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Logo of AMEN 2019: Christ in You

Six Words Every Physician Should Know

Amarachi Nwankpah MD


OBJECTIVES At the conclusion of this CME activity, the learner should be better able to: 1. Understand the barriers that hamper or destroy the physician's effectiveness in patient care. 2. Recognize that spirituality is a core patient need and its beneficial influences on health. 3. Understand the role spirituality can play in their professional growth, promotion of personal happiness, and the basis of their calling as a physician.



  • November 1, 2019
    9:30 AM


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Dear Lord we thank you so much for this day that you go on us thank you for this time and thank you for this conference Lord Lord this is your time I just pray that you may be seen felt and heard and every word that I speak and every action of my life Lord I humbly ask that we may come away from this meeting knowing you more in understanding more of the calling you have for each one of us I thank you for all that you have done and all that you are doing all that you will do say and through this conference and I ask all these things and she has me. All right so 6 words is anyone have a guess and what may be these 6 words are or maybe in your own practice 6 words that you use or a motto that you live by that you remember every day when dealing with your patients anyone. This is interactive you have to talk to me that's that's why I asked the question. Anyone what you said. I heard over their humility Ok that's one word what else. Ask God for help forwards Ok. Anything else. What can I do for you oh it's a good one. Let me show you 2 Jesus great 6 words maybe I should change no just kidding. No one guess what the 6 words that I'm going to present on are so this will be exciting so let's but those are all great so let's get into the presentation so this is a c.m.e. activities so there are no disclosures that I have but the objectives are that by the conclusion of the of this seamy activity the learner would be better able to understand the barriers that hampered the story providers effectiveness in patient care recognizes spirituality as a core patient need and it's beneficial influence on health and also understand the role spirituality can play in their professional growth promotion of personal happiness and the basis of their calling as a health care provider. So in 2019 a study was conducted by the National Coalition for cancer survivorship where patients and physicians were asked about some physicians behaviors that can have a negative impact on effective communication between the healthcare provider and the patient so some reasons given by the patient were that the provider withholds information or provides this information in a cold and tactless manner the physicians sometimes talk down to patients or used terms that are unfamiliar to patients or that the provider has body language or behavior that signals that they're really too busy to give the time that the patient may need. Physicians also noted some barriers mostly centered around not understanding the subject matter and thus not being able to teach it and then also being afraid or ashamed to admit that they don't understand the subject matter and then also doubt in certain treatment options due to unfamiliarity of the method. So these barriers not only made it more likely for a patient to be non-compliant but with the lack of empathy perceived trust and the lack of concern perceived the patient is likely not to return to the provider to receive the care they need so interesting really enough these barriers not only exists in communication physical diagnosis and treatment but also in spiritual health care as well in 2016 the a.m.a. the American Medical Association conducted a survey and found that 41 percent of patients want to discuss religious or spiritual concerns in the health care setting but less than half reported being offered the opportunity to receive such care in 2003 as survey was conducted in primary care clinics at 6 academic medical centers a toll of 456 patients participate in the study and 65 percent of these patients felt that the physician should be aware of their religious preferences while 35 percent preferred that the physician asked them about their beliefs the study also showed that the patients desire for spiritual interaction with their physician increased with their severe you have their illness. Other studies have shown as many as 83 percent of patients would want their physician to inquire about their beliefs and studies even indicate that integrating spiritual care into patient care significantly enhances patient satisfaction and the converse is also true patients surveyed said that when spiritual care is not integrated into their health care that their satisfaction levels are actually decreased. So the effect of spirituality on health is really an active area of research typically studies on this topic tend to fall into 3 major categories either mortality coping or recovery some observational study suggests that people who have regular spiritual practices tend to live longer because religious commitment may offer richer social support and the strength of personal values I mean worldview so patients who are spiritual may utilize their beliefs and coping with illness and pain and life stresses interesting Lee a study. Of heart transplant patients showed that those who participate in religious activities complied better with follow treatment and had improved outcomes at the 12 month follow up visit so these studies highlight the importance of assessing spiritual needs and having a conversation about spiritual health with every patient yet few providers actually do this that's creating a gap in a patient's health care also when a private does address spiritual health many patients observe the same barriers that we just discuss and are non-compliant with the recommendations or do not return to the subject in subsequent visits. When physicians were specifically surveyed about addressing spiritual care and the barriers that may be present they said similar things lack of time lack of knowledge an interest in