Meet Chege Macharia, Kijabe head and neck specialist surgeon, and the first guest for the Friends of Kijabe podcast! My hope is that these conversations show you the heart and motivations of leaders at Kijabe hospital as we talk about work, life, faith and family.
You can listen online at https://friendsofkijabe.org/podcast/ or find the episode in Apple Podcasts under Friends of Kijabe
David: Why are you in Kijabe?
Chege: Purely because of a conviction. . .
I find that in Kijabe my patients are taken care of. I get to be part of an ecosystem of healthcare that yes, at times may not be perfect, but everyone in it seems to be geared toward giving these patients the best.
I’m really convicted that this is where God wants me, he’s made a way this far, and I’m totally enjoying what I do; watching lives be changed and being part of what God is doing in these patient’s lives.
Looking at the history of what Kijabe has been and where it is today. The places it’s been through, and what has been happening at the hospital in the few years I have been here, one thing is apparent, Kijabe must have been set up with God’s mission at the purpose at the center of it.
We can choose to be used for this mission and purpose or get out of the way. Somehow, every day, there are patients whose lives are permanently changed because of what we do, and somehow, it seems, this happens in spite of us! (laughter). We look at the big picture and see that God is still at work, his work will still go on. People are coming, needy patients are coming, people in distress from physical or spiritual conditions. Our job as physicians is to look at this and choose to be a part of this.
David: What does it look like to choose to be part of God’s work?
Chege: There is a subtle reminder, it’s not about us. I’m a surgeon, and us surgeons you know, we have ego problems. But every so often something happens to remind me, this is not about me.
I can offer this patient surgery, but I must pray for them. And when I pray, what am I asking for, what am I hoping for them, what I can do with my own hands or what God can do?
It’s not easy. . . to remove yourself from self-motivations, or ego-centric motivations in patient care. You have to keep reminding yourself, always doing the best for a patient, each patient at a time.
David – That is profound. You are saying, you’re both trusting God as completely as possible with these patients, but also working with all your heart.
Chege – The work we have and the skills we have, they are not our own. God uses wants to use them for something. There is always going to be something bigger to the extent that it is God.
David: If there were one or two things you could have a resident walk out of Kijabe with, what would they be?
Chege: One, would be compassionate healthcare, and two, motivation behind compassionate care.
I’m always hoping they would see the motivation: love toward a patient that stems not from us, but from a debt. Because we have been loved, therefore we should love.