Lori Arviso Alvord is a well known surgeon and an administrator of a well known university. In her book entitled The Scalpel and the Silver Bear, she narrates her autobiography and talks about the journey of her profession. The book is a in interesting read for students who wishes to pursue a career like hers.
In the book, Alvord narrates that she was born to a couple from different races. She was given birth by a white race and was raised by a Navajo father who was not able to finish college. But this not hindered her to pursue her studies and proved how a Navajo woman succeeds in the world of surgery. She discusses her hardships studying from the public school and how she reached Stanford University Medical School.
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The book merely talks about the triumph of Dr. Alvord and how one should persevere in life regardless of the kind of race that she has. One should never be shameful of his/her culture and parents should play their part and should tech their children not the traditional way.
Always seek for things that will teach children “how to live, the very thing that could keep them strong” (Alvord, 1999, p. 88).
1. What issues or topics related to health care are covered in the book?
There are issues in the book wherein Alvord was taught by a Pueblo Indian doctor how to taking good care of patients will help their recovery faster. Majority of the book discusses Alvord’s practices in combining modern medicine and traditional beliefs of the Navajo race.
2. Do you think the book portrays and real issues of the aging process? Are the issues negative or positive?
Aging process was portrayed in the book by discussing the author’s belief when it comes to the effectiveness of growing older by “living in balance and harmony” (Alvord, 1999, p. 100).
3. How do the aging issues affect the characters in the story?
Aging issues affects the characters in the story by letting them indulge a matter of respect not only for themselves and to other people but also with their own race. The author grew up in an environment where her race is always misjudged by people.
She carried such inferiority until adulthood which developed her sense of pride and confidence to stand up and set her own name in such field. It also affects how a doctor interacts with elderly patients.
4. Which issues may affect a health care provider’s interaction with an elderly patient?
One issue that could affect a health care provider interaction with an elderly patient is the issue of racial discrimination. This was proven in the book because most Navajo people died out of alcohol related accident.
5. How did reading this book make you feel about your own aging? How did it make you feel about the aging of those around you?
The book made me aware of my own aging in a way that I should grow old building a sense of pride and learn how to balance myself. Growing older has a corresponding responsibility for oneself by taking good care of my body and living the right way.
Living in balance and harmony should be done by having a balanced life style without sacrificing my own roots and giving respect towards other people. This is done not only physically but also mentally spiritually and emotionally.
6. Would you recommend this book to anyone in your life? Why or why not?
This book is highly recommendable to al people regardless of age because it tells many things about life and growing older, wiser and healthier. It develops one sense of belongingness to the race that he/she came from. It guides people to succeed in life and pursue education without feeling inferior of their own race.
Alvord, L.A. (1999). The Scalpel and the Silver Bear.