Sunday, Jul 12, 2020

How 6 Doctors and Scientists Apply Faith on the Front Lines

Six medical professionals share their spiritual practices in the midst of a pandemic.

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In the past few months, scientists and doctors across the globe became public figures as people have sought the latest knowledge gained in the fight against COVID-19, and many of them are Christians.

In the US, this is particularly true of those in the medical field. Sociologists Elaine Howard Ecklund and Christopher Scheitle reported in a 2017 book that when you look at those working at scientific jobs in the United States, such as doctors or nurses (and others), 65 percent identify as Christians, and 24 percent as evangelicals. While the percentage of Christian scientists at elite research institutions is smaller, they are an active bunch and many apply their research out of a sense of service.

CT reached out to a handful of these scientists and doctors to ask them how they’re staying grounded. We contacted people doing research on treatments or vaccines, improving patient care, or contributing to public health responses, some of whom are also working in hospital wards. While we could not include all of the responses we received, we talked to scientists in the US, the UK, Italy, Singapore, and Australia. We asked them how they’re coping and how they’re praying amid this crisis. Many shared anecdotes, Scripture, or prayer requests.

They practice faith in a variety of ways, and though they practice medicine in labs and hospitals against different geographic and cultural landscapes, they’re united both in purpose and in spirit.

1. Francis Collins

Career field: physician and geneticist

Works in: Washington, DC, as director of the US National Institutes of Health.

Focused on: Collins oversees biomedical research in the United States, which is now aiming to develop treatments and a vaccine to control the coronavirus. …

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