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The Scalpel And The Silver Bear Summary

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In the novel The Scalpel and The Silver Bear, Alvord is Native American and specifically has roots from the Navajo tribe. At the beginning of the novel she is conflicted by coming from a biracial family where her mother is white and her father is Navajo. This conflict follows her all of the way to college in choosing an Ivy League school. She later decides on a school known as Dartmouth because of the fact that they had substantial amount of Native Americans than any other Ivy League school. Alvord graduated from Dartmouth with a psychology and sociology degree but still had aspirations to become a doctor. She returns to school at Stanford to study medicine, after fulfilling her degree she made her way back to New Mexico near Gallup.
Alvord Practiced at Gallup Indian Medical Center where she stood out from her peers. She realized that all of her peers are Anglos and she was the only Native American. Although she is Native American she is not seen as such from her Native American Patients because of her modern medical practices. Alvord felt conflicted for her Native American background by practicing western medicine. She realizes that trust is the most difficult aspect when having Native American patients. Since the doctors are mostly Anglos it is difficult to communicate to the Navajo patients. Alvord realized this conflict and bridged the patient-physician gap by speaking Navajo and touching the patients. Since Navajo’s believe in touching, singing and feeling as a major
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