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Doctor Resources
for Those with Chronic
Illness and Pain

Being a doctor is defiantly a calling and for those who are a Christian physician it can be challenging as you may find Christian doctors in moral conflict with a patient. There can be many ethical dilemmas in nursing from the Christian perspective.

We've put together a list of resources, articles, ministries and other materials we think will be helpful for Christian doctors when you are caring for chronically ill patients. We'd love to hear your suggestions, or even articles, to add to this page, especially from Christian doctors who live with a chronic illness themselves.

When the Doctor Becomes the Patient
Questions you may have
Facts you should know
Articles of interest
Books of interest
When the Doctor Becomes the Patient

I woke up feeling better than usual and I'm not a morning person. I was driving to work and pulled into the parking lot when everything around me began spinning so fast I couldn't see anything and didn't know where I was. I held onto the steering wheel and the pinwheel feeling lasted a few minutes. Finally it settled enough so that I could see the horizon and I pulled my car over. That was the last time I drove."

Dr. Carrie Carter had spent years studying to become knowledgeable about medical conditions and nutritional supplements. But in the fall of 1999 she entered a new phase of education: the life of a person with a chronic illness. Diagnosed with Meniere's Disease, a chronic, incurable inner ear disorder, life changed dramatically.

But as author of Thrive: A Woman's Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle (Bethany House Publishers) and Mom's Health Matters (Zondervan, and endorsed by MOPs), both released in 2003, God has redirected her life in a way she could not have imagined just five years ago.

She brings us a unique perspective: That of a doctor who has listened to patients who looked fine but felt terrible. But also a doctor who feels poorly herself, but is told "Gosh, you look great! You must be doing so well!"

"There's something in me," shares Dr. Carter, "that rises up and wants to say, 'but I'm still sick! I really am!' I have a measure of health that varies in quantity and once I use it up, I'm done until it's replenished--however long that takes. I want people to understand that and yet it shouldn't matter what people think. . . But it does. It's that in between place that is very weird." > read more

There aren't that many chronically ill people, right? According to the Chronic Care in American study nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA live with chronic illness or long-term pain.
As a doctor, how can I help Rest Ministries? Thanks! First, we'd love to send you some Rest Ministries brochettes , tracts and copies of HopeKeepers Magazines to have available in your office. If you're able to provide a donation to help us with the costs, that's appreciated but not required.

Secondly, if you are willing to offer feedback, your opinion or testimonial, quotes, etc. let us know. We are always needing doctors who can give us honest opinions about our resources or can comment for an article.

How much does a HopeKeepers group cost? Our web site has a lot of free materials. You a buy a HopeKeepers Start Up Kit to completely provide your HopeKeepers leader with a tool chest of items to prepare with and use in handling not only those tough small group personal questions, but the difficult ones about "Why am I not healed yet?" It is $295 or items can be purchased separately.

Why do we need a HopeKeepers ministry?

HopeKeepers groups can defiantly be in a doctor's office or even just the community.

  • Nearly 1 in 2 people have an illness; 96% of illnesses are invisible. 75% of marriages with illness end in divorce;
  • Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for the average person;
  • Various studies have reported that physical illness or uncontrollable physical pain are major factors in up to 70% of suicides; and more than 50% of these suicidal patients were under 35 years of age.
  • However, the significance of one's faith has shown to lower one's risk of depressive symptoms and aid one in better handling a stressful medical event. * Sources

Illness is not a condition of just the elderly. Illness is extremely difficult to live with. Those who are Christians still feel alone, misunderstood and hurt by the reactions or lack of acknowledge of those they love, especially people in the church body.

Who should run our group? Rest Ministries only requirement of HopeKeepers groups is that someone reside in some form of leadership that lives with illness. We want to make sure those who are ill can sill use their gifts, as well as keep the content authentic.
Where do I start? Discover who may have this calling and present HopeKeepers to them. If someone is coming to you with the idea, be open-minded, listen, empathetic, and see how God can use one's pain to design their ministry. One doesn't have to be healed in order to serve the Lord.
Things Doctor Should Know

About Sharing Your Faith in Your Practice - is it ethical?
Read this article by Christian Medical Society's viewpoint on the topic!

Are You Talking to Your Patients About Their Faith?

A recent poll revealed that 63% believe it's good for doctors to talk to patients about spiritual faith--and nurses spend even MORE time with the patient. Yet only 10% say a doctor has talked to them about their spiritual faith as a factor in physical health. USA Weekend Feb. 16-20, 1996

A survey of more than 31,000 adults, released in May 2004 by the National Center for Health Statistics and NCCAM, found that 36 percent had used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), when prayer was not included in the definition of CAM; when prayer was included in the definition of CAM, 62 percent had used CAM (all figures refer to use in the preceding 12 months). Among the respondents:

  • 45 percent had used prayer for health reasons
  • 43 percent had prayed for their own health
  • Almost 25 percent had had others pray for them
  • Almost 10 percent had participated in a prayer group for their health
  • Prayer was the therapy most commonly used among all the CAM therapies included in the survey *Source
Resources Doctors Should Have on Their Desks
Doctor Articles of Interest
Books of Interest for Christian Doctors

Doctor Ministries of Interest

Christian Medical and Dental Society (CMDS) [ aka Christian Medical Association and Christian Dental Association ]

Christian Medical Fellowship


Latest National Bioethical & Health Headlines from Christian Medical Society

We recommend registering physician doctors that you know of this at listing of Christian Phyisicians.


Many of our programs are "Sunroom Enhanced" meaning you can find additional social network communities in the Sunroom, as well as the regular program itself. For example there is an email men's group and also men's groups in the Sunroom for additional interaction.