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Dr. Nancy Banks is an honors graduate from Hunter College in New York City. She attended Harvard Medical School, graduating in 1978. While at Harvard she received an additional scholarship from the American College of Surgeons that allowed her to spend time at a hospital in Benin, Nigeria studying surgery and tropical medicine. Dr. Banks completed her internship and residency in general surgery and obstetrics and gynecology at St. Luke's Hospital (then a part of the Columbia Presbyterian system) and Mt. Sinai Hospital and Medical Center in New York City. As a third year resident she became a Galloway Fellow in gynecological oncology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

After completing her residency, she opened a private practice in Nyack, New York simultaneously being the director of out-patient gynecology at North General Hospital in central Harlem. She held staff positions at Nyack Hospital, North General Hospital, Mt. Sinai Hospital and Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Her primary hospital was Nyack where she served on various committees as well as the board of directors of the hospital. She was a board member of the local Cancer Society and the United Way.

While continuing her practice, Dr. Banks graduated from Pace University with an MBA in finance. Seeing the rapid change in the practice of medicine and the onslaught of the HMO revolution, she developed a new business model, FemCare, for the delivery of health care to women. The idea was based on providing total integrative care in one setting including allopathic and alternative modalities. Dr. Banks was in the process of raising venture capital for this business when she became ill with two life threatening diseases in quick succession.

Because of these serious health challenges, Dr. Banks realized that she would have to look outside of her own discipline of allopathic medicine to learn how to heal. This was her personal "dark night of the soul". It was a journey that gave her the courage to question the fundamental assumptions and mythologies of western medicine. Her passion has become supporting others in their search for health knowledge that is both consonant with the laws of nature and life affirming.

She has written extensively on various health topics in lay journals and speaks on how the decisions made in the economic, political and social arenas impact the health of both individuals and societies.

Dr. Banks wrote AIDS, Opium, Diamonds and Empire as a tool for all Americans to gain insight into the historical events that were planned to lead this country and indeed the global economy to the enormous social upheavals and economic crisis being currently experienced. She shows how the HIV/AIDS crisis developed as the result of the consequences of global financial decisions made at the highest levels as the result of the Bretton Woods Agreement following WWII and the doping of America and the West following Vietnam. But more than anything the book is dedicated to Africans and Africans of the diaspora and survivors of the Maafa in hope that they will at long last begin to understand the world and their place in it from a longer historical perspective than four hundred years and that the only way to take command of your future is to take control of your history--not with hesitancy, but with conviction.