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26 April 2016

How the Church can support junior doctors

How the Church can support junior doctors

Alliance member Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) has released advice on the role junior doctors can play in the Church.

In the membership magazine, Triple Helix, one junior doctor writes about what her colleagues have to offer the Church – and therefore how the Church can ensure these medics feel involved in the life of the community.

In the article, Alice Gerth, an F2 based in Oxford, notes how she works at least one weekend in four and has to eat dinner in the car on the way to house group – if she's able to make it at all.

In the article, she wrote: "For many, starting as an F1 brings a unique set of challenges: new city, new job, new church, new friends.

"Looking back on the experience, I found fitting into a new church as the hardest."

As junior doctors strike again today over government proposals to their contracts, it seems particularly timely to think about the way our churches respond to the unique needs shift workers, in particular medics, have.

"My question is whether the church would want me given my crazy rota – next year I will be working A&E and neurosurgery – both notoriously busy jobs," the article continued.

Alice suggests six areas she and her colleagues could serve in, including prayer, giving and encouraging church leaders, showing the need to make it possible for those who can't commit to weekly roles, but want to contribute to church life.

"Christ describes the Church as his body. We are not designed to walk alone in our faith. Over this past year I have been exposed to do much more as a doctor than I was as a student.

"My consultants have supported me… But my consultants don't point me to God."

Alice said discussions with her Christian colleagues at church has been vital.

"I believe that to get the most from church, we need to be following Christ's example of service."

The CMF article shows that this group of people in our churches want to be more involved than they currently are – they just struggle to know whether their intermittent service is wanted.

Cooking dinners for those working late? Sending a message to say the church missed them on weeks they had to work? Arranging the service rota around their work rota? How does your church support junior doctors and include them in the life of the church? Tell us in the comments section below.