CLASS #007 [Intern]
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. -Romans 12:1
In the midst of this journey of training to practice medicine, it is easy for me to begin to think of being a great doctor as the ultimate goal. Daily I find myself needing to be reminded of the truth: my ultimate purpose is not to dedicate my life to medicine, but to glorify God.
I am a Hoosier- born and raised, a Bulldog from Columbus, Indiana. Some of my favorite things are epic hikes, exploring cities, growing peppers, and spending quality time with my favorite people. I stayed close to home at Indiana University for college in Bloomington and medical school in Indianapolis, and I’m thankful for every minute of it. Along the way, the Lord grew my heart for the marginalized and oppressed. I chose to become a Family Doctor because FM epitomizes many of the things that I am passionate about: building relationships with patients over time, being on the front lines of preventative care and community health, and the opportunity to care for the underserved in the US and abroad with a huge range of skill sets.
When the time came to choose a residency program, my wife (Kelsey) and I prayed for guidance throughout the interview process, Resurrection Health in Memphis increasingly stood out to us as a program strong in the areas that are most important to us, and in the end we felt strongly that God was calling us to join in the restorative work He is doing in Memphis.
Wait, so what’s different about Rez? We are first a community of people who love Jesus, living out the verse above by laying down our lives and desires for God, both in medicine and as we live in the neighborhoods served by our clinics. We are passionate about high quality medical training and patient care, as well as meeting the spiritual needs of our patients. I am constantly inspired by and growing from the bold vision, the skills, the joy, and the love of my fellow residents and faculty. Kelsey has been so blessed by the community that she has found among the other spouses here. If this kind of community and training gets you as excited as it does me, come on down to Memphis and give us a visit!
God became real to me when I attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes sports camp in high school. At the time, I saw sports as the key to obtaining status and approval which was an endless battle for me. Failure was my biggest fear and I strove with reckless abandon to avoid it on any front. At camp, I learned that I do not have any skill, work ethic, talent, or ability that is not from the Lord. God used the competitor’s creed to teach me that sports are a tool to glorify Him. As I learned to integrate God into athletics, He then gripped every other part of my life.
As I read my “God’s Game Plan” Bible daily, God’s message changed me. He showed me His boundless approval of me and I finally found rest. At the same time He changed my life trajectory. God burned Matthew 9:35-36 into my heart “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” From this point on, I pursued medicine full speed ahead, seeking to use medicine as tool to love like Jesus did.
At the time I pictured myself becoming a missionary doctor hiking through the mountains by myself with backpack full of Bibles and medical supplies. Someone somewhere may still be doing that at times, but since then I’ve learned a lot about team-based and strategic approaches to missions. I am so glad to be at Rez serving God here in the U.S. alongside a radically faithful community as my wife Leah (4th year med student) and I set the trajectory for the rest of our lives.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” - Romans 8:37
Praise God that He has made us more than conquerors! My name is Derek Chui. Fun fact: my relatives have the last name Tsui, but my dad changed it to Chui when he came to America, and I reap the benefits of being earlier in the alphabet. Small details like that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but I’m learning daily that God still cares about the smallest details of our lives. I am continually amazed at the grace of my Savior, and how he works all things for good.
Now for some other details. I grew up in the great state of Texas and have lived there all my life. I developed a passion for community resources early in life, and saw that grow as I witnessed brokenness in the school environment. I learned to love education, and it was here that God began to stir my affection for the marginalized. Long before I saw medicine as a career, God was teaching me that service to Him should be preeminent. Medicine came on the scene after a brief stint as an emergency medical technician in high school, where steadfast first responders took me in as their own and showed me what it meant to be serve others well. I soon began to realize that as a physician, I could see patients through care from beginning to end, and be both a social and medical resource in the pursuit of health through long term relationships.
I attended college close to home, and here God was gracious enough to help me make my faith my own, as I learned what it meant to be wrecked before Him. In this time, God began to put in my heart an awareness of a broken medical system and brokenness in me. The Spirit helps us in our weakness! He brought me through college and into medical school, where I had the opportunity to walk alongside accountable guys who showed me that present sufferings are nothing compared to coming glory. As third year of medical school approached, choosing family medicine was easy: it is the ultimate specialty for community resource management and full-spectrum care, so I began to look for programs that would allow me to dive into the community and learn to be a resource in all facets to patients. I heard about Rez through alumni at my medical school and a mutual friend at church, and spent a month rotating here in November. I was moved with joy to find Christian disciples that cared deeply about their neighborhoods, sought to invest in their community, and approached the throne of grace with humility as a part of their medical training. I saw passionate folks who poured into students, each other, and the city. I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else: these were the mentors I needed and the spiritual discipline I was seeking! So far, Tennessee has been all sorts of different. The right kind of different, though, where you’re challenged to grow and learn dependence on God. If He is for us, who can be against us, right? This is such a special place, and I am so grateful and honored to be here in Memphis, serving alongside fellow heirs with Christ!
