Parish People And Places
This week I had the privilege of sitting down with Val Jurgens, a member of the COTC community, who is a pediatric hospitalist at Dell Children’s Hospital in Mueller. Originally from Illinois, Val came to Dell Children’s three years ago, after completing her residency in Charleston, South Carolina. Val is one of 35 pediatric hospitalists who serve the up to 200 or so patients at Dell Children’s at any one time. Val described her particular role as providing care between critical care and outpatient pediatrics.
Having wanted to work in health care for almost as long as she can remember, Val decided to pursue a vocation as a doctor in college after being encouraged by a pre-med counselor at her school that she could “hack” the rigors of becoming a doctor. This had a deep impact on Val, and she mentioned continuing to struggle with feeling smart enough or confident enough in her demanding role.
When I asked Val about why she became a doctor, she said because she loves it, even with the challenges, heartbreak and discouragement. “Every day I see kids that are not going to lead normal lives,” she said. In the context of the suffering and the high stakes, she spoke of her role deepening her sense of reliance upon God and her trust in Him. Candidly, Val talked about the recognition that she, as a doctor, looked to by patients, parents, nurses, residents and others, may be the most knowledgeable person in work situations, the most in control, but she is not fundamentally in control. In that humble place, Val talked about deepening her trust in the Lord, in His sovereignty and capacity to help her make difficult diagnoses and decisions. She said, “I can’t do this without God.”
Val shared that the best part of her job is playing a role in dispelling anxiety and suffering with the patients, parents and families she interacts with. She specifically asked for prayer for insight, patience and confidence in her work as she seeks to bear God’s image to individual children, co-workers, parents and family members. There are so many of our values at COTC represented in Val’s vocation as a doctor! Please join me in praying for Val as she participates with God in the renewal of all things, offering consolation in situations of very real and obvious brokenness.
Thanks for taking the time, Val! May the Lord bless you and meet you in your work.