Foreign Service Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist (RMOP)

Montevideo, D.C
Dec 03, 2021
Dec 08, 2021
Full Time

The Bureau of Medical Services (MED) in the Department of State safeguards and promotes the health and well-being of American's diplomatic community, which consists of employees and their accompanying family members who represent United States government agencies abroad. The Department assigns Foreign Service Medical Officers (RMOs), Psychiatrists (RMOPs), Medical Providers (MPs), and Medical Laboratory Scientists (RMLS) to selected posts overseas. Many of these posts have significant health risks and local medical care that is inadequate by U.S. standards.

A Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist (RMOP) works either independently or as a member of a team of FS Medical Specialists to provide medical support for USG employees and their Eligible Family Members (EFMs).

An RMOP is considered "essential personnel" and is expected to be available on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. RMOP duties include but are not limited to:

Clinical Responsibilities
  • Administers primary mental health care.
  • Performs telephone and telehealth video consultations.
  • Arranges 24-hour care.
  • Responds to crises at the home post or regional posts.
  • Advises on disease prevention.
  • Maintains an awareness regarding alcohol and drug abuse at post and provides educational and treatment services.
  • Renders clinical consultations and responds to allegations of abuse.
  • Helps employees and family members with adjustment to life style and culture.
  • Provides consulting to other medical staff.
  • Establishes wellness programs.
  • Teaches crisis management.
  • Assesses morale.
  • Assures personal continuing education.

Administrative Responsibilities
  • Communicates regularly with mission community.
  • Keeps medical records.
  • Uses other computer software to provide services.
  • Evaluates local mental health care providers and mental health facilities.
  • Evaluates local pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufacturers.
  • Maintains or advises on inventory of supplies and oversees controlled substances.
  • Trains locally hired nurses and health unit staff on screening for psychiatric conditions and stress management.
  • Creates satisfaction surveys.

Embassy or State Department Specific Responsibilities
  • Performs regional travel.
  • Works with non-department of state agencies.
  • Arranges medical evacuations.
  • Assists consular corps.
  • Liaises with other RMOPs.
  • Ensures emergency preparedness.
  • Advises ambassador.
  • Consults at the American (or international) school.
  • Deals with problems in the embassy workplace.
  • Evaluates medical clearances.
  • Deals with local health care officials.
  • Communicates with medical headquarters in Washington.


Conditions of Employment

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service. *
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.**
  • Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).***

Essential Physical Requirements
The most important physical requirements of the job are: speaking, hearing, vision, mobility, tolerance for extreme environmental conditions, and physical endurance.

RMOPs 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:
  • Providing 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.
  • Providing 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 over uneven terrain.
  • Transporting of self or patients via small aircraft, helicopters, ambulances, or other non-standard modes of transportation with small entrances and high floors, such as high axle armored vehicles.


Licensure and Board Certification

Applicants must have a current, valid, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, 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 (ABPN) must certify applicants in psychiatry. American Board certification and re-certification, state medical licensure, and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration must be maintained for the duration of employment.

Specialized Experience

Applicant must have a current board certification by the ABPN and have a minimum of five years post-residency clinical experience within the past seven years, in adult or child/adolescent psychiatry with at least 50 percent of the applicant's time involved in direct patient care during the last five years.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

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.

Specific medical knowledge areas required by the job include: 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 aspects of terrorism, health-related environmental factors, basic concepts in organizational psychology, and health insurance.

Specific medical skills required by the job include: interviewing, history taking, triage, stress counseling, prescription treatment, providing critical feedback, couples therapy, organizing others, mentoring, medical communication, using medical software, dealing with different cultures, and working with limited resources.

Personal skills required by the job include: reading comprehension, active listening, active learning, oral and written communication, public speaking, complex problem identification, critical thinking, judgment and decision making, social perceptiveness, interpersonal skills, persuasion, service orientation, instructing, time management, monitoring, coordination, and process operation and control.

Other attributes required by the job include: compassionate, unflappable, self-confident, firm convictions, independent but integrated with the department, interest in continuous learning and change, interest in foreign service work, tolerance of on-call and emergency demands, tolerance of travel, worldwide available, and tolerance of living away from family.

Willingness to deploy to high threat environments to provide care and consultation to persons under Chief of Mission Authority. 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. Ability to work effectively with colleagues from other cultures. Ability to create supportive and effective relationships in overseas environments, due to successful self-management.

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.

Applicant 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 RMOP'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.

Other attributes include empathetic personality, unflappability, discerning self-confidence, adherence to confidentiality, interest in Foreign Service work, loyalty to the United States, tolerance of non-scheduled work hours and travel, and tolerance of living away from family.

Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. Foreign Service Specialists must meet consistently 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).


At the time of application, applicants must possess:

Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree from a university in the U.S. or Canada that was approved by a recognized U.S. accrediting body in the year of the applicant's graduation.

MD or DO or equivalent degree from a foreign school that provided educational and medical knowledge substantially equivalent to accredited schools in the U.S. This equivalency may be demonstrated by either permanent certification of the applicant's school by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or a Fifth Pathway Certificate.

Subsequent to obtaining a MD or DO degree, a candidate must have completed formal residency training. Qualifying graduate training programs include only those residency programs within the U.S or Canada and which are approved by an accrediting body recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) or American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

You must submit a copy of your university transcript(s) with your application. If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, your candidacy will not continue.

Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school's name, and, if applicable, the degree and date awarded and have no missing pages. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will not continue. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.

Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, .

Education completed in foreign high schools, 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. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted. If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not continue.



For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.

U.S. Department of Education:

Additional information

*EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) - Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.

U.S. law requires organizations to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States - either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee's information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.

**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit:

***For more information about Veteran's Preference and how it is applied in the selection process, please visit:

No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated 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.

A Foreign Service Specialist separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 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.

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 cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether 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 at, within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.