Every morning from the time I was small, I remember waking up for school, wandering down the hall, and peering through the crack in the door to see my dad, head bent, brow furrowed, studying the Word of the Lord. By God's grace, I grew up surrounded by this delight in the things of God, hearing missionary stories, and I was filled with a longing to be used by the Lord in all the ways I heard about. But in reality, I lived wracked by guilt about a standard I grew up knowing, but could never, not once, fulfill. I believed God only picked supremely special people – the way He only picks the supremely special to be basketball stars and fairy princesses. And that wasn’t me.
But then He showed me His grace.
Shame and fear gave way to peace. And peace to hope. And all in a moment I realized: not only did God forgive me, He delights in using the weak and broken to bring his Kingdom down from its celestial dwelling to take up residence on this dusty, destitute planet.
Over time the Lord taught me to read the Bible as if He meant what he said. As if the poor do own the Kingdom, the hungry are the ones who get fed, and the ones who cry? They are the ones, through the grace of the Lord, are bubbling over in laughter. As if – crazy thought – we were meant to be Jesus, not Doctor. Where could I possibly receive this kind of training?
I was born in Kenya as a missionary kid, and eventually became a middle child. We then relocated to Arkansas (back to Arkansas for my parents), the greatest state in the union. My heritage is the Church of Christ-for which I am extremely thankful-but we began attending a non-denominal church when I was in high school. That was a “stirring of the flame” for me. I had allowed myself and my faith to become pretty lack-luster, and definitely born out of duty and not out of love. This would be a continual struggle-one that really became apparent again in M1 and M2 year. God used that time to shape and challenge me further, stretching me in new ways as well as renewing passion for His purposes. I am at Rez in part (at least from my end) to continue that stretching and growing. I want to love Jesus, and here I am surrounded by people that love Jesus.
I pretty much always thought I’d be a doctor for a career (when music was forcefully-and providentially-taken off the table). Choosing a residency was a new thing for me, and so I made lists and ranked characteristics of programs-as med students do. But while interviewing at Resurrection I was challenged to take what I thought I wanted/needed in a program (numbers, outpatient to inpatient ratio, etc), put that on the altar, and ask “God, what do you want for me in a residency?” Through His grace and power, I was able to. And through His same grace and power, that decision landed me at Rez.
I’m happy to call Memphis my new home. My husband and I are LOVING it! The food is amazing, the culture is electric, and the people are incredibly genuine. We’re proud residents of Binghampton and I can’t imagine having better neighbors. I count it as a blessing that Christ has given me the opportunity to work at and be a part of Resurrection Health.
I believe that God has called us all to be His hands and feet; the physical manifestation of His love. For me, this command has ultimately led me into the medical field. While I enjoy practicing medicine, my true joy comes from interacting with my patients and getting to know each one as a person who is walking through the highs and lows of life. I look forward to relishing in my time here in Tennessee, however, I also long to serve internationally as a physician who can be used by God to grow His kingdom. Where that will be is yet to be revealed to me, but I know God has called me to the mission field and while I wait on His timing, I will rest in His command to “Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).”
My name is Mitchell Schoen, and I'm thankful to be brought to where I am today.
I grew up in Minnesota with my brother, sister, and parents. As a kid, I was surrounded by beauty in nature with crystal lakes, crunchy fresh snow, and a chorus of songbirds outside my window. Sounds like a fairy tale, right? Well, while life looked picture-perfect on the outside, I was dying on the inside to find purpose in life and stability in our family. It was only through God's comfort that I was saved from the emptiness inside me.
With newfound hope, I attended Wheaton College in Chicago. There, I ran cross-country and experienced joy with my teammates as we put ourselves out on the line to run! Sadly, I broke my heel bone before my final season and would not compete again. However, my coaches still cared about me as a person and welcomed me to stay on the team. That's a lesson I'll never forget and I hope to pass on to others.
After that, I attended the University of Minnesota for medical school. During my time there, I discovered God at work in the places I least expected. For example, I was part of an after-school program in Frogtown Minnesota which was hard hit by vacancies and crime after the housing crisis. There, I found joy as students grew in faith and maturity... while still being a little silly. Their stories were a bright light in their neighborhood!
