Greg M. Mundis, Jr., M.D. (’99): Medical missionary
April 28, 2011
Greg M. Mundis, Jr., M.D. (’99) and his wife Lesley (Rye ’99) have excelled in their medical careers and are committed to investing their time and expertise in the medical mission field. Each graduated from Evangel with a degree in Biology and continued their education in the medical field.
Immediately after graduating from Evangel, Lesley worked for two years in the Cardiac Catheter Lab at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She then completed her Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies at Missouri State University. After passing her board certification exam in 2004, Lesley began working in the emergency room.
Greg attended the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, Missouri, following his undergraduate graduation, and earned his medical degree. He then spent five years in residency at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, specializing in orthopaedic surgery. Following his residency, Greg completed a fellowship in spine surgery at the San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders in La Jolla, California, and currently practices there as an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in spine surgery with a subspecialty in adult and pediatric reconstructive spine surgery.
Greg has led a variety of research studies, many of them accepted for presentation, and has written two book chapters on Early Onset Scoliosis. His innovative work has allowed him to present his research both nationally and internationally.
The Mundises now live in San Diego, California, with their four children: Emery, 7; Greyson, 5; Lincoln, 3; and Ainslee, 5 months. Lesley serves as the Children’s Director at Elevate Church, a church plant the Mundises joined in 2009.
Greg says that growing up as an MK (missionaries’ kid) in Vienna, Austria, impacted his life and his worldview tremendously. “Our parents provided opportunities both in Austria and other nations, like India and Sri Lanka, for my sister and me to understand the tremendous need to share our talents and our faith,” Greg says. “We lived a very blessed and culturally rich life in Austria and it inevitably had an impact on our worldview.”
Based on this culturally rich worldview, both Greg and Lesley have a passion for the medical mission field. Greg recently served on a surgical missions trip to Kenya with two colleagues. Together, they performed 15 life-changing spine operations on both children and adults. Greg was able to share the benefits of his expertise not only with his patients but also with fellow surgeons in Kenya.
“Lesley and I have made it a priority in our lives to share our skills, and to use these opportunities to share Christ’s love for all,” Greg says. Lesley looks forward to joining her husband’s practice within the next two years so they can pursue their goal of serving overseas together.
Q&A with Dr. Greg Mundis
Q: Do you feel your degree in the Science and Technology Department at Evangel prepared you for your missions work overseas and for success in medical school?
A: I have always been taught and currently teach that education is where opportunity and discipline collide. Evangel provided me the opportunity to learn and succeed, and the discipline I brought to the table was rewarded with a sound education.
Q: What were the most valuable opportunities that you encountered at Evangel?
A: The ability to go to school full time, work at the hospital and still be involved in school activities (Activities Board, etc.) was a blessing. I have always been prone to be busier than I should and learning to balance and juggle these opportunities really prepared me for my current career choice.
Q: What is the benefit of attending a smaller university for an undergraduate program?
A: You are not a number. My education was very personal, and my relationships with my professors were very close. They challenged me to think independently and not just fill in bubbles on tests. Relationships with peers is another bonus. The tight connection you make with your classmates and floormates is a set up for life-long friendships.
Q: Did you ever imagine that you would be using your skills to save the lives of people across the globe?
A: I felt called into medical missions as a junior in high school and have really never looked back. I had no idea (and not sure if I even do now) how the Lord was going to orchestrate this in our lives. I had the privilege of working with Dr. Richard Honderick and the Healthcare Ministries team in 2003 along with a group of Evangel students and went to Nicaragua to serve for a week. It was a great introduction to missions and made me realize that I wanted to pursue mission work that incorporated surgical care. This has been a challenge as the efforts needed to coordinate these types of trips are fairly extensive. It has been an honor to work with several companies that provide medical implants to help coordinate these trips.
Q: What advice would you give to prospective students who also hope to serve in the medical mission field?
A: The most important thing to figure out is who you are in Christ. What we do, where we come from, the education we receive or the dreams we have do not define who we are. It is God’s calling that ultimately will provide the drive required to make it through each step of the way. God reveals only so much at a time and provides as much as is needed to get you where He wants you. Keeping Him first is the only way to fulfill His calling, and the rewards along this short journey are nothing in comparison to what awaits us on the other side.