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Indian Health Service

The Indian Health Service (IHS), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, is responsible for providing federal health services to American Indians and Alaska Natives. Several BIDMC residents have participated in IHS rotations in Nome, Alaska and Shiprock, New Mexico.

Nome, Alaska is a town of about 3,000 people. Its hospital, Norton Sound Health Corporation, is also the referral center for about 14 other surrounding villages. Most of the physicians are either Family Medicine or Emergency Medicine trained. Participating residents will need to apply for an Alaska license prior to starting their rotation. 

Shiprock, New Mexico is part of Navajo Nation, a Native American-governed territory covering almost 27,500 square miles in the Southwestern USA. Of the IHS locations available to BIDMC residents, Shiprock has been described as more “modern” with greater access to amenities. The local hospital, the Northern Navajo Medical Center, is also a larger hospital than Norton Sound, and there is clear division of departments (e.g. Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, and Surgery). 

If you have more questions or are interested in pursuing a rotation through IHS, contact Dr. Anita Vanka, Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, at To learn more about the IHS, click here.

Contact Information

Global Health Program
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
303 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-754-4677