Letters from Ellen G. White to Sanitarium Workers

The Work of Christian Physicians


June 3, 1907.

The physician stands in a difficult place. Strong temptations will come to him, and unless kept by the power of God, that which he hears and sees in his work will discourage his heart and pollute his soul. His thoughts should be constantly uplifted to God. This is his only safety. SpTB15 11.1

Countless are the opportunities that a physician has for winning souls to God, for cheering the discouraged, and relieving the despair that comes to the soul when the body is tortured with pain. SpTB15 11.2

But some who have chosen the medical profession are too easily led away from the duties resting upon the physician. Some by misuse enfeeble their powers, so that they can not render to God perfect service. They place themselves where they can not act with vigor, tact, and skill, and they do not realize that by disregard to physical laws, they bring upon themselves inefficiency, and thus they rob and dishonor God. SpTB15 11.3

Physicians should not allow their attention to be diverted from their work; neither should they confine themselves so closely to professional work that health will be injured. In the fear of God they should be wise in the use of strength that God has given them. Never should they disregard the means that God has provided for the preservation of health. It is their duty to bring under the control of reason every power that God has given them. SpTB15 11.4

Of all men, the physician should, as far as possible, take regular hours for rest. This will give him power of endurance to bear the taxing burdens of his work. In his busy life the physician will find that the searching of the Scriptures and earnest prayer will give vigor of mind and stability of character. SpTB15 12.1

Seek to meet the expectations of Jesus Christ. He will help in every effort in the right direction. Remember that there is not an action of life, nor a motive of the heart, that is not open to the grace of the Saviour. SpTB15 12.2

The way to the throne of God is always open. You can not always be on your knees in prayer, but your silent petitions may constantly ascend to God for strength and guidance. When tempted, as you will be, you may flee to the secret place of the Most High. His everlasting arms will be underneath you. Let these words cheer you, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy.” SpTB15 12.3

When Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, you will be well balanced; and you will not be changeable, but will rise above the influences that discourage and discompose those who are not stayed upon Christ. You will be able to prove that it is possible to be a wise, successful physician, and at the same time an active Christian, serving the Lord in sincerity. Godliness is the foundation of true dignity and completeness of character. SpTB15 12.4

Unless the physicians in our sanitariums are men of thorough habits, unless they attend promptly to their duties, their work will become a reproach, and the Lord's appointed agencies will lose their influence. By a course of negligence to duty, the physician humiliates the Great Physician, of Whom he should be a representative. Strict hours should be kept with all patients, high and low. No careless neglect should be allowed in any of the nurses. Ever be true to your word, prompt in meeting your appointments; for this means much to the sick. SpTB15 12.5