First All-Ukrainian Junior Christian Medical Conference, Odessa: “Gold standards and Christian principles in modern medicine”.
The conference attracted about 170 students and young graduates of medical and nursing schools from almost all oblasts (states) who were eager to learn how young people could become more skillful and effective in their professional growth and witnessing to the society.
Nowadays medical system in our country has many problems. There are many censures regarding the improper financing of medical sector that results in untidy hospitals while the quality of providing medical services leaves much to be desired. But that’s not the only thing the problem consists of. It was indeed an accurate remark of Pavel Ungurian, Member of Ukrainian Parliament, “Today we all talk a lot about crisis that surrounded the world including Ukraine but we forget that at the roots of any economic or social crisis lies the crisis of morality and spirituality. And until we overcome the spiritual and moral crisis we will not be able to achieve success in social and economic crisis”.
The organizers of the conference happily welcomed all delegates and created favorable conditions for effective and fruitful days in learning and prayer. During three days of conference delegates had a wonderful possibility to hear the senior colleagues and share presentations of their own.
Dr Rostyslav Semikov, young medical doctor and health care manager, who chaired the conference organizing committee and took responsibility for junior department of CMA, emphasized that it is vitally important for Christians to work hard to become true professionals using the best achievements of modern medicine, so called gold standards. On the other hand, they should carry into the society the faith in real God and Christian principles bringing people full recovery and complete health.
“Top-quality medical practice” was the name of the lecture delivered by Dr James Tomlinson, the Eurasian region secretary of International Christian Medical and Dental Association. As believers we are aware that the reason of sickness isn’t concealed in biological agents but in moral and spiritual decline of the human beings. Dr Tomlinson called Christian medics to take an example from Jesus and assist the sick people to receive the healing of soul and body.
Professor Viktor Biriukov, the head of Public Health Department of Odessa Medical University gave a wonderful lecture about the moral and ethical issues of evidence based medicine. Professor Volodymyr Mavrodiy, deputy director of Odessa Into-Sana clinic spoke about the achievements of private and insurance based medicine.
Dr Jim Peipon, the head of Ukraine Medical Outreach who lives and works in Kyiv reported on the implementation of Biblical principles in medicine: “In medical school we teach how to use medical instruments during the surgical operation, but the Lord utilizes you as a tool for spiritual operation that He accomplishes in other people’s lives.”
Dr Oleksand Doroshenko, a proficient maxillofacial surgeon and the head of Ukrainian Christian Medical Association reported the ministry of Association. He encouraged the younger fellows to follow the example of elder colleagues and join the charitable missionary work of doctors, pharmacists, and nurses of CMA, in order to sacrificially help the fellow countrymen, especially socially unprotected, disabled individuals and those left in the lurch and through this ministry deliver the gospel to them.
I personally found it very interesting to listen to reports of practicing doctors as well as active students. It helped me better realize that our Ukrainian medicine needs radical changes and certain corrections. Today most of medical personnel is unfortunately interested not in the well-being of a patient but rather focused to gain a good income. But just as the Bible says, the man will not live by bread alone but rather by the word of God who knows best how to help a person.
Talking to students I noticed they have chosen a hard way in their life. The medical worker is more exposed to death and suffering. He gets more spiritually and physically exhausted. Therefore, the conference was organized not primarily to teach the students of medical institutions but to support them in their hard work that they have chosen. People want to be healthy, happy, joyful, and for this to become true we need to strive in prayer for our medics and students.
This All-Ukrainian Junior Christian Medical Conference was a success. The first move has been made. After the Sunday’ worship service a closing ceremony took place, and everyone set out home to keep up further hard but very necessary work – to be a true medic and help the sick.
Translated by Vyacheslav Rymskyy, Odessa