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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

An IHS Physician speaks with a candidate

Commissioned Corps

The US Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the US government, but it is not a military service. More than 35 percent of Commissioned Corps officers work for IHS and receive benefits similar to those provided by the US military services. If you choose to pursue this career option, you’re eligible for a generous vacation package and comprehensive health care and retirement benefits.


  • Loan Repayment
  • $15,000 – $30,000 sign-up bonus (with requirements)
  • Up to 30 days paid vacation
  • 10 paid federal holidays
  • Continuing education*
  • Sick leave as needed
  • Comprehensive health care
  • Tax-free housing allowance
  • Space-available flights on military aircraft
  • No-cost malpractice coverage
  • No overhead expenses
  • Non-contributory retirement
  • Thrift savings (contributory) retirement

Eligibility Requirements

  • US citizenship
  • Medical physical
  • Minimum two-year commitment
  • Waiver required if over 44 year of age at the time of commissioning
  • Medical degree
  • Valid medical license from any US state

*Availability and reimbursement policies vary by profession and position.

For information about USPHS Commissioned Corps opportunities for physicians go to

iii. For more information about being a Commissioned Corps Physicians in the Indian Health Service please contact Damion Killsback, PharmD.