Now, I am living in Memphis and working at Resurrection Health. I am drawn to discover how God's Spirit is at work in our lives, co-workers, patients, and neighbors.
Coming from an atheist/agnostic background, the first 18 years of my life were lived in pursuing my own pleasures and ambitions. It was in college when I came to know Christ and the trajectory of my life drastically changed. Given that I had come to Christ in a college setting where I was heavily involved with serving in the campus ministry, after completing college, I seriously considered the possibility of pursuing ministry. However, during the three years in between college and medical school, the Lord showed me that my motives in wanting to pursue ministry were primarily selfish and self-centered. I began to truly seek what the Lord desired for me to do after college, and it became clear over months of praying that I was to apply and enter into medical school.
I quickly found once I hit the clinical years that medicine was a field that encouraged and at many times, rewarded performance, knowledge, and ego. As a result, during my time in medical school, unrecognized by me, medicine crept into my heart and I made it into an idol. Moreover, there was another idol in my heart—one that was the result of growing up in a middle-class family in which I never lacked anything or had any physical need: the idol of comfort. As I began to look towards where the Lord was leading me after medical school, He exposed both of these idols in their ugliness. I came to realize that I was building my own kingdom rather than the Lord’s; seeking my own security rather than being willing to follow the Lord wherever He may lead me; and making medicine the ultimate thing, rather than having it be a tool that is to be taken up or placed down at the Lord’s command. All of this was being revealed to me when I was a student rotating at Rez, and it was at Rez where I was being challenged the most in these areas. Now, as a resident at Rez, I do not imagine for a bit that the struggles in these areas will be easy to resolve or overcome; however, several things I do seek: to be reminded to keep medicine in its proper place as a means to an end, and not an end in itself; to not let comfort get in the way of going where the Lord would have me go; and to be consistently challenged—by brothers and sisters with more faith than myself—to not seek my own kingdom, but the Lord’s Kingdom and righteousness first. “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph 3:20-21, NASB)
In 2007 I remember standing in a hospital ward in Kigali, Rwanda asking God where He was in the midst of all the suffering I was seeing. It was in that moment I felt Him say He was there and was using His people to be His hands and feet. During that trip I felt God call me to medicine to share His love with the broken, forgotten and helpless.
Fast forward 6 years (my second year of medical school), while perusing my Facebook feed on a much needed study break, I saw an article about medical doctors prescribing worship for their patients in Memphis. I continued reading the article and was blown away by the mission of the program! The words "To the need, to the nations, for the King" stuck with me until 4th year while looking into places to do an audition rotation. I came for a month in October and was OVERWHELMED by the faithfulness of God's people!!! This place was doing it!! Kingdom living in utter abandon to Christ!! I couldn't imagine a better fit for the call I felt God had placed on my life...oh ya, and my husband's life...we met in Haiti on a mission trip and figured out we both loved medicine, missions and Jesus...so we got married...it was a pretty great decision! :) Anyways, so now we're here, living in Memphis, experiencing God's provision and faithfulness in new and challenging ways...and I continue to be OVERWHELMED by the servants of Jesus I get to work alongside everyday and the opportunity I was given to be a part of such amazing Kingdom work!
When I was first born and raised near the banks of the Mississippi River (a modern day Moses story, perhaps?) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I could have never known that I would have such trouble escaping its grasp and proximity to my life. I attended LSU undergraduate in college and then briefly migrated south for medical school at LSU School of Medicine-New Orleans (still along the Mississippi). I am now very glad to be a part of the Resurrection Intern class in Memphis, Tennessee, a city that rests on that same dear ole Mississippi River. For Carly, my wife who I met at the METS Preceptorship in Redlands California, and I it was not the majestic mighty waters of the Mississippi River that drew us to Memphis. Nor was it my lifetime familiarity with the river, its flourishing delta, the tantalizing tastes of the great food that can be found on its banks, nor the vibrant life that surrounds it. On the contrary, it was the heartache, the need, the hurt, the broken social safety nets, the health disparities among the marginalized, and the need for a gospel of salvation and reconciliation that brought us to serve in Memphis.
