Medicine from a Biblical Worldview
By Rachel Cochran
Patrick Henry College (PHC) endeavors to teach its students to look at life holistically and to inform both their minds and the hearts. Additionally, it embraces the biblical mandate to serve others in mind, body, and spirit. Patrick Henry College’s Pre-Med track is the unique combination of extensive liberal arts from a biblical worldview as well as a solid foundation in the sciences.
Physicians today must be capable of critically evaluating vast amounts of information, communicating clearly, and understanding the human experience holistically. Additionally, physicians must be able to work as part of a team to coordinate patient care while meeting the technical demands of the profession with careful confidence.
Patrick Henry College’s unique curriculum is conducive to a unique approach to medicine through its ability to equip students to understand ethics, become critical thinkers, and effective communicators.
Curriculum that Trains Godly Physicians
Current Pre-Med student Peter Kim has a few words to say about the unique curriculum Patrick Henry College can offer to students looking to go into the medical field: “What the Pre-Med track enables me to do is to take care of major pre-requisite courses medical schools are looking for in their applicants.”
PHC can prepare students seeking to continue to medical school, “Taking these classes also helps me indirectly prepare for the MCAT, which is the medical school entrance exam,” Kim said.
Patrick Henry College’s curriculum is not afraid to challenge students with the greatest minds in history by immersing them in an extensive 63-credit liberal arts core.
Through study in theology, philosophy, history, literature, music, economics, and more, the Core teaches students to learn how to think instead of what to think. A common modern misconception is that students should primarily have specialized education within their specific fields, leading to isolated majors and students with an imbalanced education.
Patrick Henry College’s curriculum is full and comprehensive so that students can understand the past, future, and present in a way that gives them insight into the human condition and a broad and in-depth understanding of what it means to truly live.
Every course at PHC maintains absolute fidelity to Scripture. Since every student in every major takes every Core course, students encounter diverse perspectives and backgrounds, helping to develop the cultural competence and mental dexterity needed for a lifetime of service to others.
Flexible and Thorough Approach to Medicine
Instead of having to stick to a rigid curriculum, the liberal arts foundation with the Pre-Med track allows for students to create their own unique experience. Patrick Henry College is a distinctly liberal arts college, but its flexibility allows for it to prepare students for a wide-variety of careers, including medicine. Kim said,
Being able to take these classes at Patrick Henry College has been nothing less than a blessing. I have been blessed with the opportunity to pursue an education in the liberal arts at Patrick Henry College while also answering a calling to the medical field; there is really little else I could ask for from an education standpoint. I get to study both the humanities and the sciences simultaneously at the school I wanted to attend. It is my desire to use my education here at Patrick Henry College and allow it to inform my approach to medicine.
In addition to a 63-credit core, PHC will offer students multiple courses to accommodate the Pre-Med track such as advanced math, as well as a year of biology and physics. In addition to these courses, students are required to take one year of both general and advanced chemistry.
Direct and One-On-One Teaching Style
Patrick Henry College has a desire to provide its students with direct faculty to student learning in order to provide an environment most conducive to learning.
Distinguished faculty for Patrick Henry College’s Pre-Med track include Dr. Tracey McGrath who teaches physics; she has a Ph.D. and M.A. from Princeton University. Professor Dave Lee teaches biology; he has a M.S. from Clemson University as well as South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Dr. Marissa Estep teaches chemistry and upper level mathematics, she has a Ph.D. from University of Georgia.
These faculty do not simply teach students; they create a connection through mentor/mentee relationships. These mentorships are at the heart of Pre-Med at PHC. When students seek to establish a career in science or medicine, they have the support of distinguished faculty to help launch them into a successful career.
These connections will grow in importance as students begin the apprenticeship phase of their Patrick Henry College education. Through clinical and research internships, students apply classroom learning in real-world environments and are well prepared for the demands of the ever-evolving medical profession.
Patrick Henry College believes in giving students the knowledge, tools, and experience to succeed. This is why students at PHC do not simply have internships, they have intentional and specific training in their respective fields through apprenticeships.
This strong apprenticeship mentality is conducive to giving students ideal opportunities in the Pre-Med track to help propel them into medical school and beyond.
Fosters God-given Talents and Calling
Patrick Henry College believes in a strong commitment to a biblical worldview. Because of this, it seeks to place students in an environment where they can learn what their calling is and pursue it with all their strength.
The Pre-Med track at Patrick Henry College is an extension of this notion of vocation. God has called every student to a specific vocation and giving students a flexible curriculum with options allows them to thrive in their discipline and not only be successful individuals but also flourish in whatever career path God leads them to.
Through giving pre-med students the knowledge to understand complex moral and ethical questions, Patrick Henry College prepares students for the real world. Through teaching students how to think on their feet and develop a love for the sciences, the school gives them the tools they need to succeed.
“Above anything else, I am grateful. The Pre-Med track is just one more way God has been good to me,” Kim said. “I felt a calling to Patrick Henry College, as well as to the field of medicine, and it is because of the Pre-Med track that I didn’t have to compromise.”
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