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  1. Truth Seeker
    24 June 2014 @ 3:02 pm

    I have met some Loma Linda doctors whom I believe really view their skills as one that serves humanity. Also some in service for a populace that is underserved.

    I wonder though how many grads are into it especially for the money.

  2. Edwin A. Schwisow
    24 June 2014 @ 10:19 pm

    Many of us have asked this, a valid question almost impossible to answer with a specific number or percentage. Take the situation of my own father, who graduated from CME/LLU back in the early 1950s and dedicated most of his career to very low-paying assignments in remote mission service. This was his choice, his preference. To serve the needy, he accepted the disadvantage of minimal wages and financial marginalization. As a family we believed in his ideal of being of service to humanity, and with that we believed that the financial consequences were not an insurmountable obstacle in realizing that goal.

    But as we three kids grew into our college years, Dad temporarily (for 13 years) sought more remunerative employment, in First World nations. We needed the income to pay tuition and other expenses (this was before the days of numerous grants and low-interest loans). Dad and Mom then returned to mission life and he closed out his career working for the church, at one point returning a good share of his salary with the words, "I don't need this much money; this is too much."

    That said, there were a couple of times during his career when Dad befriended some entrepreneurial physicians and money managers whose influence (for brief times) drew him into the Valley of the Shadow of Getting Rich Quick. These were the periods of his 40-year career he regretted most.

    For during his early career, Dad's parents were struck by tragedy, when their sole bread-winner lost his life in an accident at age 50 with small children still living at home. Years later, as Dad neared the end of his own life, he would occasionally yearn aloud that it would be a great joy to die a "rich man" and leave it all to Mom. As it turned out, he did pass away five years ago, leaving Mom in relative (but not opulent) ease. Dad's personality rebelled at the concept of his family needing to accept charity. So far none of us has….

    Dad did believe that American medicine is far too expensive and because of this "bubble" may tend to attract physicians who orient toward the money. I do not judge them, because circumstances and life experiences alter the way any of us looks at issues of income. I have yet to meet an SDA physician who "did it all" for money, or conversely "did it all" for the sole benefit of others. Perhaps Dad came really, really close to the latter—but like all of us he was a complex man who (especially) agonized over his income to try to ensure that his family would be provided for and educated, even as we lived a thrifty lifestyle that enabled us to survive on "next to nothing" many times in the backwoods of South America… Like our Father in heaven who supplies our needs, Dad figured it out to a farthing, and in the end there has even been a modest surplus….