Hi everyone! My name is Kai Inguito, and I’m a rising second year medical student at Jefferson. I just want to share the following three paragraphs about my time SHADOWing at SMI. One of my interests in medicine is to become a primary care physician who works and lives in the community. Furthermore, I am curious about how to integrate both the physical and spiritual care of a person. SMI has given me the opportunity to explore a glimpse of these desires in two different ways:
1) During SMI, we also had the opportunity to SHADOW at one of the three sites of Esperanza Health Center. I was able to SHADOW two primary care physicians and see how they integrate their faith and practice of medicine into their practice.
Like any normal practice, the doctors performed the usual physical exam (e.g., listening to lungs or shining a LIGHT in their eyes) and asked the usual questions in a primary care visit (e.g., what brings you in or when did that start).
Although these doctors were still behind on paperwork and limited in their capacity resource-wise, they still lent their listening ears to each patient. One question that I had never seen asked before in a medical practice was, “Can we pray together?”
2) During SMI, we had the opportunity to SHADOW door-to-door on the streets of North Philly. By this, I mean, my team and I would walk in the SHADOWs to stay out of the sun between health screens (taking blood pressure, blood sugar, etc). We also partnered with local churches to pray for the people we screened and to connect them with a church community.
Like any normal health screen, we had to check up on people’s health who needed to see a doctor or to educate them, such as on the importance of taking medications. We had to go into the dayLIGHT.
Although my team and I wanted to stay in the darkness and out of the heat, we knew we had to lend our listening ears to each house and ask if we can pray together too.
With both of these experiences SHADOWing, it was so easy to see the parallels between faith and medicine. It was so hard to separate them because of how integrated they are to the care of a person. In both instances, I saw people crying because of the suffering they are currently going through in their health and in their life. However, it didn’t end there. I saw the power of listening and prayer that allowed for not only the doctor-patient relationship to be strengthened, but also a sense of peace. I’ve seen that God works in us, not only jas those who heal others, but also those who hope in Him. I’ve seen that “even though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4). I’ve seen that “the LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5).
– Kai Inguito