PRACTICING AND LIFE MEMBER CATEGORY WINNER
2016 RICHARD SPEAR, MD, MEMORIAL ESSAY CONTEST
psychological or social component, although it is all of those things.
Medicine is a spiritual discipline as well. And while I left my faith
“on the coat hanger” when I saw patients prior to Ethiopia, upon
returning home, I made sure the spiritual component was taken
seriously with each and every patient. Harold G. Koenig, MD, Professor of Medicine at Duke University and world expert on spiritual
components of disease, states in his book, Medicine, Religion, and
Health, “There is mounting evidence from randomized clinical trials
and prospective studies that religious beliefs and practices have
positive effects on coping and speeding remission from emotional
disorders…(therefore) religious beliefs have the potential to impact
not only mental health but physical health as well.”
From a mountainside in Ethiopia to trips all over the world to a
West End clinic in Louisville, medicine has changed me and will
continue to change me. No longer is it just the science of medicine,
but the doctor-patient relationship of caring for the whole person,
that ultimately matters.
David Dageforde, MD, is a retired interventional cardiologist and now
serves as Board Chair for the Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center.
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