Healing the Divide in Medicine

Bob Cutillo

I have been a physician practicing medicine for over 30 years, and if I can be honest, I am uncomfortable with the direction of my profession.

I was once told that the secret of patient care is caring for the patient. But so many forces align themselves against seeing the patient as a person whole and undivided, created by God and destined for God. Surviving in the system leaves you too tired to do anything but fulfill immediate demands, and above all be sure all the paperwork is filled out.

I joined the board of Denver Institute for Faith and Work because I believe in another way. But it will take a concerted effort to break down the walls that divide us. The world we live in has so many of them - between me and you, between us and them, between rich and poor, between old and young, between sick and healthy, between body and soul.

One of the greatest divides in our culture lies between our faith and our work. It is a high wall that keeps the sacred and secular apart, and nowhere more evident than in what we hear on Sunday and what we do on Monday.  Most individuals I know are either unaware of the divide, or feel impotent to think of bridging it. How do deep beliefs about justice, beauty and the meaning of persons fit into a world of work? Work is where we do what must be done, and in most cases we are doing what we are told to do, so what does it matter what we believe. Is there any connection between what I do and what is good? Then again, how does anyone know what is good anymore? And what difference would it make if I knew what the good looked like in my work?

Countering a paralysis of thought and action, the Denver Institute for Faith and Work is calling people into purposeful community. A unique marker of Christian action is invitation – from isolation to fellowship, from alienation to participation, from weakness to strength in common vision.

DIFW is inviting people of faith to come together to listen for God’s voice, believing it is the voice of the One who acts in history with purpose and power in every generation. We want to see what can happen when people join with others who labor in their field of endeavor, and desire to apply the power of the gospel in our time.

In the final analysis, it’s the gospel that’s at stake. The dis-integration of life that we too easily accept makes it weak and ineffective. DIFW believes it is time to acknowledge the dominion and power of Jesus Christ over things above and things below, over all that is, and all that will be. Jesus Christ came to reconcile the world to himself, and to break down any barrier that divides us, and any separation that claims power apart from him.

At risk of being repetitive, in simple terms, it is faith in action. Won’t you join us in this hopeful idea?


Bob Cutillo

Bob Cutillo (MD, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons) is a physician for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless in Denver, Colorado, an associate faculty member at Denver Seminary, and an assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He has also served as a missionary to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bob currently lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife, Heather, and they have two married children. He is also the author of “Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age” (2016).