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Health Professions

Health professionals deliver professionally rewarding, comprehensive care in culturally rich communities throughout 35 states. Sometimes blending Western medicine with traditional practices, they fulfill critical roles in clinics, hospitals and public health outreach programs that are vital to the health of American Indian and Alaska Native individuals, families and communities. Clinicians who share Indian health values enjoy living and working in some of the most beautiful areas of the country in communities with deep traditions, located mainly, but not exclusively, in small towns and rural settings.

A career in Indian health offers a diverse playing field upon which to practice, by specialty and by region. Many of our sites are located within remote, rural areas where ties to the community and to the patients set the stage for long-term successful careers. Practicing among American Indian and Alaska Native populations provides a unique sense of professional achievement for many of our clinicians, some of whom may have grown up within the area and wish to give back to their communities.

Join the more than 15,000 highly motivated physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, engineers and other related health professionals in the delivery of patient-centered care to this unique and underserved population. We will provide you with the opportunity of a lifetime, practicing as a team of professionals in areas that include but are not limited to:

Advanced Practice Nurse

Indian health advanced practice nurses (APNs) work within an integrated, interdisciplinary team environment. While their clinical practice is focused most directly on primary care and family practice, their care is comprehensive, allowing APNs to collaborate closely with physicians, pharmacists and other related health care providers. Visit the IHS Nursing Careers website for more information on APN opportunities.

Behavioral Health

Indian health care provides behavioral health professionals with a challenging and rewarding opportunity to gain new perspectives in their field. The cross-cultural experience, including research, travel and learning traditional values from other cultures is a unique aspect of Indian health. Visit the IHS Behavioral Health website for more information.


Indian health dentistry not only focuses on one-on-one patient care, dental careers also offer opportunities to become involved in community prevention programs that can improve community disease rates, including water fluoridation, dental screenings, sealants, fluoride varnishes and distribution of Xylitol gum to school age children. Visit the IHS Dentist and Dental Hygienists Careers website for more information.


Indian health engineering projects are community focused, with a consistent emphasis on infrastructure improvements that contribute to healthy lives and environmental safety. In addition to the design, construction and improvement of Indian health facilities, engineering expertise is also sought in a wide range of specialty areas. Visit the Office of Environmental Health and Engineering website for more information.

Environmental Health

The IHS Division of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) staff are leaders in the environmental health profession who provide a broad scope of services regarding water quality, waste disposal, hazardous materials management, food safety, community injury prevention, vector control, occupational safety and health, and other environmental health issues. We are Environmental Health Officers, Environmental Health Specialists, Health Care Safety Officers, Institutional Environmental Health Officers, and Injury Prevention Specialists. The DEHS is responsible for a variety of environmental health services that enhance access to quality health care and improve public health throughout American Indian/Alaska Native homes and communities.

Medical Imaging

Many medical imaging and radiologic technologists are attracted to the opportunity Indian health careers offer to use a wide variety of clinical knowledge and skills, both for ambulatory and inpatient cases. Indian health opportunities in medical imaging include x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, mammography, echocardiography and bone density. For more information, contact an IHS recruiter.

Medical Technology

Technologists and technicians who practice within Indian health communities also enjoy an integrated, interdisciplinary team environment at work. Most perform generalist duties in the specialties of chemistry, hematology, coagulation, microbiology, immunohematology, urinalysis and toxicology. For more information, contact an IHS recruiter.


It's our job to keep people well and the medical care we provide is outstanding. I make home visits to people who are newly born, people who are dying and everyone in between. I have gotten to know the community and to earn their trust. I'm so proud of what I do.

– IHS Nurse
IHS Loan Repayment Recipient

Indian health nurses practice as generalists on a medical/surgical or outpatient/ambulatory unit, as well as pursue opportunities in a wide range of specialty areas. For a list of nursing specialties, visit the IHS Nursing Careers website.


Indian health optometrists are actively involved in direct patient interaction and outreach, incorporating facility-wide activities such as quality assurance, infection control, safety and adhering to all HIPAA rules as part of their practice. Visit the IHS Optometrist Careers website for more information.


Indian health pharmacists have complete access to a patient's medical records, examine lab results, counsel patients on medication therapy and consult with attending physicians, as well as start and amend protocols. There are opportunities for informed prescriptive service in a number of specialty areas. Visit the IHS Pharmacist Careers website for more information.

Physical Rehabilitation

Indian health programs offer a wide range of physical rehabilitation services, including diabetes, pediatrics, orthopedics, geriatrics, specialty hand and foot care, wound care, health promotion, neurological rehabilitation and more. Visit the IHS Physical Rehabilitation Careers website for more information.


Indian health physicians focus on primary and family care within the communities we serve. There is ample opportunity – and pressing need – for physicians practicing a wide range of specializations. For a list of specialties, visit the IHS Physicians Careers website.

Physician Assistant

There are more than 250 physician assistants working in Indian health today providing essential health care services in both emergency and family practice settings. For more information about physician assistant specialties, visit the IHS Physician Assistant Careers website.