Jon Hemler, medical school student on a mission, answers the question “Why do you serve?”

As we continue to tell these great stories answering the question “why do you serve,” I have thought often of my best friend. A medical school at the University of Virginia, Jon Hemler has already devoted his life, passion, and resources to healing others. He distinguishes himself daily as a “hero in our midst,” whether in a doctor’s office, in a church, or in the less formal places that Jon serves. Thank you, Jon, for your thoughts here, for your friendship, and for your service!

Doctor. The title brings to mind numerous images; that of a surgeon scrubbed in, a stethoscope listening to a child’s heart, a prescription pad. This is, to me, the quintessential definition of service. I am currently a third year medical student at the University of Virginia medical school in Charlottesville, VA. During my time here, medicine has challenged and enthralled me, but it has also dragged me down and discouraged me. It is both extremely rewarding and profoundly frustrating. But, what keeps me waking up every morning and doing the work I do is knowing that I am helping another human being in a unique and privileged way. The relationship between a doctor and patient is like no other relationship on this planet. Often, doctors are the people that patients reveal the most to about their lives. It is an extraordinary privilege to do what I do, but it is also very humbling. It makes you realize how many blessings you have when you take care of people day in and day out going through significant life-changing events.

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