BRISTOL, Tenn. - - Nurturing the spiritual as well as the physical needs of patients will be the focus of a weekend conference hosted by the Christian Medical & Dental Association, CMDA Senior Vice President Dr. Gene Rudd said Wednesday.
"Physicians can't just be narrowly focused on a patient's physical needs anymore," Rudd said about the two-day conference, which begins Saturday morning at the organization's national headquarters off U.S. Highway 421.
Added Rudd: "We might be able to [heal] a patient's physical wound. But if we're totally ignoring a spiritual or mental-health conflict they're having -- one that's just as pressing as their physical issue -- we're not doing all the healing we can do."
Rudd said the conference is designed to encourage health-care professionals, particularly those with deep religious beliefs, to not shy away from providing spiritual support for patients who express a desire for such guidance while dealing with physical challenges.
It's about treating the patient as a whole person, added the longtime obstetrician/gynecologist.
The CMDA represents some 16,000 Christian physicians, dentists and other medical professionals from across the nation and sponsors a number of medical missions around the world.
Among the featured speakers for this weekend's event, titled "Grace Prescriptions," are physician Walt Larimore and theologian William Peel.
Larimore, a Colorado-based family physician, has authored a number of books on medicine and faith. Peel specializes in studying and writing about the daily relationship of work and religious faith.
For details on the conference, call the CMDA at (423) 844-1000 or visit www.cmda.org/meetings.