Regional Medical Officer

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United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply

Announcement Number: RMO-2013-0002
Position Title: Foreign Service Regional Medical Officer
Open Period: 09/25/2013 – 10/23/2013
FP – 0602- 01
Salary: $116,087 - $150,919
Promotion Potential: Senior Foreign Service
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies Throughout the World
For more information: Medical Services Office, 202-663-1084,

Who May Apply

All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.

Applicants must be American citizens and at least 20 years old to apply. They must be at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law, all career candidates must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.

Applicants are not eligible to reapply until one year after the application date of prior announcements, provided there is a new open Vacancy Announcement at that time.

Duration Appointment


Marketing Statement

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.

Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-01 $116,087 - $150,919

Physicians Comparability Allowance (PCA): $14,000 - $30,000



The U.S. Department of State is the lead foreign affairs agency formulating and implementing the President’s foreign policy and representing U.S. interests throughout the world. Foreign Service Regional Medical Officers are presently serving in Accra, Almaty, Amman, Ankara, Baghdad, Bamako, Bangkok, Beijing, Belgrade, Bogota, Cairo, Caracas, Dakar, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Islamabad, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kabul, Santiago, Sarajevo, Khartoum, Lagos, Lima, London, Manila, Moscow, Nairobi, New Delhi, Pretoria, Riyadh, Sanaa, Singapore, San Salvador, Taiwan, Vienna, Warsaw, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Washington, D.C., among other locations.

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 Foreign Service is more than a job – it’s a career. As a member of a diplomatic team, you will not only help to accomplish the mission of the Department of State, but also will be a representative of your country to the people of other nations. A Foreign Service career involves uncommon commitments and occasional hardships, as well as unique rewards and opportunities. A decision to enter this career should be based on extraordinary motivation and a firm dedication to public service.

Many overseas posts are in small or remote countries where harsh climates, health hazards, and other discomforts exist and where American-style amenities and the latest in technological advances often are unavailable. Personal security frequently becomes an area of concern in countries where there is political unrest or terrorist activity. However, careers in the Foreign Service offer special rewards, including the pride and satisfaction of representing the United States and protecting U.S. interests abroad.

The Foreign Service strives to maintain diversity in the representation of gender, geographic region, race and ethnicity within its work force.

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.

Key Requirements

All applicants, in order to be considered for selection, must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen.
  2. Be at least 20 years old to apply and at least 21 years of age to be appointed. By law (Foreign Service Act of 1980), all career candidates (except for preference-eligible veterans) must be appointed to the Foreign Service prior to the month in which they reach age 60.
  3. Be available for worldwide service..
  4. Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  5. Be able to obtain an appropriate medical clearance for Foreign Service work.
  6. Be able to obtain a Suitability Clearance, based on a review of the candidate's record for conduct in accordance with suitability standards defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more details see or

If you are 59 1/2 years of age or over and claiming a 5 point veteran's preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 with your application. If you are claiming a 10 point veteran’s preference, in addition to the DD-214, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15 with your application. (This is required if you are preference eligible.)

Major Duties


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:

  1. Clinical Responsibilities: Administers primary care, provides emergency and other acute care, advises on disease prevention, assures personal continuing education, arranges 24-hour care, insures confidentiality, administers vaccines, teaches CPR, teaches first aid, responds to child and spousal abuse, assists regional psychiatrist, helps in problems of adjustment to life style, insures safe blood supplies, studies local pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers, emphasizes malaria prevention and other infectious processes, and establishes healthy life style programs.

  2. Administrative Responsibilities: Maintains an inventory of supplies, communicates with patients, hires local employees, trains staff, insures universal precautions, insures food safety, insures water safety, oversees controlled substances, supervises regional health unit professionals, sets budget priorities, keeps medical records, publishes medical information booklet, maintains an up-to-date post capabilities report, trains locally hired nurses, and creates satisfaction surveys.

  3. Embassy or State Department Specific Responsibilities: Deals with local healthcare officials, liaises with local and international experts, insures emergency preparedness, acts as a diplomat, advises ambassador, communicates with medical department in Washington, evaluates hospitals, evaluates local doctors, evaluates local laboratories, contributes to post differential report, insures health-unit security, arranges medical evacuations, prepares for air evacuation, performs regional travel, evaluates medical clearances, makes clearance decisions, relates to post administration, serves on country team, serves on emergency action committee, organizes representational events, knows Workman's Compensation rules, works with non-Department of State Agencies, works with mail-order pharmacies, knows health insurance, chooses post medical advisor, sends statistical reports, assists Consular Corps, assists Center for Disease Control, and liaises with other Regional Medical Officers.

