Medicine Women, Curanderas, and Women Doctors
by Bobette Perrone, H. Henrietta Stockel and Victoria Krueger

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Medicine Women, Curanderas, and Women Doctors is, as co-author Perrone states, "storytelling." Over several years' time, the authors of this health anthology interviewed representative healers from three traditions: Native American medicine women; Hispanic curanderas; and female allopathic physicians. Told mostly in the subjects' own words, threads of compassion, selflessness, faith, strength, gentleness, wisdom and devotion to their work are apparent in each woman's mantle.

The authors sought out these glimpses into daily lives, beliefs and philosophies of caring to increase our understanding of the ways traditional practices affect communities and practitioners when the healers are female. The result is an excellent, affirming and enlightening view of possibilities for research and improved health care. The authors agree it is time to listen to the wisdom of other belief systems and to incorporate them into both personal and global healing and balancing. By bringing the female approach toward healing to the forefront, everyone's physical and spiritual health will benefit.

This book would be appropriate reading for many: people involved in women's health care, cross-cultural and cross-religious studies, sociology, public health, medical ethics studies, women's studies, and those simply interested in the lives of other female healers.

The essence of Medicine Women, Curanderas, and Women Doctors' message is summed up perfectly in co-author Stockel's closing comment, "To anticipate the enormous potential for improvement in the entire spectrum of healing, should this syncretic model of health care become a reality, the traits women healers hold in common may be combined with their natural empowerment to heal and to utilize spirituality in the forms of courage, communion, and connectedness in their healing ways. The total scope of what may then become possible is monumental."

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