Dr. Waterbrook's Philosophy
Where Caring is our Calling
A prominent part of my practice is the emphasis on treating the whole patient-not just whatever physical challenges the patient brings. I like the motto of the medical school at Loma Linda University, which is "To Make Man Whole". In fact, along with helping patients deal with emotional aspects of their diagnosis and treatments, I have integrated prayer into my general surgery practice, as long as the patient is comfortable with it. I tend to let my patients lead. As a Seventh Day Adventist Christian, I view Jesus Christ as "the Great Physician" and I try my best to emulate Christ's model as a healer, preacher, and teacher. Especially when they face health challenges, many patients must contend with emotional and spiritual concerns. There can be a lot of anxiety. I try to provide support by exploring the patient's support systems, and how they and their families are handling a diagnosis and treatment that may include surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. I can help them plug into a breast cancer support group, or assist them in navigating their emotions. I try to help them understand what they're facing, offer support, and if appropriate I pray with them. There have been studies that assert the positive impact of prayer in healing, but I am content to simply witness the comfort it can bring to patients. To me, it's an individual patient experience, and very personal. I've never seen prayer do any harm; I've only seen it help. Sometimes, a physical cure is just not possible. But emotional and spiritual healing is. In fact, I nearly took a spiritual path. While an undergrad at the University of Michigan, I struggled between choosing the ministry and becoming a physician. I prayed over it and fasted. In the end, I felt led to medicine. I knew through medicine I would help heal a patient's body, but as a physician, I could also address their emotional and spiritual concerns.