spiritual things and they didn't want to make people feel uncomfortable and they felt uncomfortable themselves so an understanding of the impact of spirituality on overall health is really essential and although challenging consistently addressing the matters with every patient is as important if not more important than addressing their physical and emotional needs so I'd like to demonstrate these points and 3 unique cases the 1st case is easy. She's a 61 year old woman. Who had poorly controlled hypertension and obesity when she came to me she was already on 3 different blood pressure medications and despite this her blood pressure was consistently in the 180 some one ninety's over 90 to 100 range she was complying with all her medication so as I talk with her I thought that really the most likely cause of her elevated blood pressure was because she didn't have a great lifestyle regimen so as every good Adventists positioned as I started talking about lifestyle with an acronym I use new start 1st nutrition and exercise and water sunlight temperance fresh air rest and then when I got to the last t. I looked at my clock and I realize. I don't have time for this so. I told her you know will follow up we'll talk about the rest on our next visit but I felt a little guilty so in order to make myself feel a little bit better I kind of rambled off something to the tune of you know health is really in pour in include spiritual physical and emotional needs and you know we talk a lot about physical health today and spiritual health is really important as well and some of my patients like to talk about spiritual health and so they even like to include spiritual practices such as prayer so is this something you'd be interested would you like to pray with me today and she was pretty confused at that point not really knowing where that came from. So she declined it and she left the office with a note from me that she brought to the checkout counter saying follow up for blood pressure. In 2 weeks so. The way my office was structured in order to make more availability at my schedule and also to decrease the wait time for patients for straight for visits her repeat blood pressure checked was actually scheduled with my medical assistant and so I knew that is going to be a long time before I actually saw her and so you know at that visit I felt I felt that I had missed the mark felt that I should have done more but then I consoled myself saying you know I do have a busy schedule it wouldn't be fair for other people to wait longer and I did talk about lifestyle right check and I did offer prayer check and she was really the one who refused to talk about spiritual health so I felt a little bit better. 2 weeks later my medical system knocks on my door. And she reports that z.z. has returned and she checked her blood pressure 3 times in the best reading that she got was 180 over 100 so besides is easy was crime because her blood pressure was still not controlled despite compliance with all the medication and lifestyle recommended recommendations so at this point remember I said that she was on my medical system schedule so she wasn't on my schedule so I had a full schedule of patients set to arrive any minute and I'd also discuss with her previous visit that if her blood pressure still wasn't controlled we might need to add a 4th and I hypertensive to help control her blood pressure so I took the easy way out I said you know I have a busy schedule we already talked about this letter know that we're just going to add that other blood pressure medication and she can see me back in the office that didn't work. Should my medical assistant return soon after saying the patient wants to speak with you so I brought the z. to my exam I checked her blood pressure myself with a manual cuff and the reading was 186 over 94 she was asymptomatic her exam besides her book pressure was otherwise normal and she was really distressed she said you know what am I doing wrong I've done everything you told me to do so I reviewed her medications and I went through a new start again but I didn't leave out the last t. this time so I thought to myself what could be going on with her spiritually so I asked her this way I said Is there anything causing you stress she responded and she described a very stressful situation so immediately I saw the cause of her poorly controlled blood pressure I told her that their stress was negatively impacting her body and before I could even start to describe a spiritual solution she said Dr what do you do. Her question took me off guard but she continued she said I know you don't have high blood pressure so what do you do so I started to explain that besides physical lifestyle changes there are also spiritual things that can impact your physical health and then I continue to explain that I believe in God I spend time with them and I pray she said you know I believe in God too I'm a Muslim and so you know feeling a little uncertain and I kind of try to give a disclaimer saying well you know I'm a Christian but she interrupt me doesn't matter I want to know what you do so I talk to her about reading the Bible at that time I was directing editing depression anxiety recovery program and in that program each participant is encouraged to read a chapter of Proverbs every day that corresponds to the date so like today's November 1st so you reach chapter Proverbs Chapter one tomorrow you do read private Chapter 2 so I told her to try that. I also talked to her about the book the ministry of healing and especially the chapter called Mind Cure and also a book called telling yourself that truth that talks about interpersonal relationships and sometimes the barriers that arrive in our belief system about those barriers and how to navigate and how to improve her interpersonal relationships and I told her about forgiveness and the importance of forgiveness just as God has forgiven us but when I told her something very important I said that even if you exercise every day even if you eat all the right food even if you read all the books I just told you about you might still have elevated blood pressure I explained to her that you need to ask help from the one who knows you who made