Polacca Indian Health Service - Hopi Reservation

Site Coordinator: 
Jocelyn Hirschman, MD
Student Per Period: 
Daily number of family practice patients: 
Flex Time Activities: 
  • Full spectrum emergency room plus EMT/ambulance
  • Public Health Nurse visits to traditional homes
  • Give health education messages on Hopi radio station
  • Acupuncture (possible)
Hospital Affiliation: 
4-bed inpatient unit on site. Inpatients may be sent to IHS hospitals in Tuba City or Phoenix.
Insurance Spectrum: 

100% IHS single payer

Patient Population Profile: 

Native Americans, mostly Hopi and Navajo; full spectrum of ages and problems.

Residency Info: 
No. 100% with attending.
Site Specific Info: 
  • Colorado Plateau recreational and cutural activities
  • Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly
  • Hopi Ceremonies includnig "Indian Days" each September
  • Hiking, camping, fishing
  • Basketball & tennis courts on site
Mileage and Housing: 
Housing: Fully furnished modular "pre-fab" house provided in Keams Canyon 13 miles east. Meals not provided. Milage compensation not provided by FCM.
Misc. Info: 
  • 13 FPs; 5 FNP's; 3 Dentists; 1 Optometrist; 1 Psychiatrist
  • Full spectrum Community Health Nursing staff does home visits
Comments from Students: 

"It is obvious that Dr. Hirschman really cares about the population she treats and this comes through in everything that she does.  She is an incredible teacher and is very accessible and easy to learn from ."

"I thoroughly enjoyed working in the ED with a FM doctor and participating in procedures. The doctors I worked with gave me a significant amount of autonomy and I felt like what I did was useful and contributing to the team. I also enjoyed the unique experience of working in a very rural community."

"Very much a hands-on rotation, and I was given intern-level responsibility. Being part of the IHS system and being able to provide complete care and preventive services without having to worry about insurance status was also very refreshing."

"Real medicine that translates very easily to direct patient care. Not overly theoretical or academic."

"Dr. Stucki was an excellent mentor. He provided unique opportunities and always kept an eye out for me while I was working with other doctors. He is an excellent teacher with wonderful experiences to teach and share. I worked with many wonderful doctors and nurse practitioners that took the time to teach. The patient population was unique and most patients were very friendly and open."

"I got to do so many things! I was treated like a resident at my site with a lot of responsibility, but I always had help available."

"Providers were great to work with. Lots of ED time. Lots of autonomy, and people were great about grabbing me for interesting diagnoses and procedures. Lots of hands-on, delivered a baby, did some great minor surgeries!"

"This site is pretty isolated, but is very safe with a friendly, supportive community. Schedule can be adjusted to fit your interests - more or less ED,
OB, inpatient, etc. I did public health visits and did an episode of the call-in health radio show. Lots of great outdoor and cultural places to explore!"

"I loved the pt population, and the staff at the facility were wonderful, all of them were helpful and enjoyed teaching."

"Keep sending people there, it's a great experience"

Comments from Faculty: 

"The entire staff at Hopi Healthcare Center is eager to welcome University of Arizona Clerkship students. A number of us are graduates of the University, its Family Medicine Residency or its Faculty Development Program. We offer clinical and cultural diversity, furnished housing, and team camaraderie."

Site Address: 
Polacca Indian Health Service - Hopi Reservation Highway 264, Milepost 388 Polacca, AZ 86042 United States