May/June 2014

Congratulations! You've made it through the year!

Whether you're prepping for your Step exam, finalizing your plans for your "last summer off" or plowing ahead into your next academic year assignments, I hope you are still making the distinct effort to keep first things, first.

I want to give a quick reminder of the many resources that are available to you as a CMDA student, absolutely free. Our Webinar Library has a number of topics that help keep you focused on the path to becoming more than just a healthcare professional...but a Christian healthcare professional. Likewise, the Life Skills Institute Library has some great sessions that help you with the practical issues of "life" as you take your journey. Things they simply won't teach you in medical or dental school.

We are also looking for a few select students to take a journey to Thailand and serve at our CMDA conference for international missionaries! If you're interested in serving in a very unique way, rubbing shoulders with hundreds of the best healthcare missionaries in the world, learning tons of healthcare information and serving God while having fun, be sure to check out the information below about the Academic Assistant position available to you.

Here at CMDA headquarters we are praying for you as you continue your journey. Please don't hesitate to drop me a note with a specific prayer request, or how we can better meet the needs of students following Jesus through their training years. We'll kick off our fall webinar series in August — hope to see you there!

Blessings as you serve our King,

J. Scott Ries, MD
Vice President, CMDA
National Director, Campus Ministries

Think About It: Monthly Food for Your Soul
"What are you so happy about?"
by Michael McLaughlin, CMDA Western Regional Director

Say tomorrow a friend comes up to you, beaming from ear to ear. In fact, she is so overwhelmed with joy and happiness she can't even speak. She just bounces around making happy sounds, laughing and bubbling, and you know she wants to tell you something, but she is so overcome with joy, she just can't get it out.

So what do you say to her? "What are you so happy about?" And then you offer a variety of possibilities. What comes to your mind first? "Did you win the lottery?" Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Number one answer!

(As I have taught this simple devotional before and asked the audience for a response as to what they might say in this situation, the number one answer is always "What happened? Did you win the lottery?")

Imagine your friend turns to you and says "Nooooooo! My sister just became a Christian! Isn't that the greatest thing that could happen?"

Paradigm shift! For all of us, or at least, for most of us.

All of us are enculturated to some degree, many of us to a large degree, so much so that the things that pop into our mind, our default values and ideals, are often not too dissimilar from the things of the world.

So, consider two statements from Jesus and Paul: When visiting Lazarus' home, Martha, wanting to do what she thought was culturally expected of her-Martha Stewart level entertaining-pleaded with Jesus to send Mary into the kitchen to play her proper role.

"The Lord answered, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won't be taken away from her'" (Luke 10:38-42, CEB).

And Paul wrote to Timothy, "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly" (1 Timothy 4:7, NIV 1984).

I conclude from these statements that we must consciously resist that which often comes naturally to us, the default expectations of others, even other Christians, and certainly many cultural expectations, and that this process of choosing well, or like God, requires thoughtful and deliberate training.

So, a simple question: what is in your training program? What are you doing akin to your medical or dental training that will prepare you to choose wisely and " perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect"? (Matthew 5:48, ESV).

Write out a simple training program (no more than five points) on your smartphone (I use Evernote), so you have it handy for review and frequent motivation. Then read it often, change it as you wish and mark your progress. Jesus told His disciples that God is highly pleased when we seek as of first importance His kingdom and His righteousness. Blessings on each of you as you ponder the words of our Lord.

Attention All Dental Students

Register now for the 2014 Emerging Leaders in Dentistry Symposium! Join us June 13-15, 2014 at the CMDA headquarters in Bristol, Tennessee for a weekend of exploring Christ-centered topics that will help you grow as a leader in dentistry. Total cost for students is $50 and includes lodging, meals and the conference. The deal of the century. Don't miss it!

CMDE Academic Assistant

How would you like to attend an amazing medical conference for healthcare missionaries across the Thailand!? You have the rare opportunity to not only attend but also receive a scholarship to do so. The CMDA Continuing Medical & Education Commission (CMDE) hosts an annual conference of the world's finest physicians and dentists to offering continuing education for healthcare missionaries from all over the world. You have the opportunity to attend as a student, receive a full registration scholarship AND receive up to a $1,000 scholarship to cover your airfare, lodging and food! As a scholarship recipient, you will serve as Academic Assistant to one of the Deans of a particular tract, assisting with logistic, A/V and administrative support. The conference runs February 23 to March 5, 2015, and the application is due September 1, 2014. Click here to apply.

Webinar Library

The 2013-2014 CMDA Student & Resident Life Webinar Series is over for this year, so you'll have to wait with eager anticipation for the new series to start up in August 2014! While you're waiting, feel free to peruse the titles of the last two years of webinars, covering topics like witnessing to Muslims, medical ethics, finances and becoming a healthcare missionary! Visit the webinar library.

WIMD Conference Student Scholarships

The Women in Medicine and Dentistry's annual conference (September 25-28, 2014) will be held in Philadelphia, PA with the theme, "a Legacy of Liberty", celebrating 20 years of ministry! There will be dedicated sessions for students and residents in addition to the other great topics and opportunities to fellowship with physicians and others in training. Meals are included with the registration, and each attender is responsible for arranging transportation and lodging. Student scholarships are available on a first come basis to assist with the cost of the registration. For an application please contact WIMD administrator Debbie McAlear at

Student Life T-Shirt

More than 20 campuses submitted great designs for the 2014 CMDA Student T-shirt contest! The winner was Tim DeKoninck from the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University. Many thanks to all who submitted their great ideas for this year's t-shirt design! We encourage all of you creative geniuses out there to come up with a great idea for 2015. In the meantime, click here to pick up YOUR brand new CMDA Student Life T-shirt!

Campus Ministries
A ministry of Christian Medical & Dental Associations
P.O. Box 7500 - Bristol, TN 37621
888-230-2637 -
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