Five years ago, medical students at the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago began asking for a more formal way to engage questions of faith and medicine. While the Jesuit Catholic University has a robust mission culture, still more was needed. In response, the school developed The Physician’s Vocation Program, a four-year formation experience for medical students now directed by John Hardt, PhD.
The program enrolls students from a wide variety of Christian denominations to explore one’s self-identity at the intersection of faith and medicine. Through academic coursework, spiritual formation, a commitment to service and prayer, and conversation with classmates and faculty, it seeks to foster and explore medicine as a calling. The third year includes traditional Ignatian exercises of prayer, meditation, and reflection under the guidance of a spiritual director.
“Loyola’s program is not for doctors to evangelize patients. It’s to integrate your faith as a Christian and your life as a practicing doctor,” Hardt emphasized. “Witnessing to God’s love through one’s actions ‘cuts across any religious boundary.’”
John Hardt will be one of the featured guests at the upcoming Practice & Presence gathering.
Are you a Christian in healthcare who longs to experience your healing work as a calling? Do you believe that the church should matter for modern healthcare? Do you long to connect your work with your Christian commitments?