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How to Apply

United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer

Announcement No:  FSRMO - 98-1
Opening Date:   November 03, 1998
Closing Date:     Indefinite


    Grade and Starting Salary Range:
    FP-1, $79,710 - $103,623
    Physicians Comparability Allowance (PCA):  $14,000 - $20,000
    Additional Benefits: TaxFree Housing overseas, TaxFree Educational Allowance, etc.
    plus benefits package

    Number of Vacancies:
    The Department of State is developing a rank-order List of Eligible Hires to fill a  limited number of Foreign Service Regional Medical Officer vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service.

    Area of Consideration:
    All Sources

    Individuals must be willing to serve world-wide.  Generally, following a brief orientation period at the Department of State in Washington, D. C., newly hired Foreign Service Medical Officers will serve an initial two year tour at a Foreign Service post overseas, and will usually spend an average of 60 percent of their careers stationed abroad, moving at two-to-four year intervals.  The remainder of their time will be spent at the Department of State in Washington, D. C. or Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.


    Serving as a Regional Medical Officer in support of the employees of the United States Government and their eligible family members, a physician may work independently or in conjunction with other Foreign Service medical personnel.  The Regional Medical Officer duties include implementing the following procedures at each post of responsibility:

    • Provide primary medical care and appropriate health information and disease prevention programs.
    • Identify, evaluate the capabilities of local providers and facilities at home and regional posts on an ongoing basis.
    • Advise post management on health resources in the community and region.
    • Make recommendations and effect medical evacuation of ill patients.
    • Provide the Office of Medical Services with reports of programs, activities, and statistical reports as directed.
    • Provide distant and on-site support to Health Units at Regional Posts.
    • Manage the operation of the Health Unit, administratively, clinically and oversee the operation of the health units in constituent posts.  Leads in the preparation of the Health Unit budget.
    • Identify and evaluate the capabilities of the designated Post Medical Advisor.
    • Actively participates in the development of primary care conference for U.S. embassy local hire medical professionals.

    Foreign Service Medical Officers are considered "essential personnel" and are on call to provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week .



    The Office of Medical Services in the Department of State maintains and promotes the health of employees and their accompanying family members who represent United States Government agencies abroad.  The Department assigns Foreign Service Medical Officers, Medical Officers/Psychiatrists, Health Practitioners, and Medical Technologists to selected posts overseas.  Many of these posts have significant health risks and local medical care that is inadequate by U.S. standards.  The Foreign Service Medical Officer is responsible for health care delivery to members of the Official American Communities in several countries within a regional geographic area.

    Regional Medical Officers are presently serving in Abidjan, Almaty, Bamako, Bangkok, Beijing, Brasilia, Cairo, Dakar, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kinshasa, Lagos, London, Manila, Moscow, Nairobi, New Delhi, Pretoria, Riyadh, Sanaa, Santiago, Singapore, Tegucigalpa, Vienna, Warsaw, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Washington, D. C.

    While the preference of an applicant for a particular post or area of assignment is given every possible consideration, assignments are dictated by "the needs of the service."



    The salary range for Regional Medical Officers is FP-01, Step 1 through 6.  The salary is dependent upon such factors as graduate level education and directly related specialized experience not used to satisfy qualifications criteria experience.  Salary level will be determined at the time of conditional offer of employment.  To be creditable, such education and specialized experience must be in excess to that which is required to qualify as described under Education and Specialized Experience Requirements.  Individuals already working in government positions may be appointed based on highest previous rate as a Federal Employee.  The Department of State has current authority from the Office of Management and Budget to enter into agreement with physicians enabling allowances of $20,000 a year to full-time physicians with more than five years of Federal Service and $14,000 to those with less than five years of federal service.  Federal Service must have been as a physician.

