Transitioning to Your Career in Indian Health
Congratulations! Your academic training is nearly complete and the Indian Health Service (IHS) looks forward to your valuable contribution to our mission: To raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health of American Indians and Alaska Natives to the highest level.
As you progress to the final step of your health professions journey, we recommend that you begin preparing for graduation and your search for an Indian health career as soon as possible.
Send all required documentation associated to:
Indian Health Service
Attn: Program Analyst
801 Thompson Ave., TMP Suite 450A
Rockville, MD 20852
The following documents are required prior to or immediately after graduation:
- Notice of Impending Graduation (IHS-856-13) [PDF - 94KB]: Due at the beginning of your final academic term.
- A copy of your diploma: Due immediately after graduation.
- Final official transcript: Due immediately after graduation. The transcript must document the degree awarded.
- License/board certification: Due immediately after graduation, if applicable.
The following forms are due to your Program Analyst during your final year of academic training in preparation for or updating the program on your job search:
- Preferred Placement (IHS-856-12) [PDF - 90KB]: This form must be submitted at the beginning of your final year of school (August/September for spring graduates) indicating your preferred IHS Areas and Indian health facilities within which to fulfill your service commitment.
- Placement Update (IHS-856-15) [PDF - 90KB]: This form must be submitted every 30 days (up to 90 days) after graduation if you are unable to secure employment prior to completion of your academic or post-graduate clinical training.
In addition to your academic and recipient reporting responsibilities, the IHS Scholarship Program recommends that you begin researching career opportunities at the beginning of your final year of academic training (July/August for spring/summer graduates or February/March for fall/winter graduates). Completing these steps will assist you in securing a position that fits your preferred location and career needs:
- Step One — Familiarize yourself with IHS and an Indian Health Career.
- Step Two — Contact an IHS Recruiter or Indian health facility about career opportunities.
- Step Three — Research the three career paths available to Indian health professionals.
- Step Four — Submit a position description or vacancy announcement to your Program Analyst to determine the eligibility of your preferred health profession position and Indian health facility.
- Step Five — Apply for approved openings through USAJOBS.
- Step Six — Submit Verification of Employment documentation to your Program Analyst.
Service Commitment Requirements
You are required to begin your Indian health career within 90 days after graduation. Failure to secure an eligible position can result in involuntary placement at an in-need facility.
Your position must be in full-time clinical practice working a minimum of 40 hours per week. The 40 hours cannot be worked in less than four days and no more than 12 hours of work can be performed in any 24-hour period. Time spent in on-call status will not count toward the 40 hours. Overtime cannot be applied to another workweek.
You are also required to submit the following documentation annually updating the IHS Scholarship Program on your status as an Indian health professional:
- Annual Status Report (IHS-856-16) [PDF - 90KB]: This form must be submitted at the beginning of your final year of school (August/September for spring graduates) indicating your preferred IHS Areas and Indian health facilities within which to fulfill your service commitment.
- Leave report summary — Provided by your local Human Resources Department.