Physician at Temple University Hospital Also Serves as Chaplain

Jocelyn Edathil from Elkins Park serves both as a physician at Temple University Hospital and its unofficial chaplain. (Image via

Jocelyn Edathil, M.D., Ph.D. from Elkins Park, serves both as a physician at Temple University Hospital and its unofficial chaplain as one of the Sisters of the Imitation of Christ, writes Tracey Romero for Philly Voice.

Edathil wears her traditional white lab coat when making her rounds at the hospital, but underneath it is the veil and white habit that are a part of her nun’s uniform.

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She added that sometimes it can be more difficult to get the complete and honest drug or sexual histories from patients due to her habit. But she is pleasantly surprised that the majority of the patients feel comfortable enough to open up about their lives to her.Many of her colleagues often seek her out to offer spiritual comfort to their patients and pray with them. And while Temple is a secular hospital, Edathil said that the staff working there welcomed her dual role.

However, what she wears underneath her lab coat sometimes receives an unexpected reaction.

“Sometimes my really sick patients will see me and think, ‘Oh, no. They brought in the nun. I must be dying,’” she said. “Once or twice a patient even thought I was an angel.”

Read more about Jocelyn Edathil’s two callings at Philly Voice by clicking here.

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