The Eyes Don't See What the Mind Don't Know: A Physician's Journey to Faith

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9780974719139: The Eyes Don't See What the Mind Don't Know: A Physician's Journey to Faith

As a boy dreaming of becoming a doctor, Mike Litrel imagined that practicing medicine would be like living inside an action movie, always knowing how to help someone, doing it, and feeling like a hero. Instead, he discovered that his role as doctor was more supporting actor than main character. It is God who is the true Physician, the source of all healing.

The proof was revealed to him every day in the patient rooms, hallways, emergency, and operating rooms at the hospital where he did his obstetrics and gynecology training—Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital, the last refuge of that city’s sickest and poorest residents.

When a homeless cocaine addict who had been brutally gang-raped turned out to be pregnant, he gave her a photo of the ultrasound showing the tiny fetus growing in her womb. She looked at it with dead eyes, and dropped it to the floor.

A year later, he found her back in the hospital, glowing with good health, a robust newborn in her arms. She was drug free, earning her GED. How did this miracle happen? She pulled from her wallet the tattered ultrasound. "This saved my life," she said. "When I looked at this, I just knew that no matter what I done, God loved me."

Borrowing a medical expression to explain the unexplained—"the eyes don’t see what the mind don’t know"—Dr. Litrel tells the dramatic, funny, poignant, and always inspirational stories that prove beyond all doubt that the best medicine in the world is human kindness and faith in God.

These are stories that will make you laugh, cry, and understand that miracles do happen, every day.

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From the Author:

Thirty years ago, as a boy with dreams of becoming a doctor, I imagined that practicing medicine might be a bit like living inside an action movie, always knowing how to help someone, doing it, and maybe feeling like a hero. I have found instead that the role of doctor is more supporting actor than main character. It is God who is the true Physician, the source of all healing. I simply play my part and help Him as best I can.

I became an obstetrician and gynecologist because I wanted to specialize in health care for women. I studied eight years at Emory University in Atlanta—four in medical school and four in postgraduate training—and have spent almost a decade now in private practice. After all that time, I still can imagine nothing more rewarding than caring for women. From the moment I delivered my first baby as a third-year medical student, I have been captivated and awed by the process of childbirth. Women’s bodies are vessels for life: caring for them is a chance to participate in the dance of Creation each and every day.

Over the years, my patients have given me more than I can ever hope to repay. They have freely poured out their trust and love, and in so doing, they have opened for me, their physician, a window into the ongoing miracle of God’s work. In relating their experiences in these pages, I hope to share with you what they have taught me. All of these tales were previously published, and all are true. I have changed names and details to preserve privacy. If you think you recognize someone in this book, it is merely a coincidence. But if you recognize yourself, it is no coincidence at all, for we are all God’s children, united by a bloodline of common feelings, joys, and sorrows.

I’m a believer in the adage that says, "we teach best that which we most need to learn." I have written with an open heart about who I have been and am, seeking to honor the honesty with which my patients have shared their stories with me.

About the Author:

MIKE LITREL, M.D., practices obstetrics and gynecological surgery in the suburbs of north Atlanta. He received his medical degree and postgraduate training from Emory University (Atlanta). His medical training was marked by academic honors, including induction into the National Medical Honor Society. In 1997 he was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory and helps train residents and medical students at Grady Memorial Hospital. Dr. Litrel’s award-winning essays have been widely published. He lives with his wife, Ann, and their two sons in Woodstock, Georgia.

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Litrel, Mike
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