What was your life like before you became an MD?
I was a NYC ghetto girl, went to college at 15, dropped out at 16 to become an herbalist-midwife, all-out-mad hippie girl--dreads, fire by friction, the works! But a total geek too. Also, I spent 20 years as a home birth midwife and herbalist, homeschooling my young ones (until college for two of them, high school for the next two).
What inspired you to go to medical school?
All the while I wanted to make radical revolutionary change in health care, and to provide services outside of the scope that an illegal midwifery practice allowed. So before I got too old to lose my nerve I went back to school -- Yale no less -- and became an MD.
What will be the subject of your Guest Speech?
It's called, "Walking in Two Worlds: From Midwife-Herbalist to MD." This talk is about the journey, the reasons for it, and what I’ve learned, using the metaphor of the heroine’s journey. I hope it has lessons and meaning for listeners regarding how to relate to western medicine in a way that is safe and useful, and why and how to honor nature as our first healer from personal, ecological, evolutionary, social, political, and economic perspectives.
"All I ever needed to know I learned in the garden."
Aviva Romm, MD, herbalist, midwife
Aviva's Special Guest Speech will take place on Friday night of the weekend conference. You must be registered for the entire weekend in order to attend the evening events.