In the Spirit of Medicine: what I've been doing isn't enough

May 25, 2020

In a photo from last fall, Dr. Arne Vainio (center) with C.W. Hall, MD (left), a member of the Blackfeet Nation in western Montana and a physician in his second year of residency. Richard Campbell (right) is a third year medical student is completing a rotation in obstetrics. The Association of American Indian Physicians commented, "They’re on different parts of the same journey and they move forward in mutual respect."
Credit Association of American Indian Physicians/Facebook

   I spent time talking with students at the conference and was struck by how much difference even just a short conversation could have with someone uncertain if becoming a doctor is the right thing to do or if it’s too difficult to even dream the dream.

Seeing all these physicians and hearing them speak and seeing their dedication makes me realize what I’ve been doing isn’t enough. We need healthy, drug free communities. We need to be recruiting our youth even harder to get them into medicine. We need to keep those students in medical school once they get there.

We need to do that not as individuals, but together. Encourage your youth, support them and expect great things from them. Send them to us.


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 on and you can find the link to this story here.

Here is more information about the We Are Healers project: