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Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students

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    The Medical Student

    While seeking a preparation for his lifework, the medical student should be encouraged to attain the highest possible development of all his powers. His studies, taxing though they are, need not necessarily undermine his physical health or lessen his enjoyment of spiritual things. Throughout his course of study he may continually grow in grace and in a knowledge of truth, while at the same time he may be constantly adding to the store of knowledge that will make him a wise practitioner.CT 474.1

    To medical students I would say, Enter upon your course of study with a determination to do right and to maintain Christian principles. Flee temptation, and avoid every influence for evil. Preserve your integrity of soul. Maintain a conscientious regard for truth and righteousness. Be faithful in the smaller responsibilities, and show yourselves to be close, critical thinkers, having soundness of heart and uprightness, being loyal to God, and true to mankind.CT 474.2

    Opportunities are before you; if studious and upright, you may obtain an education of the highest value. Make the most of your privileges. Be not satisfied with ordinary attainments; seek to qualify yourself to fill positions of trust in connection with the Lord's work in the earth. United with the God of wisdom and power, you may become intellectually strong and increasingly capable as soul winners. You may become men and women of responsibility and influence if, by the power of your will, coupled with divine strength, you earnestly engage in the work of securing a proper training.CT 474.3

    Exercise the mental powers, and in no case neglect the physical. Let not intellectual slothfulness close up your path to greater knowledge. Learn to reflect as well as to study, that your minds may expand, strengthen, and develop. Never think that you have learned enough and that you may now relax your efforts. The cultivated mind is the measure of the man. Your education should continue during your lifetime; every day you should be learning and putting to practical use the knowledge gained.CT 475.1

    In order for you to become men and women that can be depended upon, there must be a growth of the powers, the exercise of every faculty, even in little things; then greater power is acquired to bear larger responsibilities. Individual responsibility and accountability are essential. In putting into practice that which you are learning during your student days, do not shrink from bearing your share of responsibility because there are risks to take, because something must be ventured. Do not leave others to be brains for you. You must train your powers to be strong and vigorous; then the entrusted talents will grow, as a steady, uniform, unyielding energy is exercised in bearing individual responsibility. God would have you add, day by day, little by little, to your stock of ideas, acting as if the moments were jewels, to be carefully gathered and discreetly cherished. You will thus acquire breadth of thought and strength of intellect.CT 475.2

    God will not require of man a more strict account of anything than of the way in which he has occupied his time. Have its hours been wasted and abused? God has granted to us the precious boon of life not to be devoted to selfish gratification. Our work is too solemn, our time to serve God and our fellow men too short, to be spent in seeking for fame. Oh, if men would stop in their aspirations where God has set the bounds, what different service would the Lord receive!CT 475.3

    There are many who are in such haste to climb to distinction that they skip some of the rounds of the ladder and in so doing lose experience which they must have in order to become intelligent workers. In their zeal the knowledge of many things looks unimportant to them. They skim over the surface and do not go deep into the mine of truth, thus by a slow and painstaking process gaining an experience that will enable them to be of special help to others. We want our medical students to be men and women who are most thorough and who feel it their duty to improve every talent lent them, that they may finally double their entrusted capital.CT 476.1

    The light that God has given in medical missionary lines will not cause His people to be regarded as inferior in scientific medical knowledge, but will fit them to stand upon the highest eminence. God would have them stand as a wise and understanding people because of His presence with them. In the strength of Him who is the Source of all wisdom, all grace, defects and ignorance may be overcome.CT 476.2

    Let every medical student aim to reach a high standard. Under the discipline of the greatest of all teachers our course must ever tend upward to perfection. All who are connected with the medical missionary work must be learners. Let no one stop to say, “I cannot do this.” Let him say instead, “God requires me to be perfect. He expects me to work away from all commonness and cheapness, and to strive after that which is of the highest order.”CT 476.3

    There is only one power that can make medical students what they ought to be and keep them steadfast—the grace of God and the power of the truth exerting a saving influence upon life and character. These students, who intend to minister to suffering humanity, will find no graduating place this side of heaven. That knowledge which is termed science should be acquired, while the seeker daily acknowledges that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Everything that will strengthen the mind should be cultivated to the utmost of their power, while at the same time they should seek God for wisdom; for unless they are guided by the wisdom from above they will become an easy prey to the deceptive power of Satan. They will become large in their own eyes, pompous, and self-sufficient.CT 477.1

    God-fearing physicians speak modestly of their work, but novices with limited experience in dealing with the bodies and souls of men will often speak boastingly of their knowledge and attainments. These need a better understanding of themselves; then they would become more intelligent in regard to their duties and would realize that in every department where they have to labor they must possess a willing mind, an earnest spirit, and a hearty, unselfish zeal in trying to do others good. They will not study how best to preserve their dignity, but by thoughtfulness and caretaking will earn a reputation for thoroughness and exactitude, and by sympathetic ministry will gain the hearts of those whom they serve.CT 477.2

    In the medical profession there are many skeptics and atheists who exalt the works of God above the God of science. Comparatively few of those who enter worldly medical colleges come out from them pure and unspotted. They have failed to become elevated, ennobled, sanctified. Material things eclipse the heavenly and eternal. With many, religious faith and principles are mingled with worldly customs and practices, and pure and undefiled religion is rare. But it is the privilege of every student to enter college with the same fixed, determined principle that Daniel had when he entered the court of Babylon, and throughout his course to keep his integrity untarnished. The strength and grace of God have been provided at an infinite sacrifice, that men might be victorious over Satan's suggestions and temptations, and come forth unsullied. The life, the words, and the deportment are the most forcible argument, the most solemn appeal, to the careless, irreverent, and skeptical. Let the life and character be the strong argument for Christianity; then men will be compelled to take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus and have learned of Him.CT 478.1