    While the hiring of all medical professionals will start at Step 1, additional steps may be granted based on the following criteria:


    • One in-grade step increase may be given for the first (and only the first) graduate degree below the doctoral level in a work-related field, awarded before the date of appointment.
    • Two additional steps may be given for a doctoral degree in a work-related field, awarded before the date of the appointment.
    • One step for a masters degree from an accredited college or university in Public Health



    • One step for 3 to 4 years of closely related experience
    • Two steps for 5 to 6 years of closely related experience
    • Three steps for 7 or more years of closely related experience
    • One step for a year or more of advanced specialty training in Tropical Medicine
    • Two steps for Board Certification in Internal Medicine, Family Practice, or Emergency Medicine which after evaluation and review are deemed appropriate to the needs of the Service.

    In addition, the physician receives at least ten hours of Category 1 CME credit through an annual State Department-sponsored Continuing Medical Education program. RMO's are considered for promotion annually in competition with others in their specialty, and have the promotion headroom to achieve senior foreign service ranks.  Foreign Service Career Candidates are considered for tenure by a Tenuring board after they acquire a minimum of three years experience in the Foreign Service as a Specialist Career Candidate.



    Applicants are subject to a medical Credentialing process conducted by the Quality Improvement Staff  of the Office of Medical Services.  The Medical Credentialing process includes queries of the National Practitioner Data Bank and Physician Data Profile through the American Medical Association (AMA).  Once hired, medical personnel are indemnified for official duties only through the U.S. Federal Tort Claims Act.



    In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, an applicant must have a Doctor of Medicine degree or equivalent at the time of appointment, as stipulated below, and be able to pass a writing skills assessment which may be conducted following successful completion of the initial review stage and qualifications review panel.  The panel will recommend the most competitive candidates be invited to take a proctored writing examination.  The ability to draft an essay which will demonstrate a command of English grammar, spelling, and punctuation will be an important consideration in order to participate in an oral assessment, which is explained further in the enclosed supplement, "Information and Benefits for Foreign Service Specialists."

Grade Level

Salary Range


General Experience


$72,525 - $84,076

Doctor of Medicine or Equivalency



DEGREE:  Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree from a school in the United States or Canada approved by a recognized accrediting body in the year of the applicant's graduation.  A Doctor of Medicine degree or equivalency degree from a foreign medical school that provided educational and medical knowledge substantially equivalent to accredited schools in the United States may be demonstrated by permanent certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or a fifth pathway certificate for Americans who completed premedical education in the United States and graduate education in a foreign country.

GRADUATE TRAINING : Subsequent to obtaining a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree, a candidate must have had at least 1 year of supervised experience providing direct service in a clinical setting,  i.e., a 1-year internship or the first year of a residency program in an institution accredited for such training.  Graduate training programs include only those internship, residency, and fellowship programs that are approved by accrediting bodies recognized within the United State or Canada. 

  • An internship program (post graduate 1 year) involves broadly based clinical practice in which physicians acquire experience in treating a variety of medical problems under supervision (e.g. internal medicine, surgery, general practice, obstetrics-gynecology, and pediatrics).  Such programs are in hospitals or other institutions accredited for internship training by a recognized body of the American Medical Association (AMA) or American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
  • A residency program involves training in a specialized field of medicine in an institution accredited for training in the specialty by a recognized body of the American Medical Association (AMA) or AOA.
  • A fellowship program involves advanced training (beyond residency training) in a given medical specialty in either a clinical or research setting in a hospital or other institution accredited in the United States for such training.



    Applicants must have a current, valid, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States.  Applications will not be accepted from physicians who are not currently licensed. 

    Applicant must be currently board certified in Family Practice, Internal Medicine or Emergency Medicine by the American Board of Medical Specialties or Osteopathic Board.  Board certification and re-certification must be maintained.



    Applicant must have a minimum of five years of post-residency clinical experience in their primary care specialty with at least 50% of the physician's time involved in direct patient care during the last five years.

    Applicants with only four years of clinical experience beyond residency may apply for a position, in anticipation of having the five year requirement at the time of appointment.  Such experience will be evaluated on an individual basis.

    Applicant must have a minimum of five years of experience in providing "primary care."  The term "primary care" refers to comprehensive health care for patients of all ages and both sexes and which encompasses the total person and all organ systems.  It also embraces the total family - including the emotional and physical concerns which impact the health of family members.  The primary care physician utilizes and coordinates sub-specialty professional consultations when needed.

