Deep Water Dream


A hopeful memoir that shares the author’s voyage of discovery as a mother, wife, and physician in underserved communities in northern Ontario.

In underserved areas of Canada, the communities themselves can be one of the strongest parts of the health care team. Dr. Gretchen Roedde, a physician who has been working in northern Ontario since the late 1970s, shows how local communities play a major role in responding to illness, birth, and death, making each more meaningful and bearable.

In Deep Water Dream, Dr. Roedde recounts stories from her long career, from working with a Cree community to develop a medical dictionary in their own language and training community-based health workers to delivering Amish babies in her house and conducting a house call with a priest to minister to a dying French-Canadian woman. In Roedde’s stories, the boundaries between physician and community are redrawn, strengthening the capacity to care for those close by, in a hopeful and powerful example for the rest of the world.

About the Author

Gretchen Roedde

Posted by Dundurn Guest on December 6, 2014
Gretchen Roedde photo

Gretchen Roedde

Gretchen Roedde, assistant professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, has been a physician in northern Ontario since 1978. Working with Aboriginal communities (Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Lake Temagami), she practices near Lake Temiskaming. She has also worked as a public health doctor in the developing world, specializing in mother and child health and HIV/AIDS. Gretchen lives in Haileybury, Ontario.