United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer
How to Apply
Announcement Number: HP-2014-0002
Position Title: Foreign Service Health Practitioner
Open Period: 7/30/2014 – 8/27/2014
Series/Grade: FP – 0610 - 03
Salary: $ 76,981 - $113,050
Promotion Potential: FP-0C
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies Throughout the World
For More Information: Medical Services Office, 202-663-1084, email@example.com
All potential applicants are strongly urged to read this entire Vacancy Announcement to ensure that they meet all the requirements before applying.
Applicants must be United States 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.
No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections 607 (Retirement for Expiration of Time-in-Class), 608 (Retirement Based on Relative Performance), 610 (Separation for Cause), or 612 (Termination of Limited Appointment) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no candidate will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service for failure to receive a career appointment under Section 306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof. Specialists separated pursuant to these provisions may not re-apply to be a Foreign Service specialist in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service generalist).
Permanent after being tenured in the Foreign Service by the Tenure Boards
The Department of State is developing a rank-order Register to fill a limited number of Foreign Service Health Practitioner vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service in any given year and is subject to change.
Grade and Salary Range: FP-03, $76,981 - $113,050
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. Regional Foreign Service Health Practitioners are presently serving in Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Algiers, Ankara, Antananarivo, Ashgabat, Astana, Baghdad, Baku, Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Bishkek, Bogota, Brasilia, Brussels & Antwerp, Bucharest, Budapest, Bujumbura, Cairo, Chengdu, Chisinau, Colombo, Conakry, Djibouti, Dushanbe, Erbil, Frankfort, Freetown, Guatemala City, Hanoi, Havana, Herat, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Jakarta, Juba, Kabul, Kampala, Karachi, Kathmandu, Kigali, Kinshasa, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Kyiv, La Paz, Libreville, Lilongwe, London, Luanda, Lusaka, Managua, Manama, Manila, Maputo, Mexico City, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Monrovia, Moscow, Mumbai, Nairobi, N’Djamena, New Delhi, Niamey, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Peshawar, Phnom Penn, Port au Prince, Prague, Pretoria, Pristina, Quito, Rabat, Rangoon, , Santo Domingo, Sofia, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Tegucigalpa, Tel Aviv, Tirana, , Tripoli, Tunis, Ulaan Baatar, Vienna, Vientiane, Washington, DC, Yaoundé, and Yerevan. There may be additional posts opening in the near future.
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 eligible family members who represent U.S. Government agencies abroad. The Department assigns Foreign Service Health Practitioners, Medical Officers, Medical Officer/Psychiatrists and Medical Laboratory Scientists to select posts overseas. Many of these posts have significant health risks and local medical facilities are often inadequate to cope with them. The Foreign Service Health Practitioner assumes the role of primary care provider, and is responsible for administering a full range of community health care services, including preventive health education for the U.S. Embassy's official community and on a regional basis when indicated.
Candidates must 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.
NOTE: Individuals who have been found unqualified for employment by a Department of State Final Review Panel for Suitability within the previous two years are ineligible to apply (unless the individual was a candidate for a Special Agent position with the Diplomatic Security Service and the decision to deny eligibility was based on the candidate’s inability to fulfill the unique duties of that position and not based on suitability standards).
DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Serving as a Foreign Service Health Practitioner in support of the employees of the United States Government and their eligible family members, a health practitioner may work independently or in conjunction with other Foreign Service medical personnel. The Foreign Service Health Practitioner duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
Foreign Service Health Practitioners are considered 'essential personnel' and are on call to provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
DESCRIPTION OF FUNCTIONAL DUTIES
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 enthusiastic 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, potential danger, 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:
The essential RMO, RMO/P, and FSHP functions of providing emergency care include the following responsibilities:
In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, applicants must be a graduate of an accredited Masters-level Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or Physician Assistant (PA) program at the time of appointment with a minimum of a Master's degree. A review panel will recommend the most competitive candidates be invited to take a proctored writing examination as part of the final assessment. 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, careers.state.gov, under Selection Process.
Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for Federal jobs. To view how foreign education is evaluated for federal jobs, please visit http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp.
LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION
Applicants must be currently licensed as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or Physician Assistant (PA) in a state, a territory of the United States or the District of Columbia and must have current national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or the Physician Assistant equivalent from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Applications will not be accepted from Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants who are not currently licensed and certified. National Board certification and re-certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant must be maintained.
