I am a family physician working in a Christian, non-profit primary care outpatient clinic in Potosí, Bolivia.
My primary responsibilities are direct patient care, supervising the medical staff at the clinic as the medical director of the clinic, mentoring recently graduated physicians, and teaching for continuing education conferences for Bolivian physicians and nurses.
Each day in the clinic, I have the opportunity to share the hope of the Gospel with patients and families. Especially this year with the COVID-19 pandemic, so many of our established patients and many new patients have experienced loss, grief, depression, and anxiety. This led to open doors for Gospel conversations and praying with patients.
I've also been directly mentoring a Bolivian physician for the past two years and have seen her grow, not only in her confidence in practicing clinical medicine but also in her faith and her confidence in incorporating her faith into her medical practice. As a Bolivian, she will inherently be better at sharing the Gospel with other Bolivians. And I find joy in knowing that she will ultimately go on and touch exponentially more patients in the future.
Spiritual outreach in my ministry is mainly done through one-on-one interactions with patients and families. We attempt to recognize situations in which we can speak into our patients' lives with Gospel truths and pray with our patients on a regular basis.
For me, this includes sharing with bullied teenagers that their worth comes from their Creator, sharing with grieving family members that this life on earth is not the end and that we have hope for eternity in Christ, and sharing with anxious and depressed patients that we have hope because Christ died for us.
Each patient interaction is different, and I try to stay attuned to the Spirit's leading in guiding these conversations within the medical context in my exam room. I also strongly believe in the importance of mentoring the next generation of Bolivian physicians, not only to improve their clinical skills but also to model for them how they can combine their faith and their practice.
We have had three recently-graduated physicians spend time with our team in the clinic this year, and I have been mentoring one of them for almost two years now.