Careers App
Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist

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


Announcement No: RMOP-2015-0001
Position Title: Foreign Service Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist
Open Period: 02/05/2015 - 03/04/2015
Series/Grade: FP - 0180 - 01
Salary:  $118,033 - $153,446
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 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.

Applicants are not eligible to reapply until one year after the application date of prior announcements.

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).

Duration Appointment

Permanent after being tenured in the Foreign Service by the Tenure Boards.

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/Psychiatrist vacancies. The specific number to be hired will depend on the needs of the Foreign Service.

Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-01, Steps 1-14 $118,033 - $153,446.

Physicians Comparability Allowance (PCA): $14,000.00 - $30,000.00


The Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatry Career

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/Psychiatrists are presently serving in Accra, Amman, Athens, Bangkok, Beijing, Bogota, Cairo, Dakar, Frankfurt, Jakarta, Lima, London, Manama, Mexico City, Moscow, Nairobi, New Delhi, Pretoria, Tokyo, Vienna, and the District of Columbia among other locations. RMO/Ps also serve on temporary duty in high threat locations (e.g., Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen etc.) and in post-disaster environments (e.g., post-earthquake Haiti, etc). While the preference of an applicant for a particular post or area of assignment is given consideration, all 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/Psychiatrists, Medical Officers, Medical Providers, and Medical Laboratory Scientists 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/Psychiatrist is responsible for providing mental health care to members of the official American community in multiple countries within a regional geographic area.

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.
  • 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

NOTE: Individuals who have been found unsuitable 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).

For more details see or

Major Duties


Serving in support of the employees of the United States government and their eligible family members, the Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist (RMO/P) may work independently or in conjunction with other Foreign Service medical personnel. The RMO/P duties include implementing the following procedures at each post of responsibility:

  1. Clinical Responsibilities: Provides ambulatory and emergency psychiatric care for employees and eligible family members - including children, assesses post morale, responds to emergencies 24-hour/7days a week, performs telephone consultations, assures patient confidentiality, responds to crises at the home post or regional posts, renders clinical consultations on workplace and family violence events (including child and spousal abuse cases), provides educational and treatment services as feasible for alcohol and drug abuse prevention at post, renders psychiatric consultations for Regional Medical Officer, helps employees in problems of adjustment to life style, creates and provides educational and therapeutic presentations to officers and families at post, and assists with establishing lifestyle programs.
  2. Administrative Responsibilities: Maintains required Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, trains staff as needed on screening for psychiatric conditions and stress management, maintains accurate medical records including requested workload and clinical care metrics, documents and reports on regional travel, and plans and requests budgets for regional travel.
  3. Embassy or State Department Specific Responsibilities: Makes regular visits to regional posts, as frequently as necessary to determine ongoing mental health needs, and provides needed services. Improves embassy workplace morale through consultations with HR, supervisors, and senior leaders; advises ambassador; responds and collaborates with medical department in Washington. Evaluates local mental health resources, evaluates local mental health care providers, arranges medical evacuations, performs regional travel, evaluates medical clearances, serves on country team, works with non-Department of State agencies, works with mail order pharmacies, works with post medical advisor, sends statistical reports, assists Consular Corps, liaises with other Department psychiatrists, and consults at the American Embassy (or other) international schools. Travels 40 to 50% of the time or more to provide mental health and administrative oversight.


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 Specialists (RMOs, RMO/Ps, MPs, 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 MP 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 county.

GRADUATE TRAINING: The applicant must have completed an internship and psychiatric residency training program approved by a recognized accrediting body within the United States or Canada.


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 psychiatrists who are not licensed. The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology must certify applicants in psychiatry. Board certification and re-certification must be maintained.



Applicants must have a current board certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (APBN) and have a minimum of five (5) years of post-residency clinical experience in adult or child/adolescent psychiatry with at least 50% of the applicant's time involved in direct patient care during the last 6 years.

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

Applicants must be able to integrate clinical, administrative and management skills to effectively meet the mental health needs of U.S. Foreign Service employees and their eligible family members assigned overseas. Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrists must be skilled and experienced clinicians able to gain the confidence of their patients, co-workers and supervisors, and capable of working independently in complex and difficult situations.

