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The Scalpel and the Silver Bear

The Scalpel and the Silver Bear Cover

The Scalpel and the Silver Bear

The First Navajo Woman Surgeon Combines Western Medicine and Traditional Healing

By Lori Alvord; Elizabeth Cohen Van Pelt

Bantam, Paperback, 9780553378009, 224pp.

Publication Date: June 6, 2000

The first Navajo woman surgeon combines western medicine and traditional healing.

A spellbinding journey between two worlds, this remarkable book describes surgeon Lori Arviso Alvord's struggles to bring modern medicine to the Navajo reservation in Gallup, New Mexico--and to bring the values of her people to a medical care system in danger of losing its heart.

Dr. Alvord left a dusty reservation in New Mexico for Stanford University Medical School, becoming the first Navajo woman surgeon. Rising above the odds presented by her own culture and the male-dominated world of surgeons, she returned to the reservation to find a new challenge. In dramatic encounters, Dr. Alvord witnessed the power of belief to influence health, for good or for ill. She came to merge the latest breakthroughs of medical science with the ancient tribal paths to recovery and wellness, following the Navajo philosophy of a balanced and harmonious life, called Walking in Beauty. And now, in bringing these principles to the world of medicine, The Scalpel and the Silver Bear joins those few rare works, such as Healing and the Mind, whose ideas have changed medical practices-and our understanding of the world.

About the Author
Lori Arviso Alvord, M.D., is now the associate dean of minority and student affairs at Dartmouth Medical School. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, Jon, and two children, Kodiak and Kaitlyn. Elizabeth Cohen van Pelt is a staff writer with the New York Post. She lives in New York with her husband and daughter.

Praise For The Scalpel and the Silver Bear

"If you're in the market for a captivating autobiography, look no further."—South Carolina Herald

"Sheer pleasure to read from the very first page... Absorbing."—Booklist

"Movingly details her quest to unify two cultures and two healing traditions."—The Dallas Morning News

"Those who would enjoy an insider's look at how modern medicine and life mix with the Navajo Way shouldn't miss The Scalpel and the Silver Bear."—Tony Hillerman