Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Rationale: Or Why a Blog of this Nature?

The first thing you are no doubt asking (at least if you are a medical student) as you open up this web page is how does this guy find the time to write anything at all between memorizing the TCA cycle, making flashcards, looking at histology slides, crying from time to time, and the myriad other non-medical things one has to do in order to live such as eating, sleeping, being a father and husband, going to Mass etc? And to do it without any punctuation or good grammar at that? It ain’t easy, as it were. The simple answer is that I do not really have the time. However, there is undoubtedly a great need for a forum of this kind.

I am certain that there are many medical students who are in a similar position to me: they are at a state university studying to become a member of one of the noblest professions (besides the priesthood or motherhood of course) in a milieu which is at worst deeply antagonistic toward both the lofty traditions of this profession and Catholic faith and at best arrogantly patronizing (given “cultural competence” and all that) toward us few who think that medicine should not be used to exploit women in the name of “choice,” to harm the innocent unborn (primum non nocere and all that), or arrogate to humanity what can only properly be God’s prerogative with regard to the end of life. And on top of all that, so many of us are alone.

Granted such a situation, one can see the need for providing support, networking opportunities, information, and a forum for discussion about issues that face medical students qua Catholic. For instance, what should a Catholic do to support a culture of life within medicine and on campus? What if I am a Catholic, I want to build a culture of life, but I do not have any good reasons for why abortion should not be legal, why doctors should not be abortionists, and why medicine should be about healing for all parties involved? How can I educate others about Catholic “values” in medicine? How can I convince other Catholics to become Catholic physicians rather than physicians who happen to be Catholic? That is, the adjective “Catholic” must precede and define all that a person does. Is it my duty to say something in ethics class when the Church’s teachings are not given the respect claimed for all ideas, based on the principles espoused by most cultural competence curricular programs? In other words, can I use others’ relativism against them? I hope that I will be able to provide some answers to these questions, give some advice, and recommend resources.

At the same time, I hope to have fun in doing this. So please join the conversation. Just a few of us seriously willing to work for a positive change in the moral landscape of medicine can effect a revolution for life and a return to a traditional understanding of medicine based on the simple meaning of the words primum non nocere. And all for the glory of God! Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

For your info I can be contacted at any one of the following e-mails:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Beginning: I SWEAR by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius...

I should probably be writing this under a pseudonym, but I already clicked “create blog” so there is no turning back.

Two weeks ago I started medical school. This blog shall be my chronicle of the life of a particular medical student whose more defining adjective is “Catholic” (namely, me). In this forum, I will try to address particular challenges which Catholic medical students face and hopefully be able to offer medical students, premeds, and anyone else some advice. May the journey begin. (The photo is of me and my fellow medical students taking our pledge to uphold the principles of the medical profession as students. I'm in the pink, signing my name to the pledge. You can check out the story at