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University of California, San Francisco

Excellence Integrity Relationship

Elective Rotation: Sonoma County Indian Health

Contact: Lisa Nicholson, Don Carlos Steele

Location: Sonoma County Indian Health, Santa Rosa

During my time at Sonoma County Indian Health Services I was able to develop an understanding of how SCHIP provides health care to Indian communities in Sonoma County through direct patient care, discussions with staff, and independent study sparked by questions that arose during clinic. I predominantly saw patients in Dr. Steele’s busy family practice clinic. Patients were forthcoming and open to physician learners. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn from patients about their cultural beliefs and practices, as well as their health conditions. I became more independent over the course of two weeks; learning the EHR, and formulating more concise assessments and plans under mentor guidance. I was impressed by the scope of practice in the physician panels, which included a range of children, adults, elders, and pregnant women. The support services for patients outside of typical medical care is another strong point of this clinic. Support included a dietician who does evening group activities supporting healthy habits for people with diabetes called “Healthy Traditions”, a chiropractor who is on site daily, an herbalist who sees her own panel of patients, an onsite pharmacy, and dental clinic. I am glad to have had the opportunity to spend my elective time at SCHIP. I have a better understanding of some aspects of American Indian culture, received excellent personalized mentorship, and was able to work with increasing independence in full scope family medicine clinic.

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