We are thrilled to be living alongside and learning from committed disciples of Jesus who want to usher in the kingdom here in the United States and to all nations and peoples. We currently reside in East Binghampton and thoroughly enjoy learning to be the neighbors that Christ would be. During training, I look forward to thriving in community with our neighbors and fellow co-workers. Aside from my shared interest with my wife, I enjoy cooking impromptu meals and driving my manual transmission car, its therapy for me. As a couple, we enjoy running, drinking coffee, biking, making coffee, camping, hiking, kayaking, and talking about coffee. We always welcome people to come talk about Jesus, healthcare, or any of their personal interests over a good cup of coffee. Carly and I were in a long-distance relationship, New Orleans to Detroit, during my time in medical school and there is often debate about which state and city we would travel back to if we do not end up outside the US.
Wherever we end up after residency training, I am certain that Resurrection Health and the community here in Memphis will thoroughly prepare us to be on mission with our King, Jesus.
I grew up in a small town in West Virginia with my family and was taught to love Jesus from a young age. However, my faith didn’t become my own until I was in college. I was challenged by a good friend in college who actively lived out his faith and encouraged me to do the same. I learned the value of good fellowship with other believers through him and other college friends. Those four years of college resulted in a lot of spiritual growth as I started to dig into the bible for the first time in my life. I had a lot of questions about what I personally believed, about what I am supposed to do with my faith, and how to love Jesus and give Him my life. I first developed a heart for the poor while doing a spring break trip to Camden, New Jersey. It was my first time in the inner city. I met several people that challenged my baseline preconceived notions about the poor and who they are. The Lord opened my eyes and showed me that there are injustices present today and that He wants us to do something about it.
I was unsure how to proceed, and didn’t know what direction to steer my career path toward. I wanted to pursue a career where I can serve people and share Jesus with them, but outside of a classic ministry job I didn’t know how to do that. Around this time the Lord used a difficult situation to bring about good and answer my prayers for guidance. My previously healthy twin sister had a seizure before my eyes, and several more later that day. I have never felt so helpless as I did in that moment. I couldn’t tell if she was breathing and I thought she was dieing. I didn’t know how to help someone that was having a seizure. Before this moment I had no interest in medicine or healthcare. The Lord used this experience to show me how much He is able to use medicine to bless people and their families. My sister is doing great now, by the way. After turning my attention to medicine, the Lord was so faithful in my endeavors. I found comfort reading 1 Corinthians 1 that described the Lord using “foolish things” for His purposes, because I certainly felt foolish! Who am I to be pursuing medicine and trying to get into medical school? I felt under qualified in every way, but the Lord continued to confirm His leading in my life to medicine. Medical school was a difficult time, but again I could see His grace and hand all over my efforts as I studied and worked through school. I was even able to marry the love of my life during medical school.
I met Tiana just before starting medical school and immediately felt the Lord drawing me to her. She was a missionary kid that grew up in Kenya and had a heart for Jesus and for His people. She continues to challenge me and draw me back to intentionality. She spent two years in Zambia and South Sudan during my first two years of medical school. This was a challenging time, but the Lord was so faithful to us both and we look back at that time with thankfulness. We got married in between my third and fourth year of medical school, and were looking for what the Lord had next for us knowing residency was just around the corner. At this time I was set on pursuing a med-peds residency. I had previously heard of Resurrection Health before developing an interest in medicine and decided to check it out. I was happy to see they had several different away rotations available for fourth year medical students (and still do!). I had felt that my training had been lacking guidance with spiritual care and thought this rotation would be a great way to experience that before moving on to med-peds. Little did I know the Lord had other plans for this rotation. I hadn’t felt the Lord’s presence among a group of people anywhere the way I did here in Memphis. These people loved Jesus and shared Jesus with their patients. They also provided exceptional healthcare. Needless to say I was hooked, and so was Tiana. We wanted to be part of a community that took Jesus’ command seriously to go and make disciples. They not only were sending people out, but they were seeking to share Christ in the hard places of Memphis. They even lived in the hard places. Fear was not dictating their actions, it was their faith. Tiana and I prayerfully considered revamping our residency search to Family Medicine, and specifically to Memphis. The Lord opened doors, calmed hearts, and challenged us to follow the example we had seen. Make your decisions based on faith, not on fear.
I like to tell stories. I think I get that from my dad. It’s 2010, and I am a sophomore attending a little- known Christian college in my home state of Louisiana. This college is so Christian that they make you attend chapel weekly for “spiritual credits.” It is so Christian that the pre-med honor society was by default a Christian organization. In November, this organization decides to take an overnight bus ride to attend the annual Global Mission Health Conference in Louisville, KY. A stiff neck and a fender bender somewhere in Arkansas later we arrive 10 minutes late to this conference that is taking place in the biggest church I have ever seen. I had no chance to shower and my mind is about as crisp as the un-ironed dress shirt that I just pulled from my duffle in the parking lot. I am not prepared to hear something profound, and honestly I just want to go to sleep in a bed. Then a guy steps on the stage named Rick Donlon and starts talking about crazy things. He’s from New Orleans like me so I can relate to his craziness to some degree. The other parts are blowing my mind because until now I was completely unaware of the existence of groups of Christian doctors set on abandoning their desires, dreams, and security to follow Jesus.
