Health Professions scholarship recipients in certain career categories may request deferment of their service obligation to obtain post-graduate
clinical training. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself and comply with the deferment process. Failure to do so may result in non-approval of
your deferment request and/or being found in breach of contract and being placed in default.
Deferment Procedure Overview
The IHS Scholarship Program allows you to defer your service obligation in order for you to complete an IHS-approved, post-graduate clinical training
program. Approved training must fulfill the requirements for board certification or licensure and be approved by the appropriate certifying boards, as
determined by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
For your board certification or licensure, the IHS Scholarship Program officially recognizes only those training programs approved by the appropriate
American specialty board.
Health Professions scholarship recipients who have graduated in certain health career categories (physicians, social workers, clinical psychologists
and dietitians) are required to complete additional post-graduate training and licensure before they can begin their service obligation. Health
Professions scholarship recipients in certain other career categories (pharmacists and optometrists) may voluntarily elect to complete one additional year
of post-graduate training immediately following the completion of their health professions education. The IHS Scholarship Program will not approve
requests for post-graduate training once a recipient has begun his service obligation.
Note: All requests for
post-graduate clinical training must be submitted to your IHS Scholarship Program analyst via the Request for Approval of Deferment (IHS-856-11) [PDF - 94KB]
form prior to your final year of academic training. No period of internship, residency or other advanced post-graduate clinical training will count toward
satisfying your IHS Scholarship Program service obligation. Requests for part-time residency programs will not be approved.
You must submit a Notification of Deferment Program (IHS-856-14) [PDF - 90KB]
form by May 31 of your final year of school notifying your IHS Scholarship Program analyst of the post-graduate clinical training program that you
You cannot enter a post-graduate clinical training program until your analyst has received your Notification of Deferment Program (IHS-856-14) form.
You cannot transfer to another program without prior approval from the IHS Scholarship Program branch office.
A Notification of Deferment Program (IHS-856-14)
form, along with a letter of good standing and residency continuation from your program Director or Coordinator, must be submitted annually until your
post-graduate clinical training is completed. If you fail to return these documents, you will be in breach of contract and placed in default.
Download the IHS Scholarship Program Recipient Handbook [PDF - 3,724KB]
for more detailed information on IHS Scholarship Program deferment requirements and policies.