Dr. John could not start his presentation initially because the medical students kept coming in. 30, 40, eventually 60 medical students packed the lecture room at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine to hear Dr. John get back to basics with them.
“I did abortions, until I started listening to my patients,” the students heard him say as they kept their eyes fixed on Dr. John, launching into his 8th MedSFLA speaking tour engagement discussing the risk factors women bear with abortion and manifested in Dr. John’s practice and practices across America.
A 3rd year medical student recently finished his obstetrics clerkship before he arrived at Dr. John’s presentation. The Hippocratic student had felt outnumbered and at a loss during the clerkship, trying to navigate clinical settings in which he felt alone in his commitment to caring for every patient, pre-and post-birth.
“Hearing him was very enlightening because he offered us a different perspective that it’s not so much us vs. them…because then you loose sight of the patient,” he remarked after the presentation.
Dr. John’s message to the doctors-to-be? ‘Listen to your patients. Practice excellent medicine. And care for every patient, whether they are in an unplanned pregnancy or underserved family.’
Dr. John sat down that night with a table-full of college students from across New Orleans…Tulane University, Loyola University, University of New Orleans, listening to his personal experiences in awe. The students were so grateful that they took us out for a late-night Italian meal near Tulane’s campus.
“I was impressed by [Dr. John’s] attitude and his approach—his medical approach, his philosophical approach, it’s all centered on love,” said Jared from the University of New Orleans.
The students experienced, for the first time, the though-provoking reality from Dr. John: “In medicine, you hate the disease and love the patient. You don’t get rid of the disease by killing the sick patient.” Over 90% of American children prenatally diagnosed with Downs syndrome are aborted, Dr. John discussed. The pioneering project of his Tepeyac Family Center’s Perinatal Hospice program features a multi-disciplinary team caring for the parents and for the child with a life-span-limiting condition.
“I have never heard about that medical professionals can offer families this perinatal hospice as an option, other than abortion, for their sick child,” commented a Tulane premedical honors student. “Dr. John is showing us a treatment option which doesn’t pit the family against their sick child, but offers them hope. We need doctors like him speaking to more future docs.”