In the Spirit of Medicine
The words came back to haunt me, but today I am grateful
I bent over my sleeping grandmother and spoke directly into her ear.
"Grandma, I'm going to quit my job and finish college. I want to be a doctor and I'm going to apply to medical school." She was quiet for a long time, I wasn't sure she heard me. My mother and grandfather were silent. Finally, she opened her eyes, looked at me and motioned me to come closer. I leaned over her to hear what she had to say. She took a slow breath and said, "You act like you're white."
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 at Indianz.com.