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Primary Care & Ocular Disease Residency at Tsehootsooi Medical Center - Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board Inc. (Fort Defiance, AZ)


Tsehootsooi Medical Center (TMC) and Midwestern University Arizona College of Optometry (AZCOPT) have joined forces to create the TMC Primary Care & Ocular Disease Optometry Residency Program on the Navajo Reservation.  Serving the Navajo Native American population provides some of the most well rounded residency and externship programs available. The unique combination of ocular disease, trauma, and high refractive disorders in patients of all ages in addition to a close-working multidisciplinary staff creates a highly effective learning environment The Fort Defiance Indian Hospital Board, Inc. consists of the Tsehootsooi Medical Center (TMC) and its satellite clinic Nahata'Dziil Health Center in Sanders, AZ. TMC is a 245,000 square foot, state of the art facility that was built in 2002. It is a 56 bed inpatient hospital and houses a number of outpatient clinics including a 10 lane optometry clinic.

The hospital provides multidisciplinary, high quality and community guided health care services to approximately 40,000 Native Americans.The Navajo Reservation is the largest tribe and reservation in the United States spanning 25,000 square miles. The Navajo or Dine people whom we serve are a very pleasant and appreciative people that are a joy to work with. Many of the elderly patients still speak only Navajo, living according to traditional Navajo religious and cultural practices. A number of our patients do not have electricity or running water in their homes. Unfortunately, there is a high incidence of diabetes mellitus in the Navajo population and a significant number of patients have hypertension, autoimmune disease and other systemic diseases.

Frequently encountered eye problems include glaucoma, uveitis, cataracts, diabetic and other vascular retinopathies, cranial nerve palsies, infectious and vernal conjunctivitis, amblyopia, high refractive errors, foreign bodies, and ocular trauma from domestic violence and motor vehicle accidents.The TMC optometry resident will spend a majority of his/her time at the eye clinic within the hospital, but will also travel to our satellite clinic in Sanders. The eye clinic is fully equipped with modern ophthalmic instruments and is staffed by technicians. Observation of surgical procedures with respected ophthalmologists in the area will be arranged.

Although all residents are required to write a research paper of publishable quality and to provide a presentation at an IHS, state or national association meeting, emphasis of the residency is on gaining meaningful clinical experience. Inexpensive housing is provided in hospital housing next to the hospital. We are located in one of the most scenic areas of the country, and offer almost unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreational activities. We are within a half a day drive of more than a dozen national parks and monuments and we are only minutes away from the Navajo Nation Capital in Window Rock, Arizona.

Annual Salary: $64,000

For additional information, please contact:

Erika Anderson, OD
Residency Coordinator
PO Box 649 Fort Defiance AZ 86504
(928) 729-8926
erika.anderson@fdihb.org