    Let not medical students be deceived by the wiles of the devil or by any of his cunning pretexts which so many adopt to beguile and ensnare. Stand firm to principle. At every step inquire, “What saith the Lord?” Say firmly, “I will follow the light. I will respect and honor the Majesty of truth.”CT 478.2

    Especially should those who are studying medicine in the schools of the world guard against contamination from the evil influences with which they are constantly surrounded. When their instructors are worldly-wise men, and their fellow students infidels who have no serious thought of God, even Christians of experience are in danger of being influenced by these irreligious associations. Nevertheless, some have gone through the medical course and have remained true to principle. They would not continue their studies on the Sabbath, and they have proved that men may become qualified for the duties of a physician and not disappoint the expectations of those who have encouraged them to obtain an education.CT 479.1

    It is because of these peculiar temptations which our youth must meet in worldly medical schools that provision should be made for preparatory and advanced medical training in our own schools, under Christian teachers. Our larger union conference training schools in various parts of the field should be placed in the most favorable position for qualifying our youth to meet the entrance requirements specified by state laws regarding medical students. The very best teaching talent should be secured, that our schools may be brought up to the proper standard. The youth, and those more advanced in years, who feel it their duty to fit themselves for work requiring the passing of certain legal tests, should be able to secure at our union conference training schools all that is essential for entrance into a medical college.CT 479.2

    Prayer will accomplish wonders for those who give themselves to prayer, watching thereunto. God desires us all to be in a waiting, hopeful position. What He has promised He will do, and inasmuch as there are legal requirements making it necessary that medical students shall take a certain preparatory course of study, our colleges should arrange to carry their students to the point of literary and scientific training that is necessary.CT 479.3

    And not only should our larger training schools give this preparatory instruction to those who contemplate taking a medical course, but we must also do all that is essential for the perfecting of the courses of study offered by our Loma Linda College of Medical Evangelists. As pointed out about the time this school was founded, we must provide that which is essential to qualify our youth who desire to be physicians, so that they may intelligently fit themselves to stand the examinations required to prove their efficiency as physicians. They should be taught to treat understandingly the cases of those who are diseased, so that the door will be closed for any sensible physician to imagine that we are not giving in our school the instruction necessary for properly qualifying young men and women to do the work of a physician. Continually the students who are graduated are to advance in knowledge, for practice makes perfect.CT 480.1

    The medical school at Loma Linda is to be of the highest order, because those who are in that school have the privilege of maintaining a living connection with the wisest of all physicians, from whom there is communicated knowledge of a superior order. And for the special preparation of those of our youth who have clear convictions of their duty to obtain a medical education that will enable them to pass the examinations required by law of all who practice as regularly qualified physicians, we are to supply whatever may be required, so that these youth need not be compelled to go to medical schools conducted by men not of our faith. Thus we shall close a door that the enemy would be pleased to have left open; and our young men and women, whose spiritual interests the Lord desires us to safeguard, will not feel compelled to connect with unbelievers in order to obtain thorough training along medical lines.CT 480.2

    The teachers in our medical college should encourage the students to gain all the knowledge they can in every department. If they find any students deficient in caretaking, in a comprehension of their responsibilities, they should lay the matter frankly before such ones, giving them an opportunity to correct their habits and to reach a higher standard.CT 481.1

    The teachers should not become discouraged because some are slow to learn. Neither should they discourage the students when mistakes are made. As errors and defects are kindly pointed out, the students in turn should feel grateful for any instruction given. A haughty spirit on the part of the students should not be encouraged. All should be willing to learn, and the teachers should be willing to instruct, training the students to be self-reliant, competent, careful, painstaking. As the students study under wise instructors, and unite with them in sharing responsibilities, they may by the aid of the teachers climb to the topmost round of the ladder.CT 481.2

    Students should be willing to work under those of experience, to heed their suggestions, to follow their advice, and to go as far as possible in thought, training, and intelligent enterprise; but they should never infringe upon a rule, never disregard one principle, that has been interwoven with the upbuilding of the institution. The dropping down is easy enough; the disregard of regulations is natural to the heart inclined to selfish ease and gratification. It is much easier to tear down than to build up. One student with careless ideas may do more to let down the standard than ten men with all their effort can do to counteract the demoralizing influence.CT 481.3

    Failure or success will be read in the course the students pursue. If they stand ready to question rules and regulations and order, if they indulge self, and by their example encourage a spirit of rebellion, give them no place. The institution might better close its doors than suffer this spirit to leaven the helpers and break down the barriers that it has cost thought, effort, and prayer to establish.CT 482.1

    In training workers to care for the sick, let the student be impressed with the thought that his highest aim should always be to look after the spiritual welfare of his patients. He should learn to repeat the promises of God's word, and to offer fervent prayers daily, while preparing for service. Help him to realize that he is always to keep the sweetening, sanctifying influence of the great Medical Missionary before his patients. If those who are suffering can be impressed with the fact that Christ is their sympathizing, compassionate Saviour, they will have rest of mind, which is so essential to recovery of health.CT 482.2

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