Do doctors know everything?

June 25, 2009 | 5 comments

While flipping through a newspaper this week, I glanced through an ad for losing weight written by a clinic of doctors who specialized in treating obesity. Half-way through the text I stopped reading, a bit dazed by one of their assertions.

The ad stated, “Only a doctor can help you.”

I know millions of people put total faith in doctors, but I hadn’t read such a wide-sweeping and absolute affirmation by doctors for faith in their own expertise.

The motive of this group of physicians was obviously to build business, and bring profit and customers their way. But the assertion that only they could help seemed over the line to me. I know many people, including myself, who have successfully lost weight without any help from a doctor.

I saw the ad as a blatant and aggressive form of mental manipulation that needed to be guarded against.

My spiritual sense of things rebelled and protested, “Where is God in all of this?”

Doctors have done, and are doing, much good for humanity. The doctors I know are wonderful people, caring, unselfish and truly committed to alleviating suffering and pain the best way they know. But there are many other people in society who do wonderful good for humanity too. And then there is God as well.

When I read the words, “Only a doctor knows best,” what I really saw was, “A doctor is god.”

Because of this aggressive mental suggestion that a doctor, and only a doctor, can address health needs, I welcome all signs of God and prayer getting back into the sick room. People suffering from obesity, or any claim of disease, need more than physical change. It’s typically a deep moral and spiritual transformation that truly meets the need. Experience proves that the outward man reforms as the inner man reforms. Spiritual healing facilitates this kind of improvement, and long lasting positive results come, not from a scalpel or pill or procedure, but from genuine spiritual growth, humility, and increased spiritual mindedness.

The ad would have served its constituency better if it had stated, “Only God knows best.” And then went on to explain how workers at the clinic prayed first to know how to help their clients. This possibility probably didn’t cross the minds of those who wrote the ad, but I can say that I would trust a doctor more who started his practice from a basis of humility and meekness, rather than the position of “I know everything.”

5 thoughts on “Do doctors know everything?”

  1. So true, Evan. Folks just need to know God “more better!”

    A number of years ago, when my Mom, in her late 70s, (not a CSer) had to go to the hospital in an emergency situation relating to her heart. At her Intensive Care bedside, with Mom all plugged in with dozens of wires, etc. but conscious, the Doctor on duty told me she would never get out of the hospital, that she would soon die. As a student of Christian Science I was of course praying, and knew differently! I did not confront the Dr. with his ignorance, of course, but prayed on. Mom did get out of that “dream” and went on to live another seven happy years! I wrote to the Director of the hospital about this experience, quoting from Mary Baker Eddy’s book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, where she says, ” The doctor’s mind reaches that of his patient. A patient hears the doctor’s verdict as a criminal hears his death-sentence.” Page 197. And there is a lot more of vital interest, on this subject! I pray the medical world will wake up to their real power, divine Love!
    I know they are trying to do the best they can, most of the time, and are often very stressed, especially in emergency situations. But, they need the info that only Truth can offer them!

    BTW, the Director called me, personally, to thank me for my letter, and said he would read it at their staff meeting, and keep it in their files!


  2. Great idea about writing the Director of the hospital a letter. That effort undoubtedly has blessed hundreds of other patients since…

  3. A harsh criticism I have to offer is concerning weight loss and Christian Scientific solutions. I have never read in any forum, be it the Sentinel, Journal or blog entries where material reality was not adhered to, supposedly as a result of prayer. To wit, every single person who struggled with weight loss always cedes to less food and more exercise which is obeying the dictates of matter no matter how you parse it. I ask that we turn to Science and Health about the trial of liver complaint where the patient was overeating rich food and thus somehow deserved the expected outcome of a diseased liver. How is that different from those who desires fewer calories as a result of prayer? The liver complaint patient was absolved by the superior dictates of Christian Science. I work with people in their 80’s and 90’s and they eat a lot of calories every day and are pretty trim overall. They grew up believing that 3 meals a day are essential and must include certain foods which are calorie rich by todays unyielding standards. The same diet in a much younger and very active individual proves, materially, to makre them overweight. I ask for all discussions to stick to the absolute truth in order to be helpful for those who struggle with a weight problem. The arena of weight control is one where we can conquer a lot of material lies if we address them as the lies that they are without giving one inch of ground to matter. Are doctors gods? Of course not! Are they the reflection of divine love?

  4. To anon above,

    Just a clarification, my recollection of the story of the man with liver complaint in Science and Health said nothing about eating rich foods. The claim was that he stayed up long hours helping another who was ill. The trial begins on page 430…

  5. Evan,
    I was wrong about the rich food thing. I was mingling modern beliefs of liver problems into the trial inadvertently. Thanks for catching my error and sending me back to re-read the trial.

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