Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Scalpel and the Silver Bear: The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing by Lori Alvord

This was a really good book! I started reading it because it was on a reading list published by my Career Tech Student Organization for a competition.

This is a very fast reading book about a young Navajo woman named Lori who becomes a surgeon. This was a pretty big deal because typically the medical field does not recognize the cultures, customs, and ceremonies of the Navajo. Add to that, Lori is female. She overcomes many obstacles, becoming accepted at Dartmouth, and then becoming a respected surgeon in her field.

Lori's goal was to mix modern medicine with Navajo medicine to reach the members of her tribe and surrounding areas. She manages to do this by becoming a patient herself (not by choice!) and aligning herself with other Navajo medical professionals. It's not until she feels she needs a medicine man that this need becomes ever more clear to her.

I found this book to be very inspiring. I hope I can take something from this book to add to my own nursing practice. I also feel that I have learned more of my heritage in terms of Native American practices. I am not Navajo but of Cherokee descent.

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