Only doc in small town tells woman “you’re doing the Lord’s work”

According to a Washington Post article, the only doctor in a small West Texas town of 3,500 tells a stressed out mother “you’re doing the Lord’s work,” gives her a hug, and moves on to his next patient.

We had a young lawyer like that one time. We couldn’t send victims of domestic violence to him for legal assistance because he pulled out his Bible and counseled them to go back to their husbands.

“Do you feel anxious?” he asks. “Almost like a panicky feeling?”

“The stress with the kids,” she tells him, beginning to cry. “It’s always there. I’m always jumpy. I’m always anxious.”

“You’re doing the Lord’s work,” Edwards assures her after listening for a few more minutes. “They can be the death of you, but you’re doing the best thing for those kids.”

Then he hugs her and hurries on to patient No. 10, who is waiting in Exam Room 4.

The point of the story is that if we have health care reform, people waiting to get health insurance so they can see a doctor will not have anyone to see, because in small towns like this, the doctor is already seeing 2,000 patients and can’t take any more.  No mention of the programs in place to recruit doctors to rural areas by helping them pay off their student loans in exchange for promising to stay in a rural area for a certain number of years.

What do you think about a doctor who tells an anxious women she’s “doing the Lord’s work”? I wonder if he feels like a missionary?


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