Shadowing Experiences Madison Harris | Obstetrics & Gynecology

This semester, ACU’s Body and Soul program provided me with the most wonderful opportunity to shadow a female OB/GYN. During this shadowing experience, God not only opened my eyes to a profession that seems to utilize the gifts that He’s given me, but He also began to cultivate within my heart a passion, enjoyment, and love for a field that I did not realize I had. Originally, I was on a track towards becoming a physical therapist, although I had doubted this choice throughout the previous semester. I knew I wanted to work one-on-one with people, listen, help and care for people, and I knew I was fascinated with health and the human body. However, I was confused at what profession best fit who God made me to be, and I was lost at figuring out my passions. After spending time talking with professors at ACU, who really listened to my heart and cared for my well-being, I was encouraged to shadow a doctor. Through having an opportunity to talk with and learn from her practice, God gave me so much peace, and I am so thankful to God for His faithfulness in revealing to me something that I am passionate about and for leading me on the right paths, according to His purposes (Psalm 23).

Aside from my excitement at figuring out more of my passions, shadowing also served the purpose of showing me what it looks like to be a doctor (specifically an OB/GYN), as well as teaching me a significant amount about medical schools. She was a wonderful physician to shadow because she supplied me with an ample amount of advice in regards to medical school, residency, and fellowship. In addition, she shared personal experiences with me too. I found it encouraging listening to her talk about raising a family as a doctor. Contrary to my original thought, she expressed how she is still able to be a good mom and wife while also working as a physician. Sacrifices were made in certain areas of her life, but it is possible to do both and do both well. Hearing this and seeing her example was eye opening to me that there is more than one right way to glorify the Father. I think the “right way” is to simply seek the Lord in all things and do life in relationship with Him. Thereafter, He makes all your paths straight and does more than we can imagine (Ephesians 3:21) because God can never be confined within the scope of human reasoning and logic.

Another part about shadowing that I loved was getting to see how she treated each of her patients. While some doctors may have pursued this profession to gain wealth, security, or status, she epitomized the purpose of being a doctor: loving other people through helping heal physical pain, sickness, or simply just maintaining good health. I could tell she really cared for her patients by how she treated them. Rather than working in patients like clockwork, the doctor showed me what it looks like to listen to each patient. In addition to giving time and undivided attention to her patients, her goal was to treat the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms alone. I loved how she problem-solved to try to figure out the underlying cause of a particular symptom in order to completely end whatever ailment the patient might have been dealing with. Lastly, I loved how she always kept the patient’s, not her own, interest in mind. She always prescribed the tests that she felt helped the patient best, and she always offered a variety of choices for her patients to choose. The doctor let people feel understood, and through that, I think she was effectively able to treat her patients.

After shadowing I am confident in saying that I now would absolutely love to be a physician, possibly even an OB/GYN. I am not one hundred percent sure as to the direction within medicine that I want to take because medicine is so broad. However, OB/GYN appeals to me for many reasons. One of the things I enjoyed about OB/GYN specifically was the people the doctor helped. I loved how her specialty was in women’s health, dealing with women of all ages, and I enjoyed working with the OB patients, experiencing new life and God’s creation. Having the ability to walk with a patient throughout her entire pregnancy up until the delivery of her baby would bring me so much fulfillment and joy because I would be able to use my knowledge to help women take care of themselves and their babies, while building intimate relationships with them along the way. Essentially, that is what my heart wants to do—be an empty vessel for the Lord to use to love and take care of His people through me, bringing all glory and honor to His name, and if that entails becoming a doctor, then what a joy that God would use my passions in the work of His Kingdom.