The talk is titled, “Die to Live, Live to Die” and as I listen my heart is getting hit like with a ton of bricks. Initially, I thought the feeling was Rick’s charisma or an MI, but then I realize: hey, maybe this is the Holy Spirit. Later that night I am ecstatic to talk about this amazing plenary with my classmates, to which I get the same response over and over again: “Yeah, it was good.” In time, I begin to process these convictions mentally, and I realize that Christ’s love is compelling me as described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. From then on my “career path” is on a different trajectory and years later I find myself one semester away graduating from LSU New Orleans medical school. I begin to weigh many residency program variables but nothing is more profound than my desire to seek the heart of Jesus and love marginalized peoples by serving them humbly—including through excellent medicine. That is now what I strive to do daily as a resident at Resurrection. I pray for a sanctification story in this next chapter, one that has me becoming more like Jesus; and hopefully in the doing I can gain some “spiritual credits” where they count in heavenly places!
I grew up in a small town in South Carolina, where both sides of my family still live (I guess I’m the sojourner of the family). For most of my childhood I wanted to be a veterinarian, but the summer before I began college at Clemson University, something shifted in my heart toward taking care of people instead of animals. Through a series of humbling events, I found myself at a low point just after graduating from Clemson, and God began a renewal in my life that continues to this day. I attended medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina, and perhaps more importantly, God led me to Centerpoint Church, a church committed to living out the gospel in community. I experienced the power of community within the church that I had never felt before, and through this community of brothers and sisters in Christ, the Lord revealed depths of Himself that I had never dreamed of. As we all grew together, God began to direct my heart toward caring for people with all sorts of problems, especially for those who are marginalized or underserved, so I found myself wanting to pursue family medicine. Around this same time period, the Lord brought my wife and me together through the same community of believers (I’m afraid I’d fill up the whole website if I told the entire story here). Together we are able to serve in ways that neither of us could have ever done alone, and I will be forever grateful to God for the grace He showed me through Rebekah. When it became time to start searching for residencies to apply to, I was scrolling through a list of family medicine programs and stumbled upon Resurrection Health. The vision of Resurrection Health and what I felt the Lord calling me to do aligned: to use medicine and ministry together to the glory of God. Little did I know how intertwined my (and Rebekah’s) story was with those already at work in Memphis. We found connections with people here that we were never aware of, confirming our calling to this residency program and this city.
One last bit. As God grew my faith in medical school, He consistently challenged me with this verse and still does to this day: “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39 ESV). The life of a follower of Jesus is a paradox: the secret to abundant, rich, wonderful life, is actually to lose it, to give it up for His sake. I have found His words to be true. I am honored to be in a residency program where we all know this to be true, where we all learn together what it means to lay down our lives for the King who lavishes His grace and love upon us, who pierces the darkness with his marvelous light, and who stands victorious over sickness and death. To Him be glory and honor forever.
Ten years ago, if you would have asked me if I envisioned myself becoming a physician, I would have said absolutely not. If you would have asked if I thought I would ever live in inner city Memphis, I would have again said no. Many times we have our own plans, and God, in his grace and sovereignty, leads us down a different path. How thankful I am for His guidance to a better, more fulfilling, and more joyful life than I could ever envision. After growing up in Nashville, my wife, Kelsey, and I are excited to be back in our home state. I am at Resurrection, because it’s not your ordinary family medicine residency program. In addition to excellent full-spectrum family medicine training, this program provides resources for me to be a better husband, neighbor, friend, teacher, church member, and leader. Through Resurrection, the Lord is teaching Kelsey and I how to break through cultural barriers, fight injustice, care for my patients’ spiritual and physical needs, and show the nations the love of Christ. Despite many social and economic challenges the people of Memphis face, God is at work and using his people to accomplish great things throughout the city.
I grew up in Cincinnati, OH in a family who taught me about the Lord from a young age. I went to The Ohio State University as an eager pre-med student where I gave my life to Christ and graduated with a degree in International Studies with a focus in Development. Long before I knew the Lord, I felt called to serve the marginalized as a physician.
