‘My Catholic Doctor’ Offers Christ-Centered Medical Care

The network of telehealth physicians is pro-life, pro-family and pro-eternal life.

My Catholic Doctor logo with patron saints St. Gianna Molla, Venerable Catherine McAuley and Venerable Jérôme Lejeune.
My Catholic Doctor logo with patron saints St. Gianna Molla, Venerable Catherine McAuley and Venerable Jérôme Lejeune. (photo: MCD)

Bringing up the “My Catholic Doctor” website, users see the mission statement from Luke 10:9 on the main page, along with photos of patrons Venerable Jérôme Lejeune, St. Gianna Molla and Venerable Catherine McAuley.

My Catholic Doctor (MCD) was intentionally created to be a distinct experience for both patient and physician. 

Telehealth sessions in numerous medical fields are offered across the country, providing person-focused telemedicine that incorporates Catholic teaching.

Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann, founder and president of My Catholic Doctor, was a faculty pediatrician for a decade at Washington University in St. Louis. Over time, she felt a need to be more intentional about the healing ministry, wanting to treat the whole person and combine her Catholic faith with her practice of medicine.

“People think of Catholic health care as against abortion, contraception, euthanasia, but it’s so much more than that,” she told the Register. “First, we have far better alternatives to all of those: abortion-pill reversal (APR); end-of-life care; natural family planning (NFP).”

 She added: “Don’t you want to be treated as a whole person? Don’t you want your provider to ask about your health background in general, rather than rushing through an allocated six minutes that covers the bare minimum?”

“Secular medicine says that everyone is included, but we’re not — practicing Catholics are not,” Berchelmann told EWTN Pro-Life Weekly. “Catholic health-care providers are expected to leave their Catholic values at the door. That’s impossible to do if you follow Jesus Christ.”

As she explained to the Register, “In Luke 10:9, Jesus said, ‘Cure the sick who are there. Say to them, the kingdom of God has come to you!’ That’s two commands in one sentence. We are to cure the sick and proclaim the Kingdom. We are called to do more than just cure the sick; as physicians, we are also called to help people grow in holiness through the universal human experience of suffering through illness.”

Doctors work independently with My Catholic Doctor, spending as much time as they want with each patient. A minimum of documentation stems from believing that the only third party in a doctor-patient relationship should be the Holy Spirit. Most insurance and health-share plans are accepted. The database of doctors now includes a wide range of primary care, urgent care, rheumatology, dermatology, endocrinology, physical therapy, speech therapy, gerontology and other medical areas.

The commitment to care from conception to natural death is emphasized, as is prayer.

Every afternoon at 3 o’clock in the office chapel in Stamford, Connecticut, the Divine Mercy Chaplet is prayed for all patients. Anyone unable to join in person is invited to join with their prayer intentions from afar. (To join the prayer team, contact [email protected].)

My Catholic Doctor clinicians unequivocally follow all of the “Ethical and Religious Directives” of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the ethical policy statements of the Catholic Medical Association. 

“Our clinicians seek to bring the loving presence of Jesus Christ to their patients, to heal the whole person: body, mind, and spirit,” emphasized Berchelmann to the Register. “It involves the whole person and the unique dignity of each person made in the image and likeness of God.”

“We don’t specifically advertise APR,” said Berchelmann of their pro-life care, “but [women] still call us because they see ‘Catholic’ in our name. These are women who’ve taken all the steps to get the abortion pills — they’re pro-choice … they still call us, and that’s the natural law written on their heart. I have no other explanation. That’s the good news. God is still in the hearts of all these people, made in the image and likeness of God.”  


Berchelmann added that My Catholic Doctor physicians strive to treat each patient as if they’re “caring for Christ himself, in order to bring the kingdom of God into the world. Bearing witness to the Gospel is a task that has become prohibitively difficult through most secular health-care employers.”

She continued, “When the sick are cured, we help them understand that their healing is a gift from the Lord, for which we are grateful.”

Patient testimonials attest to the experience.

“My experience with MCD was one of the best I have ever had in health care … that has me feeling the healthiest I have in a very long time,” reported one patient named Anne on the MCD website.

Testimonial offered from a patient about their experience with My Catholic Doctor.
Testimonial offered from a patient about their experience with My Catholic Doctor.

As L.T. shared, also online, “The care I received was great! I’ve never had a doctor explain things to me in that detail! What I loved most was 1) not having to go into the doctor’s office and be around sick people, and 2) hearing ‘God bless’ at the end of the appointment.”

“During COVID, our family was blessed to be able to use the services of My Catholic Doctor,” patient Marta Waters told the Register. “The doctor was very knowledgeable not only about treatments in our country but also abroad. At least 20 other people we know used the same doctor, as she was reliable and effective.  Not one of us died or was hospitalized.” 

Church-Approved Treatment

And doctor testimonials support the approach.

Family medicine and NaProTechnology fertility provider Dr. Robert Chasuk works from Louisiana.

“My Catholic Doctor turned out to be the perfect fit. It’s thoroughly dedicated to and sustained by Christ and his Church,” he told the Register, adding that it’s a challenging time for medicine.

“Secular ideas that disregard the dignity of human life, from fertilization through natural death, and that deny the reality of the human person as a union of the physical and spiritual, and as such being created as either male or female, have crept into many institutions,” he said.  

