What is the first work of Seventh-day Adventist physicians? The answer to this question is clearly set forth in the book, "Medical Ministry:"
"The Redeemer expects our physicians to make the saving of souls their first work. If they will walk and work with God, in His love and fear, they will receive leaves from the tree of life to give to the suffering. His peace will go with them, making them messengers of peace."—Page 37.
As I read these lines, and then thought of the greatest of all medical evangelists, He who without institutions or medical equipment of any kind spent so much time healing the sick, I tried to visualize a scene which would revolutionize the work of medical evangelism in this country. I thought of the hundreds of fine Seventh-day Adventist physicians, established in many of the strategic places of our land, and of the influence these doctors would have in following the footsteps of the Master if they would heed His counsel in making the work of soulsaving their first work.
More and more the thought persists in my mind, What would happen if our physicians would walk the paths of the Master Healer ? What would take place in the realms of the medical world if men could see a self-sacrificing group of men and women whose desire was not for the riches of this world, as brought in through treatment of diseases, but whose hearts were poured out in an unselfish ministry for the suffering ones around them? What would happen if these men and women who have attended God's place of training would be seen visiting the homes of the poor and downtrodden, those who are too poor to pay the fees of the medical profession and whose bodies oftentimes are wracked with pain because there is none to minister ?
I know it sounds like a dream, and yet, do we not send men and women to Africa, to China, and to the outposts of earth, who carry on this service for the unfortunate? But you say, "In this country [U.S.A.] we have clinics for the poor, and both county and city hospitals where they may secure help." Ah, yes, but there are few in such places, efficient though they are for the purpose for which they have been erected, who have any interest in the souls of men.