About Ken Bernard

Ken Bernard

Kenneth ("Ken") R.L Bernard is a graduate the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency (HAEMR) at the Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's Hospitals in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Bernard graduated from Yale in 2006 and continued his training at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School where he received his MD and MBA in 2011. As a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and an Indian Health Service Professions Scholar, Dr. Bernard's interests include minority health and advocacy, acute care access, emergency department operations, safety and quality, and leadership development. During residency he co-founded and implemented a pilot Leadership Development Course (LDC) for MGH Internal Medicine residents, which is now core educational curriculum for all MGH Internal Medicine trainees. He has also led leadership, teamwork and mindfulness work shops for the HAEMR residents. Currently he is working on creating the first Indian Health Service Emergency Department Inventory through a collaboration with Emergency Medicine Network (EMNet.org). His published works include topics such as critical care and resuscitation, evidence based emegency medicine practice, teamwork and leadership, and quality of care amongst US American Indian populations. He is a staff emergency physician in Tuba City, Arizona at the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation caring for patients from the Navajo and Hopi Nations. He lives with wife Kelly and their two dogs, Tully and Greta.

All posts by Ken Bernard

Knife and Gun Club: The Rez Edition

• June 7th, 2016

In 1989, Eugene Richards published the visual chronicle of scenes from the Denver Country Hospital Emergency Department.  Anyone who has worked in an emergency department (ED) would recognize the grainy photos that put on display the gruesome injuries that people incur as a result of senseless violence. Let’s face it — in addition to unscheduled primary… Read More…

Care in Crisis

• March 31st, 2016

I initially envisioned this post as an upbeat piece of advice for graduating residents who will soon go out into the world as healers.  For me, this transition was both anxiety-provoking and rewarding, so I wanted to help residents avoid the pitfalls and enjoy the pearls.  Look for that piece next month because after the… Read More…

The Outsiders

• December 23rd, 2015

A few weeks ago we had our first Thanksgiving in our new home, complete with turkey costumes for the dogs and my wife’s best green bean casserole to date. We really feel like roots are starting to take. What was I most thankful for this holiday season? A home, a family, and the opportunity to… Read More…


• October 6th, 2015

Over the past few weeks I experienced many firsts on the frontline in the Tuba City emergency department. Among many firsts are my first Diné words including yá’át’ééh (yah-tah-hey) which means hello in Diné Bizaad, and, in case you forgot, boozhoo (hello) in Anishinabemowin. So far simple greetings and polite courtesies are all I can… Read More…

Coming Home: Medicine from the Frontlines of Indian Country

• August 10th, 2015

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of posts by Dr. Ken Bernard on his experience with the Indian Health Service.  Boozhoo, or, “Hello.” I start in the language of my ancestors, the Anishinaabe, which means “Original People.” This summer I will be starting my career as an emergency physician and returning to… Read More…