    Applicant must have demonstrated a high degree of clinical and management expertise.  The patient population covered is unique because of background and lifestyle as part of a diplomatic community overseas.  This population also differs in terms of clinical and administrative needs and the national security concerns inherent in their employment.  Therefore, at least one (l) overseas assignment as a Foreign Service Regional Medical Officer is preferable.  Thorough understanding of the unique needs of the Department and the rigors of Foreign Service life is also preferable.

    Applicant must be a skilled and experienced physician who recognizes and understands the problems of delivering health care to a large group of Americans posted in widely scattered locations where local medical resources are limited or non existent.  The ability to logically and objectively analyze patient problems, apply sound clinical judgment in assessing possible solutions is required.  Experience in providing long distance triage and care via electronic communications such as telephone, radio, telegram and e-mail to individuals is preferred.

    Candidates must have the capacity to gain the cooperation and confidence of patients, coworkers, supervisors, and subordinates.  Individuals must have experience in working in multidisciplinary practice as well as experience in team building, leadership and management.  Effective written and oral communications skills, and the ability to present medical findings in a clear and concise manner to medical and non-medical personnel is essential.  The demonstrated ability to teach or lecture to groups on medical issues is preferred.

    Knowledge of medical regulations and policies of the Department of State is preferable. Must possess a high degree of integrity, decisiveness and fairness in order to equitably apply the regulations and policies of the medical program to all eligible persons. 

    Knowledge and hands-on familiarity of computer systems is preferred.


    Purpose:  To allow an opportunity to describe your experiences that relate to the required skills which best show your ability to accomplish the work of the Foreign Service Medical Officer.

    Instructions:   Using plain white paper and either a typewriter or word processor, individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 200 words or less for each item.  The writing should be double-spaced.  Examples can be drawn from any part of your experience, but must reflect personal accomplishments.  You should compose your replies carefully as one of the skills required of an experienced Medical Officer is the ability to write clearly and concisely.

    1. Clinical Skills:  Describe a specific complex clinical case which demonstrates your skills in organizing patient problems and solutions.
    2. Organizational Abilities:  describe a specific achievement demonstrating your planning and organizational skills in the setting of a multidisciplinary clinical team or practice.
    3. Leadership and teamwork abilities:  discuss your abilities to participate as a team member working toward a common goal, as well as examples of your ability to lead a team in the accomplishment of a goal.
    4. Public Speaking and Teaching Ability:  Describe specific examples demonstrating your public speaking and teaching abilities as part of an assignment or work-related task.



    The following numbered materials are required for a complete application package. They become the property of the Department of State and will not be returned. All items listed must be submitted together:

    1.  Completed Application for Federal Employment (DS-1950) included.

    2.  Completed Employment Data Form included.  This is an optional form, which request      information to be used for statistical purposes only.

    3.  Curriculum vitae.

    4.  Copy of Medical License, Medical Degree and verification of highest level of medical         training.

    5.  Official transcripts, plus any other documentation which includes all courses taken, grades, semester or quarter hours earned, cumulative grade point averages for all courses taken, class standing/s, and major.

    6.  Proof of completion of Residency.

    7.  Proof of Board Certification.

    8.  Completed Supplementary Questionnaire

    These documents should be submitted and addressed to:

      U.S. Department of State
      Office of Medical Services
      Attention:  MED PERSONNEL
      SA-1    Room L-216
      2401 E Street, N.W.
      Washinton, D.C.  20522-0102



While this vacancy announcement shall remain open indefinitely, applications will be considered as the completed package arrives in the Department.  The Department of State will be hiring a number of candidates.  Please note that the average processing time for an application is 7-9 months, including the completion of the credentialing, medical and security clearances.

Applications, which are received through State's inter-office mail system or mailed in Government-franked envelopes, will not be processed.

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender.  In addition, as mandated by US Code 310, sons and daughters of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.


The Department of State is committed to equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment for all without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, disabling condition, political affiliation, marital status, or prior statutory, constitutionally protected activity.

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