LUCOM faculty share the importance of incorporating their faith into the practice of medicine
The weekly convocation hosted by Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) featured a panel of LUCOM faculty members on Wednesday, April 26. The faculty lineup consisted of: Kathleen B. Bogacz, MD, FACP; Michael D. Lockwood, DO, FCA; and Olubukola I. Ojuola, MD, MPH. The panel answered questions from moderator, Joseph W. Brewer, PhD, associate dean for Research, about the success and challenges of incorporating their faith in the practice of medicine.
“We want to talk about how does one incorporate their personal Christian faith into the medical profession as a physician,” said Dr. Brewer. “The best thing to do is to talk to some folks who have been doing it.” Two areas of discussion that the panel focused on were concern for patients and stress.
“I had various experiences that drew me to medicine,” said Dr. Ojuola. “I was drawn to medicine from experiences I encountered as a child.” She received her medical degree from the University of Ilorin in Nigeria and after working as a general practitioner for several years decided to look into pediatrics. Dr. Ojuola serves as an assistant professor of Pediatrics.
“Something that really breaks my heart is children being taken advantage of by the people that are supposed to be taking care of them,” added Dr. Ojuola. “I have to tell myself that I might be standing between life and death for a child and that I am there to take care of other peoples’ children.” Dr. Ojuola additionally stressed, “As a Christian physician, you are there to serve God and to serve people that you must stay sensitive to the needs of ones’ patients.”
“Medicine is a tool,” said Dr. Lockwood. “You are the instrument that God is going to use.” As a graduate of Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine - A.T. Still University, Dr. Lockwood has over 32 years of experience in the osteopathic profession and serves as a professor of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at LUCOM. “Medicine is hard,” he added. “You have to approach the patient with their area of greatest need in mind and as Christian physicians, you have opportunities to go into countries to minister to the people where as other occupations such as pastors or pilots might not have the same opportunity.”
“I love medicine,” Dr. Bogacz. “But it is a tough task and when you are taking care of people, it is hard.” Dr. Bogacz graduated from University of Illinois College of Medicine and focused on Internal Medicine. She was in private practice for 28 years before joining the faculty as an assistant professor of Internal Medicine at LUCOM. Dr. Bogacz stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with Christian colleagues.
Next academic year, the Class of 2019 student-doctors will depart the COM to begin clinical rotations. This unique faculty-led convocation served as a great reminder of incorporating their faith in the practice of medicine and was presented at the right time.