Asbury pre-med students attend Global Missions Health Conference

Published 1:30 pm Thursday, November 29, 2018

From staff reports

Asbury University’s Pre-Medicine students learn not only the essential technical skills needed to succeed in medical school and beyond, but also how they can use their future careers in the sciences to be God’s hands and feet. One of those learning initiatives allows students to network and attend workshops at international conferences.  

In addition to attending conferences throughout the academic year, students on Asbury’s Pre-Medicine Track participate in nursing home outreach ministries, shadow working physicians and visit medical schools each semester. Asbury also has one of the first (and few) undergraduate chapters of the CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Associations). CMDA sponsors medical mission trips and provides networking opportunities for students.

Each year, Dr. Bruce Branan takes a group of students to the Global Missions Health Conference (GMHC), the largest medical missions conference in the world. Held at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, this year’s conference centered on the theme of human trafficking.

Over the course of the three-day event, students heard from four plenary speakers and were able to choose from 125 breakout sessions and workshops.

Representatives from 167 mission organizations were on site and many spoke with Asbury students about how they can share Christ through the healthcare field. Friday afternoon’s two-hour sessions allowed students to gain hands-on training in specific skills such as casting, ultrasound administration and suturing.

“I started encouraging Asbury students to attend GMHC back in 2012, and each year students are amazed at how much they learn over such a short period of time,” Branan said. “They learn about the wide variety of healthcare needs around the world and also see the people and organizations who are meeting those needs. Because this conference is attended by healthcare workers of all types, and because the talks are both clinical and missional in scope, they see and hear what medical missions are all about first-hand from those who are serving on the mission field.”

Students heard from an array of missionaries during breakout sessions, diving deep into a variety of topics on faith and medicine.

“They may attend a talk about the ‘Pharmacology of Chagas Disease’ one breakout session, and a talk about the ‘Buddhist Worldview’ during another,” Branan said. “All of this is packaged along with worship and teaching. It’s always such an encouraging and information-packed weekend and a highlight each year for our students who are following a path towards a healthcare career.”

Biology major Bethany Marcum enjoyed getting to see faith and medicine in action through conference events.

“My favorite part of the conference was getting to worship with thousands of people who have the same passion for healthcare and His mission for us,” Marcum said.