Christian Pre-Health Fellowship equips students for medical field through religious lens

Photo courtesy of the Christian Pre-Health Fellowship.

By Rachel Chiang | Reporter

Christian Pre-Health Fellowship (CPF) at Baylor is a student organization dedicated to connecting Christian pre-health students, featuring speakers from the local area and around the world to discuss how faith intertwines with the medical field. CPF meets every other Monday at Elliston Chapel.

The organization encourages students to demonstrate the value of their call to medical ministry at home and abroad, according to its website.

“The main mission of CPF is to develop pre-health students in their professional goals and in their faith and to explore the interaction of faith and medicine and how those two things integrate with their career,” Metamora, Ill., senior and CPF president Parker Hoffman said.

Hoffman said CPF is a community, not just an organization in which students can build professional connections. He said CPF also enables students to connect with people and make genuine friendships.

“It’s truly more of a community, as opposed to a club or organization of people who share common values and aspiring for the same thing in a medical career,” Mansfield junior and CPF treasurer Matthew Johnson said. “CPF is more concerned about what kind of person you’re going to be as a health care professional than the ‘getting you there’ part.”

Johnson said CPF explores how faith and medicine are intertwined by having speakers who are actively working in the medical field share how they achieve that by living out their faith while practicing medicine.

Hoffman said because it is a religious student organization, CPF is not solely focused on one aspect of providing connections and support to students.

“That’s kind of the cool thing about CPF, specifically, is that we have a foot in a lot of different roles,” Hoffman said. “We do have that professional side. There’s a distinction that is made between pre-health organizations and pre-health clubs. Pre-health organizations are a bit more formal, a little bit more professionally focused. Pre-health clubs are a little bit more casual.”

Phoenix junior and CPF internal vice president Micah Stull said as an organization, CPF focuses on its connections rather than its achievements.

“We are community-oriented and driven rather than achievement-oriented and driven,” Stull said.

Stull said by building personal connections through community, professional connections and achievements will come naturally.

Hoffman said in addition to meetings and other activities it has on campus, CPF has recently integrated with the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) — an organization dedicated to equipping and educating health care professionals to glorify God.

Hoffman said partnering with CMDA has provided members of CPF with support and guidance post-graduation, and it has allowed them to further grow in their faith and learn how to follow Christ in their careers.

“I’ve been able to explore the delicate balance between faith and medicine,” Stull said. “Having a solid community in college that’s just grounded in faith, grounded in relationship with Christ, that goes a long way.”

Hoffman also said being in CPF and having a community of people that pushes him academically but also understands that schoolwork is not the only aspect of being a student has helped him understand the balance of academic excellence and spiritual growth.

“I’m here at Baylor because I want to really develop my mind and soul to be the best provider that God’s calling me to be,” Johnson said. “And I think a lot of the time, you can kind of forget that there’s a bigger purpose to medicine than just physical healing. There’s a big spiritual component that’s sometimes overlooked, and that was something I never really thought about before coming to CPF.”