Healthful Living


Chapter 38—Medical Students

Need of Medical Students

1070. I am intensely interested in the education of medical students as missionaries. This will prove a means of introducing the truth where otherwise it would not find an entrance.—Unpublished Testimonies, October 2, 1895. HL 252.1

1071. I can see that in the Lord's providence the medical missionary work is to be a great entering wedge, whereby the diseased soul may be reached.—Ibid. HL 252.2

1072. What a field of usefulness is open before the medical missionary! Jesus Christ was in every sense of the word a missionary of the highest type, combining with his missionary work that of the great Physician, healing all manner of diseases.... Every physician ought to be a Christian, and if he is, he bears with him a cure for the soul as well as the body. He is doing the work of an apostle as well as of a physician.... How essential that the missionary should understand the diseases which afflict the human body, that he may combine the physician, trained to care for diseased bodies, with the faithful, conscientious shepherd of the flock, giving sacredness and double efficiency to the service! The Lord, in his great goodness and matchless love, has been urging it upon his human instrumentalities that the education of missionaries is not really complete unless they have a knowledge of how to treat the sick and suffering. If the importance of this branch of missionary education had been felt, many who have lost their lives might have lived. Had they had an intelligent knowledge of the human body and how to treat its maladies, they could have reached many darkened minds that have not been reached.—Ibid. HL 252.3

1073. Devout persons, both men and women, are wanted now to go forth as medical missionaries. Let them cultivate their physical and mental powers and their piety to the utmost. Every effort should be made to send forth intelligent workers. The same grace that came from Jesus Christ to Paul and Apollos, which caused them to be distinguished for their spiritual excellencies, can be received now, and will bring into working order many devoted missionaries.—Unpublished Testimonies, February 19, 1893. HL 253.1

1074. I consider that there is nothing that can give character to the work like a proper taking up of the work of hygienic treatment for the sick.—Unpublished Testimonies, February 10, 1897. HL 253.2

1075. As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions. For their own sake they should, while they have opportunity, become intelligent in regard to disease, its causes, prevention, and cure. Those who do this will find a field of labor anywhere. There will be suffering ones, plenty of them, who will need help, not only among those of our own faith, but largely among those who know not the truth.—The Signs of the Times, September 16, 1892. HL 253.3

1076. I would advise young men and women to give heed to this matter. Perilous times are before us. The whole world will be involved in perplexity and distress. Diseases of every kind will be upon the human family, and such ignorance as now prevails concerning the laws of health will result in great suffering and the loss of many lives that might be saved.—The Signs of the Times, September 16, 1893. HL 254.1

1077. There is no missionary field more important than that occupied by the faithful, God-fearing physician. There is no field where a man may accomplish greater good, or win more jewels to shine in the crown of his rejoicing.—Testimonies for the Church 5:448. HL 254.2

1078. More of the right kind of men are needed to devote themselves to this profession.—Testimonies for the Church 5:446. HL 254.3

Qualifications of Medical Students

1079. A physician can do much better work if he has physical strength. If he is feeble, he cannot endure the wearing labor incident to his calling. A man who has a weak constitution, who is a dyspeptic, or who has not perfect self-control, cannot become qualified to deal with all classes of disease. Great care should be taken not to encourage persons who might be useful in some less responsible position, to study medicine at a great outlay of time and means, when there is no reasonable hope that they will succeed.—Testimonies For The Church 5:447. HL 254.4

1080. Painstaking effort should be made to induce suitable men to qualify themselves for this work. They should be men whose characters are based upon the broad principles of the word of God, men who possess a natural energy, force, and perseverance that will enable them to reach a high standard of excellence. It is not every one who can make a successful physician. Many have entered upon the duties of this profession every way unprepared. They have not the requisite knowledge; neither have they the skill and tact, the carefulness and intelligence, necessary to insure success.—Testimonies for the Church 5:446. HL 254.5

1081. Those who take the lives of others in their hands must be men who have been marked as making life a success. They must be men of judgment and wisdom, men who can sympathize, and feel to the depths, men whose whole being is stirred when they witness suffering.—Testimonies for the Church 2:385. HL 255.1

1082. There are those who have entered the medical profession who should have chosen some other calling. They are unsympathetic. They seem to think the proper way is to withhold all words of sympathy, and gird up their compassion so that not a particle of it shall be drawn out. They are cold and uncommunicative, and leave no warm, cheering influence. They seem to think words of tenderness and compassion are an evidence of weakness.—Counsels to Physicians and Medical Students, 28. HL 255.2

1083. God will surely advance the humble, faithful, praying, whole-souled medical missionary, as he advanced Daniel and his fellows.—The Signs of the Times, October 2, 1893. HL 255.3

1084. The duties and qualifications of a physician are not small. The students need daily to lift responsibilities, that they may become burden-bearers.... There is only one power that can make these students what they ought to be, and keep them steadfast. It is the grace of God and the power of the truth exerting a saving influence upon the life and character. These students, who intend to deal with suffering humanity, will find no graduating place this side of heaven. Every bit possible of that knowledge that is termed science should be acquired, while the seeker daily acknowledges that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Every item of experience and everything that can strengthen the mind, should be cultivated to the utmost of their power, while at the same time they should seek God for his wisdom, their consciences illuminated, quick, and pure; for unless they are guided by the wisdom from above, they become an easy prey to the deceptive power of Satan. They become inflated, large in their own eyes, pompous, and self-sufficient. The principle of worldly policy will most assuredly lead into difficulties. The truth, God's truth, must be cherished in the heart, and held in the strength of God, or the powers of Satan will wrench it from you. You need to be self-reliant and yet teachable, that you may have strength to be faithful to duty. To trust to your own resources, your own wisdom or strength, is folly. You will be brought to confusion if you do this. You can walk securely only when you follow the counsel of God.—Counsels to Physicians and Medical Students, 17. HL 255.4

