Monday, September 6, 2010

My Awesome Physiology Professor

So, we get these things called Course Packs for most of our classes. Basically, it’s like a mini text book, organized lecture by lecture and full of blanks to fill in or questions for further thought. They are great. Just another way med school has streamlined learning—no need to take a pencil and paper to class and create your own notes, they’ve already done it for you.

So, my physiology class (the study of how our bodies work=super cool) taught by Dr. Stephenson is exception. He is a great Christian man who recently spoke at our Christian Medical Association picnic. Let me give you an idea of the kind of person he is to me, keep in mind I’ve “known” him for about one week. You’d like him as your grandfather. He comes into lecture with a hardcore backpacking pack filled with all sorts of material for lecture--if we lost power, I’m sure he could wire something up to continue the lecture series to all four campuses without any trouble. He loves his job. And, finally, my purpose for this post, he wrote this awesome supplemental paragraph in our physiology course pack:

“The view of the body as a chemical and physical machine is an essential perspective for the modern physician. However, powerful as it is, the mechanistic perspective is not complete. Anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, and physiology make no pretense about providing the Ultimate Truth about human existence and human suffering. Medical science simply provides a set of tools for searching for truths about the mechanisms of body function and dysfunction. That’s all. Most medical scientists and physicians recognize that other aspects of the human experience (e.g., emotional, psychological, social, aesthetic, and spiritual) are better understood from non-mechanistic perspectives. We know, intellectually and from personal experiences, that these other aspects of the human experience are essential players in effective modern medicine. When we come to the deepest and most profound questions…questions about the nature of self, the mystery of being, and the meaning of life and death…the medical scientist doesn’t have any better or truer insights than the psychologist, the philosopher, the poet, mystic, or prophet. When mortals come before the Ultimate Mysteries, all of us…whether medical scientists, physicians, poets, or prophets…should feel extremely humbled, and much, much more aware of our limitations than boastful about our particular insights.”
Dr. Stephenson. A picture that is most definitely outdated by the overhead projector.
I feel honored and extremely thankful to be learning from such a wise man. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

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