For the 12th successive year the Network of Religious Communities partnered with the UB Medical School to provide a two day “Spirituality and Medicine Program” for third year UB medical students on December 19th and 20th. The purpose of the program is to help medical students become excellent physicians and provide quality healthcare to their patients.

The program begins with the assumption that many of their patients are and will continue to be religious. If they, as physicians, are to gain the trust and respect of their patiient they need to be aware of and respectful of their patient’s religious beliefs and practices.

The two day program includes lectures, case studies and small group encounters. The highlight of the program are the many small group sessions in which the medical students spend 40 minutes each with medically trained and informed persons from a variety of religious traditions. This year medically trained and informed persons from thirteen different religious traditions discussed healthcare, healing and the end of life with the students.

We are grateful to the following persons who gave extensively of their time and shared their knowledge and wisdoms with the third year medical students.

African American Pentecostal: Pastor Garney Davis, Chief Trauma Chaplain, ECMC
Ahmadiyya Muslim; Dr Nasir Khan, Imam Adan Malik
Buddhism: Dr Jeannette Ludwig, Mr. Raymond Ball
Baha’i: Dr Parisima Sobhani, Mr. Shane McKnight
Church of Christ Scientists: Ms. Ethel Baker, practitioner, Dr; Richard Wright
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: Dr. Stephen Free
Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity: Dr Sarah Abdeisyed, Fr Butch Mazur
Hinduism: Dr Dilip Sinha
Humanism/Atheism: Dr Rosalind Sulaiman, Rev. Michelle Buhite
Islam: Dr Khalid Qazi, Dr. Fuad Sheriff
Jehovah Witness: Mr. Darryl Ivy
Judaism: Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein
Native American: Ruchatneet Printup

While the 2017 program has been successfully completed we are already thinking about the program in the future. With the Medical School moving into the new Jacobs School on Main Street we face the challenge of arranging for parking for our many presenters, given the significant shortage of parking at the medical corridor. In the past parking was a non issue. In the future parking may be a significant challenge.

Stan Bratton
Dr. G. Stanford Bratton, Executive Director/CEO, Network of Religious Communities.