Dr. Arne Vainio is an enrolled member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and a family practice doctor on the Fond Du Lac reservation in Cloquet, Minnesota. His essays on life, work, medicine and spirit were published in "News From Indian Country," and you can find the link to his stories and more on our website at KUMD.org. In the Spirit of Medicine on KUMD is made possible by University of Minnesota Medical School- Duluth Campus, Ampers, and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
In the Spirit of Medicine: Nursing is a hands-on profession
I think back to a year ago. There was an entire household with multiple generations living together and they were too sick to come to the clinic for COVID-19 testing. Three of our nurses selflessly volunteered to go to them. They put on personal protective equipment and went in and tested everyone there. That single act of love and dedication will always define medicine for me.
In the Spirit of Medicine: Being open and honest about the fear of seizures
He has finally been able to talk about his seizures and has talked to a group of pharmacy students and talked to a group at the college. Its like I finally came out of the closet and I can finally talk about my seizures without being ashamed. He welcomes the chance to help others with seizures and knows he has a lot to offer for those needing support and first hand information about epilepsy.
In the Spirit of Medicine: How do you want to be remembered?
She was 94 pounds and 28 years old, but you couldnt tell her age by looking at her. She had the rotting teeth that come with using meth. But mostly, her drug of choice was heroin. Her blond hair was greasy, thin, graying and matted flat against her head. Her face was almost skeletal and she had dark circles under her eyes. Her eyes seemed big because of the loss of fat around them and they almost protruded from her eye sockets. All of her ribs were easily visible and I could actually see her
In the Spirit of Medicine: "Even in death do we serve life"
There were four students working with the body we were studying and we didn’t know anything about him as a person. The medical school was very explicit that we were to carry ourselves with the utmost respect when we were in the lab with the body and we were to respect this gift that was given to us. This almost didn’t need to be said, but I’m glad it was. Very few people get the opportunity to study a body in detail and learn the anatomy as they learn the organ systems. There is no book, no
In the Spirit of Medicine: vaccine myths
The COVID-19 pandemic has been with us for almost a year. In that year businesses have closed and people have lost jobs. Wearing masks and keeping social distance have caused deep divisions among us. There are scare stories and myths on social media and other places about the vaccines and many people believe these myths. Fear has always been a powerful tool and has long been used to cause division. Fear is being used now and it isn't always easy to know what to believe.
In the Spirit of Medicine: the COVID vaccine
That means we need to continue to wear masks, keep our social distance, wash our hands frequently, avoid public gatherings and sanitize frequently touched surfaces. Is this a sacrifice? Not compared to losing an elder. Ivy and I go to her grandmother’s house and we stand outside the window and we wave and we can talk on the phone. I can see the sadness and longing in Ivy’s eyes and in her grandmother’s. I can see the distance that pane of glass puts between them.