Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Health | Opinion
Editorial: Medical community needs more Navajo doctors


"Treating disease and injury on the Navajo Nation is different from medical work anywhere else in the world, as a recent look by The Associated Press into Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation showed us. Doctors and medicine men sometimes give very different diagnoses.

But in Tuba City, Ariz., they walk the same hallways and treat the same patients, allowing for mental and spiritual peace of mind.

The doctors there have taken a cue from the medicine men and altered their bedside manner to more easily gain the trust of Navajo patients. It helps that many of the doctors at Tuba City are Navajo or American Indian themselves, which makes it easier for them to understand the culture of their patients.

However, reservation hospitals cannot pay doctors as well as most larger medical care facilities in bigger cities, so retaining these doctors can be difficult.

Despite the excellent work the employees at Tuba City are doing, the Four Corners medical community needs more Navajo doctors who understand the unique approach to health care on the reservation.

The recent health care bill passed by congress reauthorized a program that encourages American Indians to become doctors, but there only is so much the government can do."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Tuba City hospital overcomes the odds (The Farmington Daily Times 4/26)

Indian Health Care Improvement Act:
S.1790 | H.R.2708

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