully integrate our faith with medicine, to be Christian doctors. Becoming Christian healthcare professionals is a career-long process and it's important to understand and practise our vocation in a Christian way from the very beginning.
So the CMF group exists as both a faculty sub-group of the CU while you are at university, and as a professional group from the beginning of your career in medicine and beyond.
how does it work?
First, CMF groups do not replace church or CU, they are entirely complementary. We think it's really important to stress this early on, so we keep events well-spaced, yet regular, and always try and make them suitable to invite our non-Christian friends to.
Second, local links with doctors have meant mentoring, support, and sometimes subsidies on conference costs!
Nursing students are also welcome as members of CMF. In some areas, medical and nursing groups meet together, in others separately. This very much depends on local circumstances. While there are CMF groups in almost all UK and Ireland medical schools, this may not yet be the case for all nursing schools.
We hope this has given you a feel of what can happen locally. To find out who your local student links are visit: cmf.org.uk/students/cmf-local-contacts
Real discipleship happens as we are involved in people's lives — 'life-on-life discipleship' if you like. It is key to involve local doctors. We encourage you to get to know them, invite yourselves to their homes, eat all their food and 'bleed them dry' (seriously)!
Anyway, each group is different in the way they organise themselves, so here's a few examples of what groups get up to in a typical term:
- Monthly CMF meetings (hosted by doctors from Cardiff with speakers coming from elsewhere)
- A South West Regional Joint Student CMF Meeting (which we organise and oversee)
- Saline Solution course (aimed at the students and doctors of South Wales) in the New Year
- CMF Student Conference
- Setting up a Cardiff CMF Instagram which we hope to update regularly with ethics, thoughts, etc.
- Freshers' welcome meeting
- Weekly fellowship and prayer: a small Bible study followed by a time of prayer and encouragement
- End of year meal
- Weekly prayer meetings, both at the hospital and on campus
- The first Monday of the month, a local consultant and his family welcome us into their home. They cook us a delicious meal and a guest speaker gives talks on various topics:
- The transgender agenda
- When doubts arise
- Sharing faith with patients and colleagues
- Freshers' Fayre stand in the first week for first years
- Potluck/dinner night in the first or second week
- Monthly meetings for a meal and Bible study (Either a self-written study or one taken from CMF resources)
- Prayer meetings at lunchtime with other healthcare workers in Ninewells Hospital
- Christmas event and meal
- At least one talk per term from a medical professional
- A joint CMF meeting with St Andrews (or students from other Scottish universities) in the second term
- Two big socials through the year: a pudding party at the start of the year to welcome freshers and a BBQ in the summer with CMF students and doctors
- Weekly prayer: for current issues, CMF, our friends and colleagues, and the world
- Monthly meetings: discussing key medical or ethical topics
- Dinner events: hosted by a local doctor at their house each term
- Welcome meal — and talk for the new first year medics at the beginning of the term
- Fortnightly or every three weeks — fellowship and home-bakes followed by a short talk and discussion, closing with prayer (topics may be ethical or more general such as how we can share our faith on the wards, an elective night, as well as a junior doctor Q&A session)
- Brunch/lunch once or twice a term — a time to get to know each other better over a good meal and hosted at a doctor's house or in a student's flat
- CMF Carol Service — students and healthcare professionals across Edinburgh are invited to the Carol Service, which is the main evangelistic event of the year and organised by the Edinburgh CMF Group
7. Imperial College, London
- 'Families night' early in first term. Meet the CMF crew and join a 'family'
- Weekly prayer catch ups at lunchtimes for non-clinical years
- Monthly meetings where we have a speaker, food and worship — tackling the tricky topics!
- Christmas dinner, a fellowship essential
- Text-a-Toastie in spring term, a way to reach a huge number of people over a single, crazy evening!