Editorial: Celebrate first Navajo woman surgeon

"Lori Alvord's story is unique.

So unique, in fact, that it's one of a kind.

Alvord, raised in Crownpoint, is the first-ever Navajo woman surgeon. She originally wanted to be a teacher, even gathering her younger sisters at desks to pass on her knowledge.

Somewhere along the way, though, Alvord's life course changed. A Navajo man she knew who attended Princeton University encouraged her to apply there. Lacking a substantial American Indian population at Princeton, Alvord chose instead to take his advice and enter another Ivy League school — Dartmouth.

Dartmouth attracts American Indian students from throughout the United States, including the Navajo Nation. She seized the opportunity and chose to pursue a medical career.

Today, Alvord serves on the faculty at Dartmouth as an assistant professor of surgery. She is also an associate dean for student and minority affairs and practices medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, N.H.

And even though the above jobs take up plenty of her time, Alvord recently wrote her first book, "The Scalpel and the Silver Bear" — a detailed look at coming from a native culture all the way to the surgical room."

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Editorial: First Navajo woman surgeon: Alvord's story is remarkable (The Farmington Daily Times 4/3)