PBS features a real doctor of the Church, one with the bedside manner of a saint

June 7, 2013 | faith

“From a spiritual standpoint what I try and do as a physician is that even if I can’t cure the situation, even if I can’t cure the condition, if even I can’t make it all go away, if they’re being overburdened with that cross, if I can just hold up a corner sometimes, it might make it light enough for them to be able to carry it and move on.” Those are the beautiful and somewhat unexpected words of Dr. Joseph Dutkowsky, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in caring for people with disabilities.

I say “unexpected” because we often don’t hear doctors talking so openly about the role of faith in their daily practice and because seeing a feature like this on PBS is especially unexpected, so very welcome but unexpected for sure. Watch this beautiful love story — the love of an upstate N.Y. doctor for the people he cares for each day, the love of a doctor for the God who informs everything he does, the love of the patients who are so grateful to the man who treats them with such dignity in a world that often can’t see beyond their disabilities.

Here’s a small snippet from the interview, but please be sure to click the link below and watch the full interview:

FAW: Treating so many young disabled patients might shake a person’s faith in a merciful God. (To Dr. Dutkowsky): Do ever ask yourself why did God let that happen?

DUTKOWSKY: No, I don’t, because what I see when I see Omer, I go in that room and I feel love. It’s an energy from outside that draws me in.

FAW: There are bodies that are, forgive me, misshapen, malformed, twisted, crippled, and you see in that the likeness of God?

DUTKOWSKY: Yes, I do. I see the image and likeness of God in every one of those individuals.

FAW: For Dr. Dutkowsky then, faith and medicine intersect, complement one another. Seeing affliction, he also finds something meaningful.

DUTKOWSKY: There are days I go home with tears in my eyes because suffering is real. But sharing suffering is a gift. The depth of that love, the depth of that commitment, the depth of working with individuals like that, that’s the privilege.

Watch Medical Ministry on PBS. See more from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

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