Ministry to Medical School, a student-doctor’s journey
For Class of 2019 student-doctor, Rachel Tanas, her journey to medical school was a little different than most.
Growing up and through college, she was determined, even confident, that God would call her into a profession with a ministry background, working within the Church. “The problem was that He wasn’t calling me to do any of those things,” said Tanas. “Instead He was saying, ‘Go to medical school.’” While she did not hear God’s audible voice, she is a firm believer that He works in unfathomable ways to guide our next steps.
During her last year of undergraduate studies, she applied to an internship at a church in Georgia as well as Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM). She applied to LUCOM without a strong passion or desire to become a physician, still unsure of what God was calling her to do, but she loved the mission and vision of the college. “I honestly cannot give you a good enough reason as to why a girl who passes out at the sight of a flu shot would apply to medical school in the first place,” she added. “But God has a way of setting the stage for the plans He has for us before our hearts and minds can even conceive them.”
Shortly after her interview at LUCOM, the door closed for the church internship. Only for another one to open in the form of a phone call announcing her acceptance into LUCOM. “I knew He was leading me to go, so, despite logic and excuses, I did just that,” she said.
For Tanas, she knew that God promised to guide her along the right path and if she wanted to make His name known, then she had to follow. “I’d like to say that the moment God said ‘go’ my future became crystal clear, that I understood just what my future would look like, and exactly why this was part of His plan,” she said. “Faith is about trusting that God’s ways are higher and so much better even when we can’t exactly see or understand them.”
During her first year of medical school, God used different people and events to open her eyes to why He had brought her to LUCOM. “I remember watching a sermon about missions and how God tends to use the least obvious things of this world to bring Glory to Himself. I can’t explain exactly why or how, but in that moment, I realized what an incredible vessel medicine is for the Gospel,” she said.
Tanas soon became aware that as a physician, God would entrust her with the lives of others and the incredible privilege that would be.
Growing up, Tanas was always passionate about the mission field. After her first year of medical school, she was able to go to Guatemala with the LUCOM Office of Medical Outreach and International Medicine. The country and medical outreach experience provided her with the opportunity to witness first-hand the impact that medicine can have on a person’s life. “I was able to see how every passion God had placed in my heart was beginning to weave together into an awesome story that only He could have planned. The experience revealed how being a competent and compassionate physician, I can be the hands and feet of Jesus,” she said.
Nearly halfway through her third-year of clinical rotations, she is grateful for the LUCOM faculty that hold a passion for equipping each student-doctor to be the best physicians possible. Through their encouragement, motivation, and prayers, she emphasized, “LUCOM faculty are so supportive and are consistently going out of their way to encourage the students. They are passionate about medicine and people, and if I could be half the physician that the clinical faculty are, I would consider that a huge success.”
Tanas is enjoying every moment of her rotations as they allow her to see the path God has laid out before her. “I love seeing patients and to be a part of a medical team that works together towards one goal. I have learned a lot from the doctors, nurses, and patients that I have had the opportunity to work with,” she added.
Progressing through her rotations, she noted her interest in a specialization of Family Medicine, with an emphasis on women’s health. “I hope to be the most educated and compassionate doctor I can be, so that my future patients will know that they are valued and cared for,” she said.
While God didn’t lead her into youth ministry or seminary, Tanas added that she is still faithfully serving where He has lead her. “I am beyond humbled that God would choose me to be a part of a profession that emulates the heart of the Gospel and allow me to serve those that He will one day place in my care.”