Careers App
Health Practitioner

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

Announcement Number: HP-2013-0005
Position Title: Foreign Service Health Practitioner
Open Period: Open 09/25/2013 – 10/23/2013
Series/Grade: FP – 0610 - 03
Salary: $ 76,219 - $111,930
Promotion Potential: FP-0C
Duty Locations: MANY Vacancies Throughout the World
For More Information: Medical Services Office, 202-663-1084,


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 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, $76,219 - $111,930


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 among others in Abidjan, Abuja, Accra Addis Ababa, Algiers, Ashgabat, Astana, Ankara, Asmara, Antananarivo, Berlin, Baghdad, Beijing, Bishkek, Brasilia, Bucharest, Budapest, Baku, Bangkok, Beirut, Bogota, Brussels, Cairo, Chengdu, Chennai, Chisinau, Colombo, Conakry, Damascus, Dushanbe, Erbil, Frankfort, Freetown, Guatemala City, Hanoi, Harare, Havana, Herat, Hong Kong, Juba, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kabul, Kampala, Karachi, Kyiv, Kathmandu, Kigali Kinshasa, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, La Paz, Libreville, Luanda, Lusaka, Lilongwe, London, Managua, Manama, Manila, Maputo, Mexico City, Monrovia, Moscow, Mumbai, Nairobi, Ndjamena, New Delhi, iamey, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Peshawar, Phnom Penn, Port au Prince, Prague, Pretoria, Pristina, Quito, Rabat, Rangoon, San Salvador, Santo Domingo, Sofia, Tashkent, Tel Aviv, Tbilisi, Tegucigalpa, Tirana, Tokyo, Tripoli, Tunis, Vientiane, Vienna, Yaoundé, Yerevan, Ft. Lauderdale, UlaanBaatar, and Washington, D.C. 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 Technologists 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.

Key Requirements

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

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • 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.
  • Be available for worldwide service.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate medical clearance for Foreign Service work.
  • 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 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 the following:

  1. Providing primary health care services: Collects information about patients through interviews and observations, examines patients (adults and children), including medical clearance examinations, analyzes diagnostic tests, advises patients, prescribes treatment, writes prescriptions, performs therapeutic procedures, offers mental health support, consults with health care team, documents patient information, manages immunization program, and maintains professional credentials.

  2. Managing occupational health and preventive medicine programs: Performs health maintenance, identifies endemic conditions, provides disease prevention, orients new personnel, updates post medical information, monitors food safety, ensures safe drinking water, acts as the occupational health advisor, oversees the pre-employment or fitness for duty of local employees, provides emergency care for those on U.S. government property, adheres to quality assurance procedures, submits reports, assists in facilitating emergency visitation travel, and monitors department's medical provider basic life support (BLS) certification.

  3. Administering health unit functions: Manages health unit resources, exercises fiscal responsibility, supervises health unit staff, facilitates military access to care, follows laboratory protocols, and advises consular personnel.

  4. Coordinating emergency medical response: 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.

  5. Evaluating local medical resources: Evaluates local medical resources, establishes professional networks, and coordinates local medical care.

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


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:

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,, under Selection Process.

Applicant must have a minimum of four years of experience within the last six years providing direct patient care, which includes at least two years experience within the last six years providing family primary care post NP or PA certification; Family primary care is defined as that provided for pre-natal and pediatric patients through adult population.

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


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.


Applicant must have a minimum of four years of experience within the last six years providing direct patient care, which includes at least two years experience within the last six years providing family primary care post NP or PA certification; Family primary care is defined as that provided for pre-natal and pediatric patients through adult population.

Applicants must have experience providing primary care. Candidates must have specialized experience as an FNP or PA including chronic and emergency care, in an independent family or general practice setting. The candidate must demonstrate the ability to manage administrative aspects of a health unit as well as the ability to cope with extraordinary medical crisis, 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. Education and experience must demonstrate that the applicant can function as a public/community health provider. Applicant must be able to recognize and understand the problems of delivering health care to a large group of Americans posted in widely varied settings, often where local medical resources are limited or nonexistent. Experience in providing long distance triage and care via electronic communications such as telephone, radio, telegram and e-mail to individuals is important.

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.


The education, work experience, and other qualifications will be evaluated for evidence of the following 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:

  1. Knowledge at the nurse practitioner or physician assistant level of family practice medicine and/or advanced practice nursing, pediatrics, women's health issues, obstetrics, infectious diseases, orthopedics, dermatology, gastroenterology, neurology, urology, laboratory/radiology/ diagnostic testing, pharmacology, general surgery, mental health conditions, alcoholism and drug abuse, nutrition, emergency medical techniques, immunizations, food and water safety, and medical quality assurance procedures.

  2. Technical skill in family practice, clinical interviewing, physical assessment, performing medical examinations, performing medical procedures, operating medical equipment, planning of evaluation and treatment, triage, basic computer programs, and research techniques.

  3. Personal skills in oral communication, written communication, teaching others, supervision, leadership, time management, acclimating to different cultures, collaborating, and organizing events and projects.

  4. Other requirements: empathetic personality, self confidence, firmness of convictions, adaptability, unflappability, creativity, ability to keep confidentiality, tolerance of non-scheduled work hours, physical endurance, worldwide availability, tolerance of separation from family, and country loyalty.

Purpose: The Supplementary Questionnaire inside the application provides an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education and life and work experience that show you have the KSAOs listed above for the job of Health Practitioner. Examples can be drawn from any part of your personal experience. 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.

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. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service Health Practitioner is the ability to write clearly and concisely.

  1. Clinical Experience: Describe your clinical experience working with well and acutely ill infants, children, and adolescents. Include the type of practice setting, and the number of patients seen weekly.
    1. Include a statement about your ability to manage care for a pediatric population in a remote setting.
    2. Please provide the same information about your women's health care experience.
    3. Describe your clinical experience and give a self-assessment of your abilities to care for and stabilize a trauma patient, multiple trauma patients prior to a medical evacuation
    4. 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 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.
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 is 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 via USAJobs).
  2. Copy of all current professional licenses as a Nurse Practitioner or Physician's Assistant in a state, a territory of the United States or the District of Columbia (current national certification as an NP or PA from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants).
  3. Copy of Board Certification
  4. Current Professional Liability Insurance fact sheet
  5. Standard ECFMG certificate (if applicable)
  6. Application Form, VA-10-2850 (Complete Items 1 through 17 and 31 through 40). This form can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website: Application Form, VA-10-2850. Upon completion 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 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 the Washington, D. C. metropolitan area


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.) In addition, the Foreign Service Health Practitioner attends at least one State Department-sponsored continuing medical education program each year and receives at least ten hours of Category 1 CME credit per CME.

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 FP3, Step 1, additional steps may be granted based on the following criteria:

  1. Two additional steps may be given for a doctoral degree in a work-related field, awarded before the date of the appointment.
  2. One step may be given for a master's degree from an accredited college or university in Public Health.

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.

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 ReasonableAccommodations@state.go 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.

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