During my first year of medical school at GMHC, one of my mentors introduced me to, Natalie King, a now graduate of the program and alum of my medical school (and apparently everyone’s favorite resident of all time… I have big shoes to fill!). Between first and second year of medical school, I rotated at Resurrection Health- two of the most influential weeks of my life. The Lord challenged me in ways I had never been stretched before. These people loved Jesus with all of their hearts and were practically serving Him and His people through medicine. Fast forward to my fourth year of medical school when I rotated at Rez once again. I was AMAZED by the dedication, intelligence, compassion, and love these residents exhibited. Graduates were actually living out the Gospel by practicing in medically underserved areas and bringing the love of Christ to the Nations.
Why did I come to Resurrection? Ultimately, I knew that the Lord wanted me to be here. The residents and faculty are top notch, and they are the kind of physicians I want to be- docs joyfully committed to serving Jesus in all circumstances, seasons of life and situations.
Jesus is Lord. He is the King of Kings. He is the righter of injustices, lover of the poor and oppressed, comforter and bringer of peace. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is not just Good News for our future salvation, but for the present day! His death and resurrection transforms communities, brings about restoration in broken places and turns our social structures upside down. What a privilege it is to be a part of the body of Christ! "But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned to me by the Lord Jesus- the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God." Acts 20:24
“Trust in Adonai with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him; then He will level your paths.” - Proverbs 3 : 5-6
Like most of the word, it’s an easy verse to understand, and an incredibly difficult one to obey. But even in the times that it’s hard to trust, hard not to rely on the logic that the world gives, it comforts my soul to know beyond any doubt that the paths my life has taken have all been leveled by the Lord. Looking back, I know that my path to medicine – to this very residency – was all in the palm of His hand. It began in my childhood, when He blessed me with a wonderful pair of God-fearing parents who raised me up with a mission-minded spirit, tickling my ears with their stories of sharing the gospel overseas so that others could come to know just how full of awesome grace our God is. The thought of being able to follow in their footsteps has always filled me with a sense of excitement and joy – although I wasn’t, at that time, sure how I would do it.
Later, before my senior year of high school, God steered my path to the Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he made that ‘how’ more clear: I was going to be a doctor. It was like He had whispered the answer into my ear, as I watched the team of doctors there care for my brother for months on end. This was how I was going to fulfill my purpose of glorifying his name!
Through the many twists and turns that my path has taken, from a small-town college to a brand new medical school to an obscure blog post that led me to rotate at and fall in love with this very residency, I can look back at each point and acknowledge that He has been faithfully with me through it all. He brought me to a residency filled with others who are so on-fire for Him and the sharing of His word, to a place where I know I can grow and thrive as a physician anchored in the Lord – and I can’t wait for this new season to begin!
During my fourth year of medical school, I considered what kind of doctor I wanted to be and what my values would be as I began to explore residency options. There were so many great programs for Family Medicine, but I wanted to honor God by seeking His wisdom and really wrestling with my decision. I wrote out a goal: To glorify God and grow in Christ-likeness; and to bring spiritual and physical healing to others through the Gospel and medicine. I wrote down values: Excellence, teamwork, community involvement, humility, creativity, courage. I prayed for God's guidance and for His will to be done. A verse I clung to during that time was Proverbs 16:33, "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD".
It fills me with gratitude that I have the opportunity to train at Resurrection. The shifting of location, lifestyle, values and dreams is a difficult process-- but through it I am experiencing a depth of God's grace that did not know before. As my fellow intern, Tity, says, "Go God!"
In my free time I enjoy nature walks, singing along to the radio, watching old movies, rereading favorite books, painting, and writing/receiving snail mail.
Growing up in a mission-minded family, I remember being taught about social disparities from a very young age. When I entered the medical field, I knew that the Lord was calling me to use medicine to engage those issues. However, the Lord has not gifted me with an entrepreneurial spirit or a vision-casting mind. It was not clear to me how medicine could address disparity or how spiritual care could be incorporated into medical care. Then I found the specialty of Family Medicine and this residency program. I visited for two weeks as a third year medical student at the recommendation of a friend. In this program, I am able to learn from mentors and physicians who do have entrepreneurial spirits and vision-casting minds, people who have been working on these strategies for years and have experience to pass on. I am thankful to God for this community and the opportunity he has given us through this program to serve his people, to make his name famous, and to learn how to take excellent care of our patients.
