THE HEALER’S DREAM — A new novel from Gil Meyer
Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other sources
Nita is a medical school misfit whose expectations clash with the dysfunctional health system. In her final year of school, she finds her dream of becoming a physician is dying. Sleep-deprived and stressed, Nita is struggling just to survive medical school. Disrupting her concentration, she finds herself at times visiting a strange assortment of people from the past. Nita comes to realize that the cottage she rented along the Susquehanna River in Maryland sits on a special parcel of land, a place of healers.
Her first encounter is with Kanianguas, a Susquehannock medicine woman who labored here to save her dying tribe from smallpox and alcohol, both introduced by the white people who coveted the tribe’s land.
Meanwhile, Nita is experiencing sexual harassment and growing conflicts in medical school. Over time she finds herself increasingly at odds with the powers who run the school and its affiliated hospital. Nita’s dream of becoming a healer spirals downward until it is on life support.
Her second encounter with earlier healers is with an immigrant woman from Ireland who in 1790 settled in a cabin on this same land, outside what was the sprouting town of Port Deposit in the nascent state of Maryland. Nita is there when townspeople attack the hut in order to drive out the Celtic healer, along with her feared ways of using herbs, seeds and love to heal.
From the Civil War and the 1918 pandemic other healers visit. In more recent times Nita is there just after World War II as a black physician battles racial discrimination in medicine.
From the earlier residents on her land, Nita learns lessons that transcend time and technology. She discovers spirituality and love to be among the secrets of true healing, even while struggling to deal with a modern healthcare system in which both health and care have been lost.
Nita’s impulsive mouth and her unwillingness to follow the politically safe path at the medical school dig her deeper and deeper into trouble. Eventually, she is dragged before the Judicial Board of the school. In panic, Nita realizes that she is about to lose her dream of becoming a physician.
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