The support of junior doctors and dentists is an essential part of ICMDA’s ministry. Being a Christian junior can be a daily struggle where faith is tested to the limit. It’s the experience in many countries that some believers lose an active walk with Jesus during the Junior years. Although the definition of the junior years differs between countries we use the first 5 years post graduation as a guide.
The first formal meeting of juniors at an ICMDA world congress took place in Taiwan in 2002. This was attended by over 50 juniors from around the world. The backgrounds of these participants were vastly different but their needs and concerns as Christians were the same. They talked of a loss of pastoral care in the early years with isolation replacing the fellowship and support they had received as undergraduates. Working long hours made it difficult to get to church and the sudden onset of wealth after student years (or in some cases lack of it) was a source of temptation and challenge for godly stewardship.
Working in the clinical environment brings its own challenges unique to this arena. Newly qualified juniors need help and support with making ethical decisions in a biblical way. It is difficult to balance living for God and fighting to keep out of the “rat race” mentality of career progression so prevalent in medicine and dentistry.
In supporting juniors ICMDA seeks to assist the efforts of national movements. Initiatives by member movements include mentoring and pastoral support, juniors conferences and fellowship groups for junior doctors. The International Open House Starter Pack is recommended in this regard.