My name is Matthew Iles, but everyone usually just calls me Matt; my middle name is David. So you might say that I’ve got some big shoes to fill (or sandals?). Therefore, when I was looking for the right residency to form me into a worthy disciple of Christ as well as an heir to the Kingdom, my search landed me in Memphis. Let me tell you why: the greatest achievement in my life has been maintaining and growing deeper in my love and relationship with my Lord and Savior. And don’t you think for a minute it has anything to do with my abilities. It is purely by grace that I have been saved from my former self, so that I may make war on my sin daily, grow more joyful in knowing my savior and tell others about the life-changing/sustaining/giving love of God. Sure I love medicine (and cycling, running, frisbee, piano, reading, pontificating, cooking, wine etc.) but when I was preparing myself for the idea of being a medical missionary, I knew I needed to search for the kinds of disciples who could best prepare me to that end. Medicine is a beautiful field, but when life gets difficult and medicine is out of answers, the immediacy of one’s need for Christ and the cross comes into sharp focus. I knew from the moment I landed here that this program and this city is full of disciples willing to share their experiences and pour into young, eager physicians in order to prepare them to practice superb medicine anywhere in the world and do so as lights for Christ. God has big plans for this world and to reconcile his creation to himself. That’s happening on a daily basis around here and I’m humbled to be a part of it. I would tell you this place is the bees knees, but I’m allergic to them, so whatever your equivalent is, you’ll find it here.
I was born in Springfield Illinois and moved with my family to the Chicago area during the beginning of elementary school. My family is a treasure in my heart and I am grateful for both the difficult and joyful moments we have shared, all of which have drawn us closer to each other and closer to the Lord. I enjoy spending time with them and especially enjoy our dance parties! In my free time I enjoy the great outdoors, cooking, reading, singing, dancing, and kickboxing. I hope to learn how to play the violin in my spare time. Yay!
Medicine was always on my heart from a young age but it was not until my year of service with Mission Year in inner city West Philadelphia that the Lord revealed His plan and calling for me to become a physician. He filled me with the desire to serve patients with the least amount of resources and with the greatest need. The actual journey to medicine was a true journey filled with bumps and hurdles but the Lord is forever faithful. At the end of my third year of medical school I realized Family Medicine was the best fit for me. Building relationships with my patients and following them throughout their care became an essential component of how I desired to practice medicine. I knew the Lord was calling me out of my comfort zone yet again when I did a one month rotation with Resurrection during my fourth year of medical school. It was during that time that I met residents dedicated to loving Jesus and serving their patients. I saw them make amazing sacrifices while consistently pouring out love on their patients. I realized that this would be the most difficult and most rewarding residency training program. Could it be that the Lord had used my time in West Philadelphia to specifically prepare me for residency in Memphis?!? Yes, yes and yes! I am grateful to be in Memphis for residency training and even more grateful that the Lord challenged me to move out of my comfort zone. I have joined a beautiful group of people committed to loving Jesus, loving their neighbors, and living in community while training to become amazing physicians for the Lord. I pray to be broken before the Lord, to be used by Him, and to keep Him at the forefront of all that I do. I am excited and humbled to journey with the Lord during this new season of residency!
Why I chose Memphis? The BBQ in the air?
The sweat that soaks in your underwear?
The fact that all the women need to purchase their hair?
No, it was because I aim to care.
I was a medical student in California at the top of my game,
then I heard a man speak about giving up fame,
My pride, my tongue, my decisions need to be tamed,
Don't just follow your passions, that will surely leave you lame.
Give up what you've earned to follow the king,
Give up your life and stop bowing down to bling,
it feels like everyone I know is following that ching-ching,
When really, you should be saying "O death, where is your sting?"
Serve the underserved, bring light to a place that's wrapped in darkness,
Help the neighborhood, to the mother who views the world as nothingness,
to the drug addict who's fallen into an abyss,
Deppression, shadows, uncertainty, and lonliness.
Bring the message that Jesus gave us in the bible we read,
The message he gave while our sin made him bleed,
Proclaim the kingdom that the Son decreed,
Proclaim the kingdom in word and deed.
That's why I chose Memphis, a group of misfits trying to follow God,
A group of people who have never lost their awe,
Who don't care about the fake smiles, lavish lifstyles, and worldy facades,
This is why I chose Memphis, to honor my God.