Patients are often surprised, he recounted, that My Catholic Doctor spends enough time with them to enable an understanding of their problem and tailored treatment plan.

“Women often tell me, tearfully, that they have never felt that anyone listened to them or validated their concerns, or thought they deserved to have a diagnosis rather than a Band-Aid contraceptive prescription,” said Chasuk. “And more women are realizing that they have not been informed about serious side effects of contraceptive hormones, such as life-threatening venous clots or increase in the risk of breast cancer.”

Another testimonial about a patient's experience using My Catholic Doctor online.
Another testimonial about a patient's experience using My Catholic Doctor online.

Dermatologist Dr. Anne Pearson, based in New Hampshire, described her affiliation with My Catholic Doctor as “a blessing in my life and hopefully also to the patients we serve.” 

Dr. Pearson’s husband first heard of My Catholic Doctor and encouraged her to look into it. “I believe the call to practice true Catholic health care had been imprinted on my heart and I had also seen the frustration of so many of my patients (both Catholic and non-Catholic) due to a lack of access to health care, the costs, short visits, and not being treated with dignity or integrity,” she told the Register. “My Catholic Doctor gave me an opportunity to provide medical care to those patients who are seeking authentic Catholic health care as well as an opportunity to serve those on the fringes with the least access to care or limited finances, and do so in tandem with the Holy Spirit to provide God’s healing. It’s what health care so desperately needs.” 

Faith Part of Visits

Pearson appreciates the two-sided approach: “The first is providing an option for health care that is in line with the Catholic faith and is true pro-life health care that honors the mind, body and soul of every individual. We pray with and for our patients because it is critical to put God at the center of their treatment plan. I always pray that God gives me the wisdom, understanding, knowledge and counsel to guide the patient along the right path and choose the right treatment plan, and we also openly invite God in to provide the healing because he is the Divine Physician.” Pearson explained how faithful young women have come to her for acne treatment without the use of birth control, after giving up on other dermatologists who only prescribed oral contraceptives. “It’s beautiful to treat them and affirm their choice of abstinence and combine evidence-based medicine and a whole-person approach.” 

“I also see patients who are not looking for Catholic health care but come because they have no other option, especially for dermatology. The majority of my patients are on Medicaid or have no insurance and have very limited options for care in their state. They are so grateful for the time and care. I am always respectful of my patients’ own faith background but have had beautiful encounters with patients who ask me about the faith or tell me their stories because their experience in their visit is just different. “

“Those invitations to pray together are powerful and can be really transformative. I had one young woman who was sexually active and on birth control but experiencing side effects. To start a medical treatment, she needed to practice abstinence because of the risks to a potential fetus. She made a commitment to abstinence and was connected with one of our female health providers who taught her how to chart her periods. I saw her last week, and her anxiety, depression and whole outlook had completely changed since making that decision. She and her boyfriend were in a completely different and healthier place in their relationship because of this. She became an advocate for her friends and others to consider chastity in relationships. She was not Catholic but had seen the fruits of that choice in her own life and is now seeking and growing in ways beyond treatment of her skin disease.”

Naprotechnology allows many women to bear children naturally after being treated by a physician that offers much more than IVF as an alternative.
Naprotechnology allows many women to bear children naturally after being treated by a physician that offers much more than IVF as an alternative.

She underscored that the patient always comes first, and “It's important for me to be honest with my patients about what telehealth does not work for, especially in dermatology.”

For example, for one recent patient, she “identified that he likely had an autoimmune disease … and I was able to get him in to see a friend of mine whom I had done my training with at UMass to get a biopsy done and confirm the diagnosis. We started treatment; and within one week, he was almost totally healed. It was during Easter Week, and it was a beautiful demonstration of suffering, the cross and resurrection.”

Another physician with the MCD network, Dr. Karen Dalton, converted to Catholicism in 1993. She changed the focus of her medical work and became certified in NaProTechnology from the St. Paul VI for the Study of Human Reproduction in Omaha, Nebraska. Dalton then served as the director of the Gianna Syracuse Center for Women’s Health and Fertility, while practicing primary care in a practice affiliated with a pregnancy-resource center. 

“I love being able to be open about faith with my patients, and they are all quite aware of the place of faith in my life and practice, even if they are not Catholic,” Dalton, who is certified by the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals, told the Register. 

“All appreciate the fact that I pray with, over and for them and are refreshed that they no longer have to hide their faith or risk being ridiculed for it (which happens regularly in the secular medical world, sadly, especially in women who are brave enough to say they use NFP). Many of my patients came to realize that fertility clinics don’t really care about figuring out what is wrong with them. We’ve been able to send many to NaPro-trained surgeons who find and remove their endometriosis after having been told elsewhere that all they needed was IVF. This happens with my colleagues as well. Dozens of my patients have their OB-GYNs refuse to check levels of, or supplement with, progesterone and refuse to acknowledge that insufficient levels of it plays a role in repeat miscarriages! It boggles my mind. I have patients who very likely have children now because they pursued care with someone who heard them.” 

“Patients want to be heard and cared for holistically; secular medicine is woefully falling short,” Dalton added. “I pray I can help fill that void and with His guiding hand.”