1085. Knowledge and science must be vitalized by the Spirit of God in order to serve the noblest purposes. The Christian alone can make the right use of knowledge. Science, in order to be fully appreciated, must be viewed from a religious standpoint.—Christian Education, 32. HL 256.1

Advice to Medical Students

1086. I wish I could set before the medical student the true responsibility that rests upon him and his work. There is not one in one hundred who has a just sense of his position, his work, his accountability to God, and how much God will do for him if he will make him his trust. The very first lesson he should learn is that of dependence upon God. Make God your counselor at every step. The worldly and the nominal Christian may insinuate that in order to be successful you must be politic, you must at times depart from the strictest rectitude; but be not deluded. These temptations find a ready welcome in the heart of man; but I speak that which I know. Pamper not self. Throw not open a door for the enemy to take possession of the citadel of the soul. There is danger in the first and slightest departure from the strictest veracity. In your work, be true to yourself. Preserve your God-given dignity in the fear of God. There is in your case the necessity of getting hold and keeping hold of the arm of infinite power.—Counsels to Physicians and Medical Students, 23. HL 257.1

1087. By studying the word of God diligently medical students are far better prepared for all other studies; for enlightenment always comes with an earnest study of the word of God. Let it be understood by medical missionaries that the better they become acquainted with God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, the better they become acquainted with Bible history, the better qualified they will be to do their work.... There should be most faithful teachers who strive to make the students understand their lessons, not by explaining everything themselves, but by letting the students explain thoroughly every passage which they read. Let the inquiring minds of the students be respected.—Unpublished Testimonies, December 1, 1895. HL 257.2

1088. Learn all they can of the principles of truth, and discard error.—Christian Education, 38. HL 258.1

1089. In this age there is danger for every one who shall enter upon the study of medicine. Often his instructors are world-wise men, and his fellow students infidels, who have no thought of God, and he is in danger of being influenced by these irreligious associations. Nevertheless, some have gone through the medical course, and have remained true to principle. They would not continue their studies on the Sabbath; and they have proved that men may become qualified for the duties of a physician, and not disappoint the expectations of those who furnish them means to obtain an education.—Testimonies for the Church 5:447. HL 258.2

1090. Students may receive their diplomas, and yet their education be but just begun.... The one who best knows himself works in all humility. He feels like making no proud boasts; he bears a weight of responsibility as he sees the woes of suffering humanity, and he will not take human life into his hand to deal with even the bodies of men without connecting with the experienced Physician, regarding him as a father and himself as a child to be instructed and corrected, if in error.... Students should work up an experience beginning at the lower round of the ladder, and by careful, earnest, thoughtful exertion, climb round after round, religion, Bible religion, being the mainspring of action. They cannot expect to be ranked by the side of those of experience who have devoted their time, their energies, and their souls to the work for years, unless they shall give evidence of capabilities of mind and intelligence in practise.... They must be content to come up gradually, and prove their ability by showing in lesser matters that they sense the responsibility laid upon them. Many do not love the taxing, burden-bearing part. They will deal with the sick, but never lift the load. They take every thing very easily. The sick may approach the last crisis that wrings the heart of the older physician with intense pain because a life is going out and he can devise no means of saving it, and another physician connected with him will not sense the danger or devote time to close thought and severe mental effort. He works as a machine. He is as calm as a summer's evening, when he should be pressed as a cart beneath the sheaves. Had he more intensity of feeling, he would not throw off the burden for an instant, but by close thinking, by earnest prayer, would study to devise ways and means yet untried, and would perhaps be able to save not only the life, but, through Christ, the soul of the patient.—Counsels to Physicians and Medical Students, 11-13. HL 258.3

1091. Students should be willing to work under those of experience, to heed their suggestions, to follow their advice, and to go as far as possible in thought, training, and intelligent enterprise, but never to infringe upon a rule, never to disregard one principle that has been interwoven in the upbuilding of the institution. The dropping down is easy enough; the disregard of regulations is natural to the heart inclined to selfish ease and gratification. It is so much easier to tear down than to build up. One man with careless ideas may do more in this work of letting down the standard than ten men with all their efforts can do to counteract and stay the demoralizing influence.... HL 259.1

There are many who are in such haste to climb to distinction that they skip some of the rounds of the ladder, and have, in so doing, lost essential experience, which they should have in order to become intelligent workers. In their zeal the knowledge of many things looks unimportant to them. They skim over the surface, and do not go deep and thorough, climbing round after round of the ladder of progress by a slow and painful process, thus gaining an experience which will enable them to help others to ascend. We want men and women who are more thorough, and who feel it their duty to improve every talent lent them, that they may finally double their intrusted capital.—Counsels to Physicians and Medical Students, 15. HL 260.1

1092. A responsibility to spread the knowledge of hygienic principles rests upon all who have enjoyed the benefits of health reform.... There must be a revival in regard to this matter; for God purposes to accomplish much through this agency.—Special Testimony to Ministers and Workers HL 260.2