Applicants must be a skilled and experienced 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. The individual must be able to recognize and treat a wide range of mental health disorders and manage the special challenges of providing care to a diverse population, scattered over a large geographical area where local medical and mental health resources may be limited or non-existent. Clinical experience in child/adolescent psychiatric, marital/family therapy, cross cultural psychiatry, crisis intervention and substance abuse is desirable.

The applicant must be able to provide expert consultation and guidance to Foreign Service Medical Officers and other medical personnel with varying backgrounds and levels of training.

Applicants with experience in team building, leadership, and management in a multidisciplinary setting are preferred. Applicants must have effective written and oral communication skills and the ability to present findings in a clear and concise manner to both medical and non-medical personnel. Public speaking skills as well as knowledge and hands-on familiarity of computer systems and software are also desirable qualities.

The RMO/P's patient population 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. The successful applicant will have an understanding of the challenges of consulting in a non-medical environment.


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/Psychiatrist 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 general psychiatry, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, Schizophrenia, autism and related disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, other learning disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders, alcoholism and drug abuse, suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health problems of adolescence, violence directed at women/children/elderly, clinical psycho-pharmacology, laboratory medicine, medical and mental health aspects of terrorism, and health-related environmental factors.
  2. Specific skills in history taking, physical examination, treatment, triage, medical communication, oral communication, criticizing, couples therapy, organizing others, stress counseling, written communication, computer use, supervision, dealing with different cultures, and working with limited resources.
  3. General skills in social perceptiveness, active listening, reading comprehension, active learning, learning strategies, coordination, service orientation, instructing, time management, critical thinking, judgment and decision making, monitoring, persuasion, complex problem solving, and negotiation.
  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.
  5. Willingness to deploy to high threat environments to provide care and consultation to Foreign Service officers and family members. Ability to consult with senior leaders, officers and family members with tact, recognizing the limited role of the physician in a non-medical organizational environment. Capability to work effectively with colleagues from native foreign cultures. Able to create supportive and effective relationships in overseas environments, due to successful self-management.

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



In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, an applicant must have a Doctor of Medicine degree or equivalent degree 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 determining which candidates to invite to an oral assessment, which is explained further on 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/Psychiatrist.

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/Psychiatrist 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 mental health problems.
  2. Organizational Abilities: Describe a specific achievement demonstrating your planning and organizational skills in the setting of a multidisciplinary mental health team or in an organizational consultation role.
  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. Crisis Management Skills: Describe an example in which your skills significantly contributed to the positive outcome of a complex or difficult clinical crisis situation.
  6. Resilience Skills: Discuss your strategies to manage in a highly stressful environment and include any experiences where you succeeded in occupational tasks in an overseas/cross-cultural work environment.


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

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 ( This button will transfer you to Gateway to State. Please note that the deadline to submit completed applications is March 04, 2015.

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 Standard Time (EST) 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 their 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.
  2. A Copy of Medical License, Medical Degree and verification of highest level of medical training.
  3. Proof of psychiatric residency training.
  4. A Copy of certification in psychiatry by the Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
  5. Proof of Board Certification.
  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.

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/Psychiatrist 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 worldwide. Generally, following a brief orientation period at the Department of State in Washington, D. C., newly hired Foreign Service Medical Officer/Psychiatrists will serve an initial two year tour at a Foreign Service post overseas and will usually spend an average of 80 percent of their careers stationed abroad, moving at two-to-four year intervals. The remainder of their time spent will be spent in the Department of State in Washington, D. C.

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 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 range for RMO/P is FP-01, Step 1 through 14. The salary is dependent on 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 to that which is required to qualify as described under education and specialized experience requirements and will be determined at the time of a conditional offer of employment. Individuals already working in government positions may be appointed based on highest previous rate as a Federal employee.

The Department of State has authority from the Office of Management and Budget to enter into agreement with psychiatrists to provide 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 master’s degree from an accredited college or university, in public health.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

  • Psychiatrists receive at least 10 hours of category 1 CME credit through an annual State Department-sponsored continuing medical education program. RMO/Ps 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 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. Employees must be tenured within required time limits to continue in the Foreign 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 within one week of receiving their invitation. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

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