you and who loves you and then I said Would you like to pray. This time she said yes and we prayed together and then she left the office that same No says follow up blood pressure checked 2 weeks. So 2 weeks later I get another knock on my door my office door and it's my medical assistant again and she says z. wants to speak with you. And so I sigh and I figure you know I had nothing changed so I asked her I said what was her blood pressure reading and so my system said it was normal and I told her she could go home but she want to speak with you and so I asked again I said what was her blood pressure reading and so my sister reply 120 over 74. So I walked into these room and I looked at her and before she could even say anything I saw the change in her face her countenance was brighter she lost weight not only in pounds but also letting go of those years a burden that she'd been hearing. And then she explained to me that that day 2 weeks ago after we'd talk she went home right away and got on line to Amazon Prime and she ordered all the books that I told her about and she did the Rams on prime so she'd get next day delivery and she'd been reading them every day since then. So she'd been reading the Bible every day she said she was the happiest that you've ever been and then she acknowledged that she now knew the source with a capital s. of her healing Case number 2 is an account in the Bible that we're familiar with in John Chapter 11 orange juice introduced to l b a man likely in his thirties who fell ill and whose case was not improving he too he was too ill to squeeze me even to call for his most trusted physician himself so his family called for him instead. The response was this sickness is not unto death but for the glory of God that the Son of God might be glorified thereby yet Lazarus died and to make things seemingly worse the physician did not show up until he had already been buried pain and disappointment and weakening faith could be seen in the words of Lazarus sisters if you had been there they said couldn't this man who would open the eyes of the blind the crowd around scoffed and don't roll away the stone or smell too much they pleaded Jesus not listening to the doubts proceeded to call his friend from death to life imagine the sound of rustling as Lazarus by the stars and then the sight of this form sitting up and then standing up and then making its way to the door of the tomb yet his movements are impeded the stone has been rolled away. Death has been divinely dismissed but there still remains one barrier that exists between him and Jesus Christ addresses that same doubting crowd that just recently expressed their lack of faith in him and with authority he says those 6 words are you ready lose them loose him and let him go the great physician here in a simple phrase tells these physicians what they're calling is he shows us in these 6 simple words that he is the one who does the healing he is able to give life but calls us to a special work of unbinding God's children so that they can walk with him. Those 6 words reveal to us God's authority our mission and the source of power with which we perform the work. Case Number 3 a.b. a.b. was not my patient but she was a friend that relayed to me her experience she told me that one day she walked into her physicians office with big neurological cardiac symptoms after having a detailed evaluation the differential diagnosis was not good the physician painstakingly began to describe to the patient a.b. what the symptoms indicate and the dish and house I would have to be done. The physician though was unsure of what advice to give her she was already of Eagan she exercised regularly and avoided unhealthy social habits she was a model patient in his opinion. She was hearing the doctor go on about these tests and it and possible future loss but she recounted this wasn't what she needed to hear as she heard the differential diagnosis explain she felt as though something inside of her died when she left his office and went outside she could feel the sun rays on her skin she could hear the birds singing everything was just the day before had brought immense joy brought profound grief as she pondered her future. She was alive but dead to everything around her she sunk into a deep depression life seem meaningless and her world became very dark then something happened in her experience where through God's providence is she could hear him saying Get up I'm not done with you with a divine strength she started to rise from the darkness of dismal forebodings and slowly followed God's voice yet she didn't get very far because she was still bound. Bound by doubt and pain and a misunderstanding of the character of a God who could allow something like this to happen to someone he loved and who loved him she felt that her life as with Lazarus was one where many were just standing around to Austrac and unbelieving to help so she tried to still advance but the grave clothes with every advance became tighter and tighter. In her case there was one person in particular who understood those 6 words a great physician taught a kind Christian female psychologist saw her case she looked at that stone that had already been rolled away in her life she had knowledge that God although through a painful trial had given a.b. another opportunity to live a life complete in him and then she proceeded to do her part to remove the grave clothes so that a.b. could see she 1st started with the cloth that covered her face she would say look at him he is a good God and He has always been with you even in the darkness next you remove the grave clothes binding her hands and told her to reach out and hold his unchanging hand and grass his promises of hope and a future then she untied her feet and encouraged her to walk with him in the new and newness of life without a Christian healthcare provider understanding her higher calling and Christ command Aby wouldn't have a relationship with God today. So in your life in your practice in your professional career God has intentionally placed you in pass of individuals who are spiritually Brown and literally cannot untie themselves for you he has the same command those same 6 words lose them and