Faith at Work In The ER: An Interview With Drew Shedd
Getting to Know You.
My name is Drew and I am a physician specializing in Emergency Medicine. In other words, I am an ER doctor, and it is the greatest job in the world! Everyday I get to meet people in difficult circumstances and help guide them through very challenging times, help heal their pain and suffering, and sometimes even be a part of saving their life. I am also subspecialty trained in ultrasound and involved in educating younger physicians during their residency training. Growing up I knew I either wanted to be a physician or a professional baseball player. The latter did not work out, but by the grace of God becoming a physician did. My wife is also a physician and currently we are the proud parents of two amazing children and a Weimaraner named Ruger.
What do you do on a weekly basis?
I work at a local county hospital as an emergency physician where I am part of the leadership team for an emergency medicine residency training program. I am also the ultrasound director for the emergency department. I work one or two clinical shifts per week seeing patients and spend the other days working administratively or teaching emergency medicine and ultrasound. We take all-comers so a typical shift involves seeing a wide variety of both adult and pediatric medical and traumatic emergencies.
How has your personal walk with Jesus impacted the way you work?
We all have opportunities to impact others lives for the Kingdom of God on a daily basis. After years in the emergency department, it is tempting to become cynical and jaded because many patients are there as a result of poor decision-making. Jesus has taught me that there is a better way to respond, to love those who may seem unlovable. Though I may have to speak honestly to patients regarding their decisions and condition, much like the woman caught in adultery, Jesus has taught me that the conversations are much more fruitful when they bestow dignity on others and are grounded on the love and mercy of God.
Want to learn how Jesus fills our work with passion and purpose like Drew? Download our free Faith Works course here.
What challenges have you encountered as you walk your faith out at work?
Dealing with life and death situations and the accompanying emotions these situations bring can be challenging. Patients and their families are often experiencing the worst day of their life when we meet. What I see in the life of Jesus was God demonstrating to us how we daily walk with others through the messiness of life, but with a heavenly, eternal, and loving perspective. By asking Jesus everyday while I’m driving to work to be with me in love and power, I trust Him to guide my thoughts, emotions, and words during difficult situations.
How have you been able to represent or re-present Jesus through your job?
Several years ago during my residency training I once took care of a young child brought in by her father for what I thought was a trivial problem. I lamented this to my attending (supervising) physician. And though it was relatively minor, my attending’s simple response to me after he met with the family has stuck with me to this day, “Don’t let it bother you. That’s simply a father who’s just concerned about his child.” Now an attending myself responsible for educating younger physicians, I know that interactions I have with them that may seem insignificant to me might impress upon them lessons for a lifetime, either positive or negative. As I take care of patients and educate others, I pray that I am an example of love, grace, and humility so others might see the Father in me.
What are some lessons that God has taught you through your work that could help our blog readers?
While God gives us permission to judge right from wrong, the judgment of one’s heart is the job of God alone. Thus, the Lord has taught me to be rich in love, quick to forgive, and abundant in encouragement. As the salt and light of the world, we set the tone for our environments and have the ability to impact the lives of others simply by how we treat them.
It is also important that we work hard and work diligently as unto the Lord. I believe Christians should be leaders in their workplaces because of our commitment to show up early, stay late, and always work diligently. The Lord is our advocate and I believe if we pray for favor at work, He will provide in abundance.
Any books, lectures, mentors that have been inspirational to you in your field?
I have had many impactful relationships with other older physicians through the years that have impacted my life and career for which I am eternally grateful. My advice to others reading this would be to not take lightly your role as a mentor, educator, and friend. Often the things we say or do when we don’t even know we’re being watched or remembered are the most impactful.
If this inspired you and you want to learn how Jesus fills our work with passion and purpose like Drew? Download our free Faith Works course here.