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Dr. Bernadette T. Freeland-Hyde

Year of Birth / Death

b. 1959

Medical School

University of Arizona College of Medicine



Career Path

Pediatric medicine
Dr. Bernadette T. Freeland-Hyde


When I was growing up, I didn't like the way the white doctors treated the elderly. The doctors seemed disrespectful of our traditions. I thought I could do a better job.


Dr. Bernadette Freeland-Hyde has served the Salt River Maricopa Indian Community since 1999. "I grew up on the Navajo reservation at a time when not many succeeded in college and beyond," she says. "When my patients look at me, it gives them encouragement."

Bernadette Freeland-Hyde was married and had three children when she decided to enter college. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and went on to medical school at the University of Arizona. As a mark of honor to her family and American Indian heritage, she wore her native dress to receive both her undergraduate diploma in 1982 and her medical school degree in 1987. After an internship in pediatrics at the University of Texas at Houston, Dr. Freeland-Hyde served her pediatrics residency at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, and was a pediatric fellow at the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. She has also completed the graduate certificate program "Hopkins Business of Medicine" offered by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, School of Professional Studies in Business and Education through the Caliber Learning Center of Phoenix.

Before being named pediatric consultant for the Salt River Community in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1999, Dr. Freeland-Hyde served as staff pediatrician for the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. While in Phoenix she was also a cross-cultural consultant in the medical center's Department of Family and Community Medicine Residency Program and a pediatrician for the Native American Community Health Center. Dr. Freeland-Hyde advocates building the cultural strengths of indigenous populations and providing health care to underserved children.

From 1999 to 2001, Dr. Freeland-Hyde conducted a comprehensive health review of all of the children of the Salt Rive Pima Maricopa Indian community from birth to age 20, assessing child health needs. Dr. Freeland-Hyde serves on the American Indian Child Health Committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics and on the executive board of the Association of American Indian Physicians. In November 1992, she was awarded the Public Health Service Citation.

Question and Answer

What was my biggest obstacle?

Medical School. I never wanted to go to medical school, but I did want to be a doctor and it was a means to an end.

How do I make a difference?

I grew up on the Navajo reservation at a time when not many succeeded in college and beyond. Not much has changed. When my patients look at me, it gives them encouragement to try and look beyond.

Who was my mentor?

I had no real mentor. Instead I had people who encouraged me and believed in my ability to accomplish my goals.

How has my career evolved over time?

Before I started here at Salt River, Arizona, pediatric services were available once a week. Now children have access to pediatric care three to four days a week