I was born and raised in Lafayette, IN in Purdue country (Boiler Up!) Purdue holds a special place in my heart because that is where I truly became a follower of Christ and also where I met my awesome wife Amy! In college, we got really involved with Cru and had the opportunity to learn about discipleship and evangelism. So as I headed off to medical school, I looked for a similar ministry and discovered CMDA. Through my involvement with CMDA, I heard about a Cru Summer Project called the Whole Person Care Preceptorship in California. So after my first year of medical school, I flew to California and spent several weeks learning what a unique opportunity we have to share the good news of Jesus Christ in healthcare. After that summer, I started to look for residency programs that shared my new passion of practicing spiritual care and using medicine to advance the Kingdom of God. Initially, I didn’t expect to find any programs like this, but then I stumbled upon a Family Medicine residency in Memphis called Christ Community. The program almost sounded too good to be true with the mission statement “to the need, to the nations, for the King.” How could this be the mission statement of a family medicine residency program? I got the chance to learn more and ask lots of questions when I met several people from the program at the Christ Community booth at the Global Missions Health Conference. The people I met were awesome and were so passionate about their faith. It was so encouraging to see people take obedience to God’s Word so seriously by seeking to follow His Great Commission by taking His name to the hard places in Memphis and around the globe. During my residency interview two years later, the name had changed but the vision hadn’t. We definitely wanted to be a part of what God was doing in Memphis. I also saw that Resurrection provided great medical training that would prepare me to practice medicine anywhere the Lord was leading us to go. A final thing that drew Amy and me to Memphis was the sense of community that existed here. Everyone was so welcoming and it really did feel like a big family. We feel so blessed that we are here and can’t wait to see what the Lord will teach us over the next three years!
(With apologies to Paul of Tarsus) If someone thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: baptized in the eighth week, of the people of Holland Michigan, of the Reformed Church of America, a Christian of Christians; in regard to law, a Conservative; as for zeal, I memorized my confirmation vows; as for righteousness based on Church attendance, faultless. But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. I consider them garbage, so that I may gain Christ, be found in him, to have his righteousness, and participate in his sufferings.
I became a follower of Christ out of brokenness best talked about in person. I dropped my understanding of Christ as a means to an end, and accepted Christ as the end. As I went off to college, I got deeply involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Michigan Tech, and served as a Christian summer Camp Counselor. I met my wife Brita, and our “first date” was praying, followed by committing to pray every day during our relationship, and still do years later. I went and involved myself in every atheist/skeptic group on campus and listened to their struggles with the Church. I read the Shepherd of Hermas and learned about the arguments Irenaeus had against Gnosticism. I got to listen to someone say the first prayer of their life and become a Christian in a Bible study God was gracious enough to let me lead. I saw relationships that I thought would end in suicide or worse find forgiveness through Jesus. I have listened to the answered callings and experiences of those pursuing the great commission at the costs of their lives and comfort. I have walked and eaten with those who need care most and want to spend my career serving them. Christ has destroyed, and continues to renew, my life. After this and more, there was, is, and will be nothing I wouldn’t give to follow Christ.
I grew up in Amarillo, TX the oldest of three boys and was raised in a family that taught us about the love of Jesus. I moved to Waco, TX for college where I studied economics at Baylor University and met the incredible woman who would become my wife. During those four years God began to draw me toward medicine while placing a burden on my heart for the poor. I felt this call most clearly during my junior year of college while on a medical mission trip to Nicaragua. Through one of the team members, I got put in contact with a third year medical student from West Virginia who had worked there some time before. He gave me advice on applying to medical school and encouraged me to pursue God's calling toward medicine and healthcare for the poor but warned me that the road would be difficult and I would often be tempted to pursue an easier path along the way. I wasn't sure exactly what that would mean for me, but I decided to apply for medical school and trusted God to take care of the rest. So I graduated from Baylor and moved to Houston for medical school while Kelsey, now my wife, moved to San Antonio for dental school, and I spent the next few years wondering what God had planned for us. My friend was right, the journey was tough, and in my first year of medical school I wanted to quit. But God proved Himself faithful as always and brought Kelsey and me through three years of being apart and we got married between our third and fourth years of school. During this time I was wrestling with what field of medicine to pursue and where I should go for residency. Family medicine was not even a consideration at this time, but the Holy Spirit brought to mind the conversations I had a few years before with that medical student from West Virginia. I looked him up to see where God had taken him and found out he was one of the first four residents at this program here in Memphis. I read about the vision of the program and knew I had to come check it out to see what it was all about. I couldn't believe a place like this existed where people were living out the very call I had felt the Lord place on my life. So, through a series of events that could have only been orchestrated by a sovereign Savior, we were placed here in Memphis to train in family medicine and discover more fully what it means to lay down our lives to follow after Jesus. The Lord has given my wife and I both a passion for serving the poor through healthcare for His kingdom. We have no idea where He will lead us next, but we are excited to join this community of disciples and participate in the work God is doing here in Memphis!