  4. Emergency Medical Response Duties: Oversees all medical aspects of his/her posts emergency preparedness program which includes counter-terrorism measures and responses to terrorist attacks and incidents involving chemical, nuclear and biological weapons and natural disasters. Updates the emergency action plan, provides emergency medical training, manages MED's emergency response programs, coordinates post pandemic medical response, advises post management, provides medical leadership in crises, provides emergency medical care, provides VIP medical coverage, initiates medical evacuations, and acts as patient advocate.

    Oversees all medical aspects of his/her post emergency preparedness program including countermeasures and responses to terrorist attacks, incidents involving chemical, nuclear and biological weapons and natural disasters.

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


A career in the Foreign Service involves uncommon commitment and could include extreme hardship along with unique rewards and opportunities. A decision to enter this career must involve unusual motivation, and a firm dedication to public service. In addition to living and serving in the United States as with all Foreign Service positions, living and serving overseas is mandatory. Many overseas posts are in small or remote countries where harsh climates, health hazards, and other discomforts exist, and where American-style amenities frequently are unavailable.

Foreign Service Medical Providers (RMOs, RMO/Ps, FSHPs, and RMLSs) are responsible for Department of State medical and safety policies, provision of a range of medical services, management of Health Unit operations, supervision of subordinate staff, and the actual performance of all of the following essential functions in addition to routine family care:

  • Inspect and assess the care and capability of local clinics, hospitals, laboratories, and private practices in possibly hazardous environments, and/or where there are no special access accommodations.
  • Provide patient care that may include heavy lifting, pulling, stooping and twisting in adverse settings.
  • Travel independently to regional constituent posts (if applicable) utilizing air carriers and transportation facilities that may not have special access accommodations.

The essential RMO, RMO/P, and FSHP functions of providing emergency care include the following responsibilities:

  • Triage and manage care of injured persons in any location following an accident, natural disaster, or attack.
  • Provide emergency care as required in a hostile or physically challenging environment, such as in buildings without elevators or in areas of irregular spaces that require kneeling, bending, lifting, and running. Transport patients via small aircraft, ambulance, or other vehicle with high floors.
  • Assist with evacuation via sea or air in the event of political unrest.


Education Requirements:

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 completed a formal residency training. Graduate training programs include only those residency and fellowship programs that are approved by accrediting bodies recognized within the United States or Canada.

  • 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 American Osteopathic Association (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, or a territory of the United States. Applications will not be accepted from physicians who are not currently licensed.

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



Applicants 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 primary patient care during the last six years.

Applicants 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.

Applicants 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. Previous experience working in an occupational setting and/or in an overseas setting is advantageous. Thorough understanding of the unique needs of the Department and the rigors of Foreign Service life is also preferable.

Applicants must be skilled and experienced physicians with excellent interpersonal skills. They must be able to function well within a complex organization and have experience working in a high stress environment, and recognize and understand 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 and apply sound clinical judgment in assessing possible solutions is required. Experience in providing long distance triage and care via electronic communications such as telephone, telemedicine, 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. Applicants 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 are preferred.


The education, work experience and other qualifications are evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements that have been identified as important to successful job performance as a Regional Medical Officer based on extensive job analysis research. Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.

  1. Knowledge of infectious diseases, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, dermatology, otorhinolaryngology, gastroenterology, urology, general surgery, radiology, psychiatry, occupational medicine, epidemiology, vaccines, emergency techniques, clinical pharmacology, health-related environmental factors, medical aspects of terrorism, alcoholism and drug abuse, laboratory medicine, and food safety.

  2. Specific skills in medical history-taking, physical examination, planning of evaluation and treatment, electrocardiography, minor surgery, triage, medical communication, oral communication, criticizing, organizing others, supervision, time management, mentoring, dealing with different cultures, computer use, and working with limited resources.

  3. General skills in social perceptiveness, reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, active learning, judgment and decision making, complex problem solving, service orientation, coordination, monitoring, instructing, learning strategies, and persuasion.

  4. Other attributes including empathetic personality, unflappable, self-confidence, confidentiality, interest in Foreign Service work, country loyalty, tolerance of non-scheduled work hours, tolerance of travel, and tolerance of living away from family.



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 our website,, under Selection Process.


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: During the application process, you will be asked to individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 2,000 characters or less for each item. 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 diagnosing and treating patient illness.

  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.

