The word vocation come from the Latin vocare, "to call." A contemporary and Christian understanding of vocation ultimately finds its roots in a contemporary of St. Ignatius, Martin Luther. Luther led the way in articulating a broader understanding of vocation that encompassed not only members of vowed religious communities, but also lay professionals. The Physician's Vocation Program aims to cultivate this sense of calling, by integrating aspects of religious formation--prayer, self-reflection, community, service, and education--into the formation of physicians in an effort to sustain one’s desire to be a physician in the service of God and others.
Cultivating a habit of prayer serves to support the faith that rests at the center of one’s vocation. Throughout the program students will be introduced to a variety of prayer experiences. These will include morning prayer, retreat opportunities, and spiritual direction. Students participating in the Physician’s Vocation Program will make the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius as their Practicum Course in their third year. The Exercises support one's awareness of God's presence in all things and in particular one's work as a physician.