Foreign Service Medical Provider
The U.S. Department of State, our country’s lead foreign policy agency, provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders.
Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. They work on the business of diplomacy and high priority issues that impact the safety, security, and prosperity of our world – human rights, environment, energy, food security, public health, and technology – all while experiencing a unique career.
Our talented workforce reflects and champions all of our strengths and diversity – personal, professional, and educational. We offer a workplace that values and rewards leadership, collaboration and innovation, and personal and professional development.
The Mission Statement of the Bureau of Medical Services (MED) in the Department of State is to safeguard and promote the health and well-being of America’s diplomatic community. The Department assigns Medical Providers (MPs), Regional Medical Officers (RMOs), Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrists (RMO/Ps) and Regional Medical Laboratory Scientists (RMLS) to select posts overseas. Many of these posts have significant health risks and local medical facilities are often inadequate to cope with them. The MP undertakes 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.
The Department of State is developing a rank-order list of eligible hires for a limited number of FSS vacancies based on the needs of the Department.
To learn more about the Department of State and a career as an FSS, please visit us at http://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/career-tracks#
- 75% or Greater
- An FSS generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State's overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.
- After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., an FSS usually is assigned to two overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.
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 U.S., Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia and must have current national certification as a FNP or the PA-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. Licenses and national board certification and re-certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant must be maintained during employment with the Department’s Bureau of Medical Services.
Applicants must have a minimum of five years clinical experience post NP or PA family practice certification. 75% of the FNP or PA’s time must be involved in direct primary care for at least four out of the last five 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 preferred 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.
The applicant must be a skilled and experienced primary health care practitioner with excellent interpersonal skills. The 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 are 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 lifespan.
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. Candidates 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, and Abilities (KSA)
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 Medical Provider 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.
Knowledge of infectious diseases, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology, women’s health issues, dermatology, otorhinolaryngology, gastroenterology, urology, general surgery, orthopedics, neurology, radiology, psychiatry, nutrition, occupational medicine, epidemiology, vaccines, diagnostic testing, emergency techniques, clinical pharmacology, health-related environmental factors, medical aspects of terrorism, alcoholism and drug abuse, laboratory medicine, food safety and medical quality assurance procedures.
Specific skills in medical history-taking, physical examination, planning of evaluation and treatment, electrocardiography, minor surgery, triage, operation of medical equipment, basic computer programs, research techniques, and working with limited resources.
Personal skills in social perceptiveness, oral communication, written communication, reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, active learning, judgment and decision making, complex problem solving, service orientation, teaching supervision, leadership, time management, acclimating to different cultures, collaborating, learning strategies, persuasion, and organizing events and projects.
Other attributes include empathetic personality, self-confidence, firmness of convictions, adaptability, unflappability, creativity, confidentiality, interest in Foreign Service work, loyalty to the United States, tolerance of non-scheduled work hours, physical endurance, worldwide availability, and tolerance of travel, tolerance of separation from family, and working and living in difficult and/or isolated conditions.
Superior oral and written communication skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. FSS must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).
Candidates must be able to obtain and maintain a Top Secret Security Clearance, obtain an appropriate Medical Clearance, and be found suitable by a Department of State Foreign Service Suitability Review Panel.
In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, applicants must be a graduate of an accredited Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) or Physician Assistant (PA) program at the time of application with a minimum of a Master's degree in a health related field.
You must submit all transcripts supporting your educational achievements for you to receive credit. Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted for the application process.
Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of the key elements above will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order to be credited towards qualifications. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Click on the link for a list of accredited organizations recognized as specializing in interpretation of foreign education credentials.
