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Global Health Education Student Experiences Greg Gabrellas

Navajo Nation

Fort Defiance Medical Center, Navajo Nation
Spring 2017, 4th year elective

"I recently finished my global health elective in family medicine at Fort Defiance Medical Center, and I can say it was a really great experience. Not only was the supervision excellent, but I was exposed to a wide range of medicine that was facilitated by the patients' complicated general medical problems as well as the department encouraging me to rotate across comprehensive care, including podiatry and the eye clinic. There is a fairly robust "traditional medicine" service as well, and the Navajo practitioners are very encouraging of students' interest in their work. The hospital provides free shared housing to students.

The Fort Defiance Medical Center already has third-year pediatrics and family medicine students from Dartmouth, and they also participate in the HEAL Global Medicine fellowship program at UCSF. The medical center is also used to working with Drexel and will coordinate with students to provide them with free housing. I found out about this through my sister who is a physician at the hospital, and students can contact her directly if they're interested (

I would highly recommend this rotation to others, assuming they're interested and motivated. It could even be a great place for a few 3rd year students to do their family medicine clerkship.

North American west, desert, Navajo Nation.

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