Are You Pursuing A Calling?
July 1st, 2012 by INMED
You struggled for years through undergrad and graduate school. You muscled past hundreds of exams and shouldered enormous financial debt. You endured in spite of taunting from your peers and self-doubt from within. You crossed the finish line with a fine education and credentials both hard won and well deserved. What career track is deserving of so fine an accomplishment as yours?
“I choose a community health center in the skid row of Los Angeles.” Jon Wada speaks with conviction. “Finishing up my family medicine residency, my top priority is to serve people who live on the margins.” This month Dr. Wada joins the staff at John Wesley Community Health in a neighborhood marked by rife unemployment, epidemic additions, and endemic hopelessness – not entirely unlike this region of Angola from where I’m writing today.
What would draw a person with almost limitless earning potential and the promise of a charmed life to such a profession? Dr. Wada explains, “My passion for people who are underserved is rooted in my faith and my convictions about social justice. How could I simply build my own personal kingdom when right outside are people striving to survive from week to week? Didn’t Jesus say, ‘It is the one who is last among you who is the greatest’? I dedicate my career to those who are last.”
His conviction is well tested. While a medical student in Israel, Dr. Wada provided clinics on the West Bank among Palestinians living in absolute austerity. He also earned the INMED International Medicine & Public Health Diploma, serving at India’s Vellore Christian Medical Center. “These experiences made my ideals more tangible and kept my dreams alive through the extended years of training.”
What counsel does Dr. Wada offer to people who’ve had similar dreams? “Ask yourself, are you still pursuing a calling, or is it now just a job? Chances are it was altruism that first inspired you. You can rediscover that inspiration. The very best ways are to serve the forgotten today right where you are located and to surround yourself with like-hearted people.”
Where can we find like-hearted people, profound about their commitments and intentional about their lifestyles – sort of individuals who would serve in inner-city LA or rural Angola? The INMED International Medicine and Public Health Intensive Hybrid Courses draw just such exceptional individuals. Could it be that in their company you’ll discover how serving those who are last could be your greatest career decision?