Applicants must have a minimum of five (5) years clinical experience post NP or PA family practice certification. 75% of the NP or PA’s time must be involved in direct primary care for at least four (4) out of the last five (5) years.
The term ‘primary care’ encompasses adult and pediatric diagnosis and treatment of acute illness and management of chronic diseases, routine gynecologic care, prenatal care, adult health maintenance and preventative health care, well child care and managing immunizations. It embraces the total family unit across the lifespan – including emotional and physical aspects that impact overall wellbeing. Emergency department and urgent care experience are a plus. The primary care provider 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.
The candidate must demonstrate the ability to manage administrative aspects of a health unit as well as the ability to cope with extraordinary medical crises, often in remote and isolated settings. Education and experience must demonstrate that the applicant can function as a public/community health provider.
Applicant must be a skilled and experienced primary health care practitioner with excellent interpersonal skills. Applicant 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, and e-mail to individuals is preferred.
Candidates must have the capacity to gain the cooperation and confidence of patients, co-workers, 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 is essential as well as the ability to present medical findings in a clear and concise manner to medical and non-medical personnel. The demonstrated ability to teach or lecture to groups on medical issues is preferred.
Candidates must be able to develop, coordinate, and administer health care delivery programs. These include but are not limited to individual and community health promotion and disease prevention programs. This includes teaching health topics to both small and large groups. Candidates must provide comprehensive health assessments and medical care to individuals and families across the life span.
Candidates must be able to organize and supervise a diverse group of health care providers who have varying degrees of expertise, education, and command of the English language. Candidates must understand the unique cultural differences related to health care delivery in varied countries and address these differences in a positive manner. The candidate must be able to assess, diagnose, and treat infectious diseases.
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 with computer systems are preferred.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
The education, work experience, and other qualifications are evaluated for evidence of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other requirements that have been identified as important to successful job performance as a Health Practitioner 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.
Purpose: The Supplementary Questionnaire inside the application provides an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life and work experiences that relate to the required skills which best show you have the KSAOs listed above to accomplish the work of the Foreign Service Health Practitioner.
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 personal experience, but must reflect personal accomplishments. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment/interview should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills required of an experienced Health Practitioner is the ability to write clearly and concisely.
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 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.
MEDICAL CREDENTIALING & INDEMNIFICATION
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.
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To apply, applicants must first register on USAJOBS at www.usajobs.gov 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 is August 27, 2014.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of the online application, applicants will be asked to submit the following required documents:
IF prior military service, include all copies of your DD Forms 214 (required).
Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must also complete and submit an SF-15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference (available at http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/SF15.pdf).
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 approved SF-15 with your application. (This is required if you are preference eligible.)
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 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.
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 8-12 months, including the completion of the credentialing, medical, security and suitability clearances.
Newly hired Health Practitioner 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.
Health Practitioner's are assigned at the FP-3 level. The specific step (or salary) within that level will be determined at the time a firm offer of employment is made.
Current Federal Civil Service employees (or former employees) will also be assigned at the FP-3 level. Specific step (or salary) within the FP-3 level will be set at the nearest possible salary rate of the current (or previous) grade.
Location: Individuals must be willing to serve worldwide. Generally, following a brief orientation period at the Department of State in Washington, D. C., newly hired Foreign Service Health Practitioners will serve an initial two year tour at a Foreign Service post overseas, and will usually spend an average of 60 to 80 percent of their careers stationed abroad, moving at two-to-four year intervals. The remainder of their time will basically be spent at the Department of State in Washington, D. C., or Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
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 Compensation and Benefits on our website for more information.)
Any Foreign Service Specialist hired after October 1, 2013, who demonstrates FSI-tested Arabic language ability, will receive a one-time recruitment bonus.
Initial Salary, Salary Increases and Tenure:
The salary for Foreign Service Health Practitioners is FP- 3, Step 1 through 14. The starting salary is dependent upon such factors as graduate level education and directly related specialized experience not used to satisfy qualifications criteria. Salary level will be determined at the time of a conditional offer of employment. 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 and will be determined at the time of a conditional offer of employment. While the hiring of all medical professionals will start at FP-3, Step 1, additional steps may be granted based on the following criteria:
Foreign Service Health Practitioners compete for promotion annually with others in their specialty up to the level of Senior Foreign Service. The Foreign Service Career candidate will become eligible for tenure after a minimum of three years of service.
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 ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov within one week of receiving their invitation. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.