Sandra Hager Eliason is a retired doctor turned writer.
Review of When She Comes Back by Ronit Plank. A daughter’s story of her searching for her lost mother, reviewed by Sandra Eliason.
Dr. Eliason’s book reviews and musings about the process of finding and signing with a publisher for her memoir
Welcome to Dr. Sandra Eliason’s blog, focusing on book reviews and Sandra’s journey to publish her completed memoir.
My memoir, HEAL ME–BECOMING A DOCTOR FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS, (AND FINDING MYSELF ANYWAY, is complete and awaiting a publisher.
When I entered Medical School as a young mother in 1976, the times they were a changin’, I was woman: hear me roar. I was determined to show my demeaning father, my doubting mother-in-law, and all the other naysayers that I could do it all—medicine, motherhood, and marriage. Starting Medical School with an 18-month-old was difficult, but an accidental pregnancy after my first year made it nearly impossible. Yet I couldn’t quit and prove the admission committee right when they asked, “Why should we give this position to you, who will drop out and have more children, instead of a man who will use his education?”
I looked to medicine to escape the model of my 1950s and early ‘60s youth—to be a wife and mother, or, “to have something to fall back on” in case I couldn’t get married” be a teacher or nurse. Instead, I chose to bread convention, hoping to gain authority, but found I had entered the system of paternalistic power structures I thought I left behind in my father’s house. Seeking the power to follow my values, I struggled with the system until I learned that true power came from vulnerability, not control, a discovery that allowed me to become a genuine healer, to patients and myself. Starting when women’s faces were rare in the profession, , my story follows the evolution of medicine over three decades, and the changes I went through to achieve healing.
HEAL ME is for any woman who has experienced the glass ceiling, anyone who wants to know about the inner workings of medicine and medical training, and viewers of medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy or Chicago Med.
About Dr. Eliason
Sandra Eliason is a retired doctor who has turned to writing full time. In 2016, she won the Minnesota Medicine Magazine Arts Edition writing contest. Since then she has been completed her memoir, Heal Me: Becoming a Doctor for all the Wrong Reasons (And Finding Myself Anyway), and has published several short pieces. You can find her in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband. She has a garden in the summer and a cat to warm her lap in the winter.