MPs may need to perform essential functions effectively with or without reasonable accommodation, in environments that pose physical or other occupational challenges. These duties may include:
- Provision of direct patient care that may require heavy lifting, pulling, stooping, and twisting in austere environments
- Travelling independently to regional posts utilizing commercial air carriers, military aircraft, or other transportation modalities that may not offer special access accommodations
- Provision of emergency care in any location following an accident, natural disaster, or attack and emergency care in potentially hostile or physically challenging environments, such as in buildings without elevators or in areas with irregular spaces that require kneeling, bending, stooping, lifting, and running
- Transportation of patients via small aircraft, ambulances, or other vehicles with high floors
In support of USG employees and their EFMs, MPs may work independently or in conjunction with other Foreign Service (FS) medical personnel. The MP duties include, but not limited to:
Provides primary and preventive health care services across the lifespan: Obtains patient history, performs physical assessments to include diagnosis and treatment, emergency and other acute care services, analyzes diagnostic tests, provides routine and travel vaccinations, prescribes electronically, performs therapeutic procedures, offers mental health support, responds to child, elder and/or spousal abuse, documents protected patient information, uses electronic health records, coordinates inpatient care and monitoring, arranges and prepares for medical evacuation, emphasizes prevention of malaria and other tropical and infectious diseases, establishes healthy lifestyle programs and supports patients in adjusting to the FS, teaches CPR and first aid, ensures patient confidentiality, serves as patient advocate, consults with other health care team members, and maintains professional credentials and continuing education.
Engages in diplomatic responsibilities: Collaborates with local healthcare officials, liaises with local and international experts, evaluates local hospitals, doctors and laboratories for types of services and standards of care, ensures safe blood supplies, reviews local pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers, interacts with other USG agencies, advises the Ambassador on health issues affecting the Mission, attends country team, serves on Emergency Action Committee, comprehends Workman's Compensation and health insurance plans, selects post medical advisors, advises consular personnel, collaborates with Center for Disease Control, acts as occupational health advisor, monitors food and water safety, provides emergency care for those on USG property, and oversees the pre-employment or fitness for duty of local employees.
Directs health unit (HU) administrative functions: Manages HU personnel and resources, maintains current inventory of medications and supplies, hires local employees, orients and trains new personnel, ensures universal precautions, oversees controlled substances, sets budget priorities and exercises fiscal responsibility, facilitates military access to care, maintains medical records, updates medical information booklet, maintains Medical Capabilities Information report, monitors satisfaction surveys and provides constructive feedback, contributes to post differential report, ensures appropriate security measures in the HU, organizes representational events, manages immunization program, assists RMO/P, submits statistical reports, adheres to quality assurance procedures, facilitates Emergency Visitation Travel, and monitors currency of HU staff competencies and continuing education.
Coordinates emergency medical response: Oversees all medical aspects of post’s emergency preparedness program which includes counter-terrorism measures, responses to terrorist attacks, incidents involving chemical, nuclear or biological weapons, and natural disasters. Updates the medical section of post’s Emergency Action Plan, provides emergency medical training, manages MED's emergency response programs, coordinates post pandemic medical response, provides medical leadership in crises, provides emergency medical care, provides VIP medical coverage, and manages mass casualty evacuations.
Accomplishes regional management duties: Performs regional travel in collaboration with RMO/Manager, supervises HU staff in region, liaises with other RMO/Managers, mentors new MPs, and communicates with MED.
MPs are considered essential personnel and on call to provide services 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
MPs are responsible for Department of State medical and safety policies, provision of a range of medical services, management of HU operations, supervision of subordinate staff, and the actual performance of all essential functions in addition to routine family care. Duties include, but not limited to:
Inspect and assess the care and capability of local clinics, hospitals, laboratories, and private practices in possibly hazardous environments, and/or without special access accommodations.
Provide patient care that may include heavy lifting, pulling, or twisting in adverse settings.
Travel independently to regional posts utilizing air carriers and transportation that may not have special access accommodations.
Essential emergency care MP functions include:
Triage and management of care of injured persons in any location following an accident, natural disaster, or attack.
Provision of emergency care in a hostile or physically challenging environment, such as buildings without elevators or areas of irregular spaces requiring kneeling, bending, lifting, and running.
Transportation of patients via small aircraft, ambulance, helicopter, or vehicles with high floors.
Assistance with evacuation via land, sea or air.