Medical Students & Residents


Gila River Health Care offers student rotations in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Nursing at our Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital and Komatke Health Center facilities.

Getting Started for Medical Students

The Medical Staff Services department will arrange suitable clinical rotations for medical students in their requested discipline. Medical students will be required to provide a student profile including a request for clinical rotation, will be properly authorized, and oriented to assigned departments. The Medical Staff Services will ensure each candidate meets the requirements for student placement. Medical students requesting clinical rotations must attend an academic institution who has current affiliation agreement with Gila River Health Care.

Clinical rotations are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. unless prior arrangements have been made and is approved by the preceptor as well as the students institution or university. Continuing Medical Education (CME) lectures and lunch and learns are provided to the medical staff on a monthly basis. Students are encouraged to participate in various health-focused clinical meetings and activities.

To apply for student rotation, please complete the request form. Request for clinical rotation

Upon completion, email form to or fax to (602) 528-1296.


Gila River Health Care offers two residency positions in Primary Eye Care and Ocular Disease at our Hu Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital facility. Our residents currently carry a 10-hour day 4 days per week work schedule, and enjoy an extra day during the week to relax, travel or moonlight at an outside clinic to supplement the residency stipend.


Interested candidates to our residency program may find additional information on the Marshall B. Ketchum University web site at or by contacting the Optometry Residency Coordinator, Dr. Erin Havens via email at

Applicants should visit the ORMatch website for details and instructions to officially apply. Be sure to submit all supplemental materials required by ORMatch directly to Dr. Havens at:

Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital Eye Clinic
P.O. Box 38,
Sacaton, Arizona 85147.

Supplemental materials include the following:

  • Letter of Intent – a brief statement detailing your desire to complete a residency at Hu Hu Kam Curriculum Vitae
  • Official Optometry school transcripts
  • Three official letters of recommendation, preferably from Optometrists or Optometry school professors who have worked directly with you and who can attest to your clinical abilities.

Letters must be sent hard copy directly from your letter writers. Exceptions will be given to email copies sent directly from VA sites, schools of Optometry or Optometry clinics on official letterhead.

The final ORMatch match generally takes place the first week in February or the first week in March, approximately 4 months prior to the residency start date of July 1st.

Applicants usually begin submitting their application materials around November or December up through the February ORMatch deadline. Remember, considerations may be made about other candidates while awaiting your paperwork, so you are encouraged to submit the required documents in a timely manner.


4 staff preceptors from 4 different schools of Optometry, all with unique perspectives on patient care and disease management

4 day work week, 3 day weekends

Opportunity to work alongside a co-resident for mutual support, advice & camaraderie

The best of both worlds in terms of education and experience — close to a big city, with exposure to a high prevalence of ocular disease within a rural community

Well-appointed clinic with the latest in ophthalmic technology, including spectral domain OCT, HVF, FDT, GDx, topography, B scan and anterior/posterior seg cameras.

Only 30 minutes from a major city center and airport

Plenty of opportunity to work with and mentor 3rd and 4th year student externs

Opportunity to see patients of all ages for a well-rounded patient experience

Extremely strong learning environment with guidance as well as opportunity for independent learning and autonomy

Opportunity to work closely with highly respected on-site retinal specialist, Dr. Pravin Dugel from Retinal Consultants of Arizona

3 case reports and/or posters assigned to prepare you for fellowship application

We promote from within, considering the strong bond we form with our residents during their time with us. In fact, over half of our current staff Optometrists were former Hu Hu Kam residents.

We are currently in the planning stage for a new hospital within the Gila River Indian Community, with the possibility for employment opportunities in the future.

We work hard and take our jobs very seriously, but like to have a lot of fun while doing so! We all love the profession of Optometry and enjoy mentoring top notch doctors!

We truly have a wonderful patient base within the Gila River Indian Community


The fundamental mission of our residency training program is to provide qualified post-doctoral optometric practitioners with outstanding educational experiences focused on general care optometry and ocular disease with additional specialized skills within a medical center and public health care system.

The program strives to create an atmosphere that fosters compassionate appreciation for the needs of patients from all backgrounds, especially for the Native American population which the residency serves.

The following information is provided as a guide to familiarize residents with Gila River Health Care’s vision to be the premier Native American health care system to serve the lifelong needs of the Gila River Indian Community.


For additional information, contact:

Dr. Erin Havens
Optometry Residency Coordinator


Gila River Health Care offers rotations in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Nursing at two of our facilities. Institutions seeking to place students are required to have an affiliation agreement prior to any placement. Academic affiliation requests may be made through the Medical Staff Relations for consideration. If your institution has a current affiliation agreement, please click here for the Student Placement Guidelines to ensure to the efficiency of the student placement process. All internship and clinical rotation requests must be sent to the Medical Staff Relations or they will not be considered. Clinical rotations are offered on a first come, first serve basis; therefore, we recommend that requests are made at least 3 months in advance. Clinical rotations can be closed and cancelled at any time.

For more information please contact:

Medical Staff Relations
Phone (602) 528-1200 ext 1193
Fax (602) 528-1296

Gila River Health Care is currently seeking professionals to complement our current medical staff. Our Community Sacaton, Arizona is a beautiful area nestled peacefully south of Phoenix, Arizona near Casa Grande. Sacaton has an intriguing history. Learn more about our region and our growing community.

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