let them go if you have failed to see the patient returning with poorly controlled hypertension as someone who needs to be introduced to the Savior it's not too late to lose them and let them go when your skilled hands have performed a perfect surgery there is something your patient needs more than a mended arm or a new heart valve loose him and let him go. If you have settled for running or working in a practice that is focused on revenue rather than redemption turn your focus on Jesus and here his command to work on behalf of your patients to loose them and let them go the state of your still calls us from the unbelieving crowd of bystanders he is pleading with us to stop being comfortable sitting on the sideline looking on there are many who had Biggest their biggest impaired impediments in their lives were moved and I've heard the voice of Jesus but need your ministry of spiritual healing before they can get to him. A simple spiritual conversation can improve patient satisfaction trust and compliance but personally it brings us as a Christian health professional into deeper communion with Christ working in connection with him and ministering to others we are Minister to one author says it this way as his representatives among men crisis not choose angels who have never fallen but human beings men of like passions in those who seek to save divinity needed humanity for it required both the divine and the human to bring salvation to the world. Humanity lays hold upon Divine Power Christ dwells in the heart by faith and through cooperation with the Divine the power of man becomes efficient for good he is still calling men to his service however imperfect and sinful we may be the Lord holds out to us the offer of partnership with himself of apprenticeship to Christ he invites us to come under the divine instruction that uniting with Christ we may work the work of God. As Christian pelf professionals we have been called in a particular way to show the world a mystery we are in to do we are to introduce them to God Who. While they were sinners and while they were estranged from him redeem them by dying a cruel death as a penalty for their sins we are to strive in labor and work to preach warn and teach every man and woman in all it all wisdom that's what collections one is all about the theme of the conferences Christ in you so collections chapter one verse 27 it talks about Christ being innocent hope of glory the only way this merciful loving God can be revealed to the world is through us. So when he dwells in us our words change our actions chains our motives change all the barriers that come between the sinner and the Savior fall down the grave clothes are taken off and then our patients see the hope of glory they have an insurance that they can change because you have change that their sinful habits can be overcome because they see what Christ working in your life has done that they can be transformed into the image of God because of the power and the Word of God that is transforming your life. Speaking of collage and Chapter one Ellen White writes these words present before the work of Christ a high attainment yet this attainment all can reach putting themselves under the control of the great teacher learned daily in the school of Christ the power of God's command is limitless and the minister who in his great need shut himself in with the Lord may be assured that he will receive that which will be which will be to his hears a savor of life until life. There are individuals who walk into our offices and hospitals every day who are hurting there are millions who are bound by say in looking for hope the world needs dedicated earnest God filled healthcare professionals for such a time as this Jesus is waiting for us will you answer the call will you heed his command and will you lose them and let them go there are several barriers that you may see in your own effectiveness in addressing spiritual care with your patients maybe you are withholding them from Asian because you don't have time maybe you are unfamiliar with the subject matter maybe your body language says one thing about spiritual health where your words may say another maybe you don't understand the message of Christ and thus are uncertain about its results whatever it is research shows that spirituality is a core need and it has a beneficial influence on how and more than that it's our calling as a Christian physician as a Adventists health care provider to provide our spirit spiritual health care to our patients. So I hope you have seen the poor and spiritual health care I know when I was confronted with this myself my perch change where before when I was asking God to be with me every day I started changing that prayer for Christ to do well in me every day so that others can see him so that he can be touch so that he can be seen so that he can be heard in everything and so I would just ask that if this is your prayer if you would like Christ to do well in you so that your patients can be touched and that they may see him in a more full and abundant way as we pray to close I just ask you to stand with me at this time. Dear lord we have heard your call although we may be skeptical or unbelieving or lack faith although we may lack in experience and knowledge you still call us and I just ask for each one to hear that call. Each one of us may we known what this important work even trusted to us is that of unbinding and untie and loosening the grave clothes that are on those around us I humbly ask that as we go forward from this place as we continue to learn throughout this weekend I ask that we may heed your words and your instructions may we apply these things in our lives in our practices and may we go forward in the newness of life sharing your good news with all those around us and those who come into our offices thank you for another opportunity to learn from your feet at your feet and I thank you for another opportunity to be united with you in your work in Jesus name every name in. This media was brought to you by audio for years a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more service leader visit w.w.w. audio verse or.


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