Hi Guys,


I am a new (albeit very mature ;-)) medical student. It has come to my attention that a large proportion of my medical cohort are either a touch misogynistic or fundamental christians (where's the distincion I hear you say!!!). I am concerned, to say the least, that the class has a fair number of students who earnestly believe homosapiens popped up in the middle east 6-7,000 years ago. I don't know whether it makes a difference to clinical practice if you have no idea about the origins of the body or whether the refusal to accept scientific facts says anything about the way you will approach medical information/advances throughout your career. This is not to mention the ethical/moral problems I can see for a Christian in medical practice.


Do you think you can be a fundamental Christian can be an effective practitioner?




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I would agree with DSE that a fundamentalist probably isn't an effective practitioner.  That said, I know 1-2 dozen out theists at my institution (all three Abrahamics) and in every cause I would take my future children to them with a medical problem, because I've seen them to be conscientious, observant, hard-working people who want to be good doctors.  The key of course is I think they would be that even if they weren't Catholic or Shi'a or whatever, which leads you to question where the source of their moral behavior is really their religion or their basic character.  They're also not fundamentalists.

As for what would concern me most about the medical practice of a fundamentalist, rather than worry about whether their differential is missing something because they don't believe in evolution, I would think more often the problem is that they're withholding treatments from the patient without informing them or otherwise making decisions in a way not consistent with what the patient would want.  You may have seen the paper in the last year or so showing that very religious patients are more likely than the less religious to use aggressive life-extending measures, and you can't help but wonder if that extends to physicians, regardless of the patient's request - and of course many patients won't even verbalize desires until prompted be a physician, and that's when they feel the physician isn't judging them.


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