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Arts & Culture

In the Spirit of Medicine: Maybe he can recognize me now

Susan Boorsma. Used with permission.

There are maybe a double handful of people I really credit with my becoming a doctor. Walt Boorsma is one of them. I first met him when I was about 18 and unemployed. He was desperately looking for someone to do some manual labor on a construction job for a few weeks and he found me in a bar. I was drunk, barefoot, disrespectful, and shooting pool, but he didn't really have any other choice on short notice. At age 18, I was looking for my way in the world, but didn't actually know I was lost.

Credit Steve Boorsma. Used with permission.
Walt Boorsma

In the Spirit of Medicine features the essays of Dr. Arne Vainio, an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a family practice doctor on the Fond Du Lac reservation in Cloquet. His essays on life, work, medicine and spirit are published in "News From Indian Country," and you can find the link to this story here.

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