Physician Comparability Allowance Contract (PCA): PCA allows the Federal Government to enhance recruitment and retention of physicians (for those not receiving loan repayment). PCA is in addition to your base salary and is part of your biweekly pay. Contracts are for 1-year or 2-years and the physician can decide on the length of the contract. The contracts are based on grade, length of service, board certification, length of contract and locality.
Recruitment Incentive: Some disciplines are eligible to receive a recruitment incentive based on availability of funds and other criteria. Recruitment bonuses are negotiable with the clinic/hospital.
Retention Incentive: Health care practitioners are eligible to receive a yearly retention allowance after the first year of employment. This bonus is based on productivity criteria and availability of funds.
Malpractice Insurance: Employees of Indian Health Service do not pay for malpractice insurance; they are provided coverage through the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Licensure: A valid, unrestricted medical license in any state is required for your specialty; and if licensed in more than one state, these licenses must also be unrestricted.
Leave: Annual leave (vacation time) earned will be 13 workdays per year. In addition to the earned annual leave, there are an additional 10 days of Federal holiday leave each calendar year that is not counted against your leave. Annual and Sick leave is earned at a rate of 4 hours each pay period for a total of 13 workdays per year. After three years of federal service, you will earn 6 hours each pay period for approximately 20 days of annual leave per year.
Overtime: Call back pay for a physician is based on a minimum call back of two hours. Overtime can be converted to compensatory time (vacation time).
Continuing Medical Education (CME): An annual allowance and five administrative days off are provided each year to attend a course or meeting of your choice. This amount depends on the discipline, facility and availability of funds.
Moving Expenses: Some positions will have the shipment of household goods and personal belongings covered. This could also cover personal travel costs to the new job location.
Health Benefits: There are seven health plans available to IHS employees. The Government pays about two-thirds of the costs. Part-time employees pay more for health benefits. You can check the Federal Employees Health Benefits website for more information at http://www.opm.gov/insure/health.
Retirement: You would be covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), which is a three-tiered retirement system. More information on the Thrift Savings Plan is available on http://www.opm.gov/insure/retire and http://www.tsp.gov
Life Insurance: The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance offers several choices in selecting the level of life insurance you desire. Their website is http://www.opm.gov/insure/life.
Loan Repayment Program: Applicants to this national program sign contractual agreements for 2 years and fulfill their agreements through full-time clinical practice at an IHS facility or approved Indian health program. In return, the LRP will repay all or a portion of the applicant’s eligible health professionals educational loans (undergraduate and graduate) for tuition expenses. Applicants are eligible to have their educational loans repaid in amounts up to $20,000 per year for each year of service. In addition, the LRP will pay up to 20% of Federal taxes directly to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – incurred as a result of payments made on behalf of recipients. If your total debt load exceeds $40,000, you can receive yearly extensions for one additional year at a time by simply requesting the extension in writing each year until your debt is gone.