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Elective Rotation: Zuni Indian Health Service

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Contact: Nicole Cory Baltrushes, Barbara Novotny : barbara.novotny@ihs.gov

Location: Zuni, New Mexico

I spent two weeks at the Zuni Comprehensive Health Center in Zuni, New Mexico. During this rotation I worked 6 days per week with time split between different departments in the comprehensive center including: dental clinic, physical therapy, prenatal, group diabetes, urgent care, primary care clinic, home visits, teen clinic, and once weekly 12 hour calls for the entire center including inpatient medicne and OB admissions as well as ER care.

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I also did this rotation

From: Aaron Greenblatt

I spent three weeks at the Zuni Comprehensive Health Center. I worked 5 days per week, also with time split between the different departments. Housing was provided in perfectly acceptable hospital housing adjacent to the hospital. We were in Zuni in July, which is the beginning of the "monsoon season" so we had multiple chances to observe traditional rain dances ("ceremonials"). Both patients and staff were extremely welcoming and were quick to share insights about culture. Clinically, it was an opportunity to see a wide variety of conditions, including trauma, orthopedics (often involving livestock injuries), accidental gunshot wounds, diabetes, high risk OB, and pediatrics. We also adopted a dog. Around Zuni there is a remarkable wealth of culture and nature opportunities for your evenings and weekends. The three weeks also gave a glimpse of peoples’ lives on the other side of residency training. One physician here in Zuni mentioned the restorative effects of staring off into the distance from her back window after work. Others continue to attend the Zuni ceremonials and deepen their connections to their adopted community and friends even after many years of work here. Many seem to read for pleasure a great deal, and I know at least one for whom writing is an important outlet (based on his many-paged dog-eared journal). And of course, people take time to take good care of their families and pets.

Zuni IHS

From: Tania Rezai

I did a 2 week rotation at Zuni IHS in December 2015. There is a fantastic, dynamic group of young doctors working at this rural site truly practicing full spectrum family medicine. Family doctors run the entire intpatient and outpatient services. I was exposed to shockingly high levels of morbidity in a fairly young population and got to experience one of the most important religious holidays in the community. It was a humbling experience and a great way of getting insight into what it is like to work for IHS and be a rural family doc in a low resource environment that is still sustainable and accessible via plane to higher levels of care.