  5. Interpersonal skills: provide an example of effectively dealing with difficult patients, colleagues, or situation at work utilizing your interpersonal skills.

  6. Crisis Management Skills: Describe an example in which your skills significantly contributed to the positive outcome of a complex or difficult clinical crisis situation.

Other requirements - worldwide available, tolerance of intensive world travel, living away from family, and working and living in difficult and/or isolated conditions.


How Candidates Will Be Evaluated:

Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.


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.

How to Apply

We are not currently accepting applications for this position. Please subscribe to receive email updates regarding this vacancy.

To apply, applicants must first register on USAJOBS at and create an online federal resume. Your online resume must be typed or you may cut and paste an existing resume into the space provided. Once you have completed the registration process, select the "Apply Online" button to the right of the vacancy. That button will transfer you to Gateway to State. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications was October 23, 2013.

Follow the "Apply Online" instructions at Gateway to State by answering self-assessment questions for the specific job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the Gateway to State questions will become your application. Your registration, resume, and responses to questions will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this job. In addition, you may need to fax or upload some information to complete your application package.

Please note: Your application is automatically saved as you proceed through it. You may interrupt your application process and return to it until you submit it.

You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement. Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration. Due to the volume of applications, fax lines can become jammed and documents may not successfully attach to your application on the final days/hours of the application announcement. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CANDIDATE TO VERIFY THAT REQUIRED DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY ATTACHED TO THE APPLICATION PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE. Applicants can do so by going back into your application and verifying that documents have been attached. Applications received without required documents will be deemed ineligible. You are encouraged to submit your application early, and to go back into your application to confirm that your documents have been attached.


If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the helpdesk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing

Required Documents

As part of the online application, applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:

  1. A Completed Online Questionnaire (Gateway to State online application).
  2. Copy of Medical License, Medical Degree and verification of highest level of medical training.
  3. Proof of Board Certification.
  4. Proof of completion of residency.
  5. Standard ECFMG certificate if applicable.
  6. Application Form, VA-10-2850 (Complete Page 1, items 1 through 17 and Page 3, items 31 through 40). This form can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website: Application Form, VA-10-2850. Upon completion of Page 3 items 33 through 40, you will need to save a copy to upload or print out and fax with the appropriate system generated fax sheet. (All documentation submitted under this vacancy announcement on the Veterans Affairs forms will be reviewed and verified by Department of State personnel ONLY.)

Once you have completed the online questionnaire, you will be prompted to decide either to upload your documents or to print out cover sheets generated within the application that must be used to fax the above required documents.

If faxing, it is extremely important that only these system-generated cover sheets, and the phone number included on them, be used for faxing these documents. The cover sheets are coded to insure that your documents are automatically attached to your online application. Please ensure that each document is faxed separately with the appropriate system generated cover sheet.

You have until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and supply the required documentation outlined in this vacancy announcement. Application packages MUST be complete and received by the closing date to receive consideration.

What to Expect Next

Applications will be considered as their 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, security and suitability clearances.


Newly hired Regional Medical Officer career candidates are initially assigned to Washington, D.C., for a three-week orientation followed by onward training, including a two-day security seminar. Additional training may include language training (depending on the requirements of the first overseas post), area studies (an intensive study of the region of assignment), etc.

Location: 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.

For more information, call (202) 663-1084.


Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, generous paid leave, and an unprecedented chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include paid housing or a housing allowance and paid education for dependent children between K-12.

Additional Benefits: Tax free housing overseas, tax free educational allowance, etc. (See Benefits in our website,, for more information.)

Initial Salary, Salary Increases, and Tenure:

The starting salary range for Regional Medical Officers is FP-01, Steps 1 through 14. The salary is dependent upon such factors as graduate level education and directly related specialized experience not used to satisfy qualifications criteria experience. To be creditable, such education and specialized experience must be in excess of 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 $30,000 a year to full-time physicians with more than five years of Federal service, $22,000 a year to full-time physicians with more than 2 years of Federal service, and $14,000 to those with less than two 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 step for a masters degree in public health from an accredited college or university.
  • One step for a year or more of advanced specialty training in tropical medicine.

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 possibility to achieve Senior Foreign Service ranks. Foreign Service Specialist career candidates in the medical occupational categories are eligible for tenure review by the Specialist Tenure Board after they acquire a minimum of three years' experience in the Foreign Service as a specialist career candidate.

Other Information

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees may not be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether that discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department of State at within one week of receiving their invitation. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Information to ensure that they meet all of the requirements for this position before applying.