Jump to content
LESH

United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps

Recommended Posts

Physician Assistants,
The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps will open recruitment and commission of Physician Assistants into its ranks.  This window of opportunity is limited and will be open only during the month of July.  This opportunity closes quickly once a numerical quota is reached, so delay could mean lost opportunity. Qualifications: US Citizenship * NCCPA Certification by July 2015. Applicants must agree to apply and accept positions in agencies that have a specific need for Physician Assistants. Please go to http://www.usphs.gov/ and click on the "how to apply" menu. After completing the prescreening contact the Call Center at 1-800-279-1605 to begin the application process or to inquire regarding further details.If you have any basic questions regarding commissioning into the US Public Health Service contact me at the undersigned. If I cannot answer your question I will address and forward your question to a recruitment officer.
LCDR Joseph R Newcomb
Physician Assistant Advisory Group Communications Chair

joseph.r.newcomb.mil@mail.mil
* CCI 231.03 Category Specific Appointment Standards PA License. A current, unrestricted, and valid certification as a physician assistant by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) from a U.S. State (as defined in 42 USC 201 (f)) is required.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also pay listed on the web site was pretty bad (MAX for all jobs nationwide was $120, and most were in the $90's as a max...)

 

But is the only uniformed service that is not military!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the benefits are not immediately financial, although the pay goes up quite a bit when you get promoted and payment/extras for deployment, etc.   Unlike being a regular PA where there is definitely somewhat of a glass ceiling, you can go up the ranks to admiral if you are talented (Admiral Mike Milner), and most PAs that work on it (get higher degrees or certifications) make it to commander or captain by late career.  We have quite a few DHSc grads in the USPHS who have made quite a name for themselves.  And likely the biggest benefit is that you actually have a real pension, that vanishing species, after 20 years, and you can tack that on to any prior military service.  There is also a great potential for variety in your work instead of just clinical......you can do health policy analysis, work for the Centers of Disease Control, do global health and disaster deployments,  etc.   There is also the prestige of rank, service to country and a uniform without (generally that is) getting shot at although I was concerned for our students in Liberia with Ebola and in Haiti when the aftershocks were common after the earthquake. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also for older folks consider becoming a peace corps medical officer or state dept foreign service medical officer. they take folks much older.

I checked at with the state dept folks at aapa in s.f. and my starting wage with them would be 113k, not including all the great bennies...they give credit for years of experience and highest degree.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking through the website makes it look like once you've been commissioned you have to find your own job.  Am I really reading that correctly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To my knowledge 2 ways to enter the corp. One is to get hired for a job in putting your application, the other is get commissioned and look for a job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm too old but was something that I was interested in at one time.....was too old then too when I started PA school.   I say to the younger PAs to go for it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to finding a job with the PHS. 

 

The process has you first apply to the PHS. They will review your packet and hopefully recommend you for board review. The board is composed of three PHS officers. Once you are cleared by the board you will be advised to seek medical clearance and begin looking for a job. I am prior military and this was much different than what I had previously experienced. It is unique to it's sister services in that there is no detailers. You then look at all the agencies that employ PHS Officers and begin the job hunt. For example I work for NOAA but the two largest agencies are BOP and IHS. Once you have a job offer you contact the liaison for that agency who then notifies PHS. This process takes a bit but eventually you will receive orders to attend a two week BOC course in Maryland. 

 

Your commitment is two years. If you enjoy your job you can stay as long as the agency will have you (though this can delay advancement). If you choose to go, it's once again on you to negotiate your next job. 

 

Hope that helps.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was a tribal PA (direct hire) and I would encourage you to go the PHS route if you are interested in IHS.  Direct hires are under the tribal government and that can be tenuous at times.  The dentist at my facility was PHS and he was under all their benefits, pay, advancement, etc. He works 4 10 hour days.  Sweet.  He never was under the threat of unemployment due to a shaky tribal government's whims of decision making.

 

I had looked into PHS when I was a dietitian when I was looking for advancement (and was working for a tribal agency then), but decided to go to PA school instead. 

 

The PHS nurses I met at my former dietitian job seem to have  the best of both worlds.  

 

IHS has information on PAs and how to get into the IHS system and they reference the PHS system. www.ihs.gov

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also pay listed on the web site was pretty bad (MAX for all jobs nationwide was $120, and most were in the $90's as a max...)

 

But is the only uniformed service that is not military!

 

Don't forget our brothers and sisters in the NOAA Corps. Though there are only a few hundred of them they are also a uniformed service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to finding a job with the PHS. 

 

The process has you first apply to the PHS. They will review your packet and hopefully recommend you for board review. The board is composed of three PHS officers. Once you are cleared by the board you will be advised to seek medical clearance and begin looking for a job. I am prior military and this was much different than what I had previously experienced. It is unique to it's sister services in that there is no detailers. You then look at all the agencies that employ PHS Officers and begin the job hunt. For example I work for NOAA but the two largest agencies are BOP and IHS. Once you have a job offer you contact the liaison for that agency who then notifies PHS. This process takes a bit but eventually you will receive orders to attend a two week BOC course in Maryland. 

 

Your commitment is two years. If you enjoy your job you can stay as long as the agency will have you (though this can delay advancement). If you choose to go, it's once again on you to negotiate your next job. 

 

Hope that helps.

 

The transition is easier if you're already working in an agency with an eligible position. For example, in the Bureau of Prisons we have many clinicians who start as Civil Service employees and then convert to PHS when recruitment opens up. It's also possible to advance within your agency through both program and geographical moves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget our brothers and sisters in the NOAA Corps. Though there are only a few hundred of them they are also a uniformed service.

 

Never heard of this. Good info! Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget our brothers and sisters in the NOAA Corps. Though there are only a few hundred of them they are also a uniformed service.

 

Good point, but I don't think they can be militarized like the PHS (could be a benefit!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget our brothers and sisters in the NOAA Corps. Though there are only a few hundred of them they are also a uniformed service.

must be 42 yrs old or younger...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like they will repay up to 60,000 in student loans over 2 years. The only issue is the small window in which to apply. I graduate in December which means working a job in the meantime until I can apply the following July. Really seems like a sweet deal though considering the benefits. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently stationed with the BOP at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City.  I recently noticed an opening for a PA at the nearby air force base.  Are we eligible for these military base positions as PHS?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently stationed with the BOP at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City.  I recently noticed an opening for a PA at the nearby air force base.  Are we eligible for these military base positions as PHS?

 

No. You probably saw a posting for Tinker Air Force Base. These are contract positions and you would be a civilian. The only way to work at a base through a non-civilian route is by becoming a military member.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to the Physician Assistant Forum! This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn More