Shortly after completing residency in 2000, Chris Best found himself practicing in a clinic in Hays, Kansas. He was following in the footsteps of his role model, his father-in-law; a family doctor in southwest Kansas. Chris had a successful practice, great staff, everything was going well, but he felt like there was something more for him and his family. After five years with the clinic, he handed off his patients and moved his family to Kansas City to pursue new opportunities.
Chris had been in conversation with a new practice that was set up to give doctors more freedom for outside interests. There was the medical work he loved, but also the opportunity to schedule time off to work on short-term mission projects. This was a dream opportunity. However, the practice was still in the process of being established, so he knew he’d have to find work to cover the three months it would take the practice to be fully up and running.
Fortunately, Chris had been getting about five mailers a week from various companies for temporary work. The majority of that mail ended up in his trash can. Something about the Docs Who Care message resonated with him, so he kept their newsletters and flyers in his top desk drawer.
Around that same time, his home church started a church plant on the other side of town. Chris told his pastor, “Look, I’m in… whatever you need, I’m glad to do it.” Before he knew it, he was leading the children’s ministry. On his first day as the director, one of the mothers asked him a question he didn’t know how to answer. This became a defining moment. He knew if he was going to be in a ministry position, he needed to learn more about leading and teaching, so he started taking classes to gain more knowledge.
After working a few shifts with Docs Who Care and another locums provider, his dream job started to fall through. The practice wasn’t going to happen after all. At the same time, he began to realize that the life he wanted was already within his grasp.
He was able to work with Docs Who Care to craft his schedule. “I would go wherever Docs Who Care had a need. I told them I needed a day a week at church to take care of all the ministry needs.” That eventually turned into working a single 24-hour shift a week in the ED and spending the majority of his week pouring his time into his church and becoming ordained in 2009. He’s even had the freedom to take on the missions ministry and lead several mission projects abroad.
When asked about working with Docs Who Care he said, “I’m a part-time doctor, part-time pastor and it’s been an ideal situation for me and my family. It allows me the flexibility to have a life outside a career in medicine… it doesn’t have to be all consuming.”