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

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Student Opportunities

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Student Opportunities

If you have ever considered a career in health care, we invite you to explore and discover a comprehensive array of student opportunities in Indian health. If you have the motivation and the desire to pursue an Indian health career, we have the road map to achieve it.

Indian health programs around the country have an urgent need for dedicated and passionate health professionals. Filling that need begins with people like you, someone who chooses to pursue an uncommon path and embarks on a career of higher purpose. Embrace our mission and make it your own.

IHS Scholarship Program

Since its creation in 1977, the IHS Scholarship Program has supported thousands of American Indian and Alaska Native students in their quest for a health professions degree leading to a career in Indian health. Today, this support continues as IHS seeks the next generation of leaders committed to improving the health of Indian communities.

Visit the IHS Scholarship Program website or contact the branch office at (301) 443-6197 for application and program information.

IHS Extern Program

The IHS Extern Program offers IHS scholarship recipients and health profession students in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, environmental health/engineering, behavioral health, optometry and other disciplines an opportunity to gain valuable clinical experience in an Indian health facility during the summer or other non-academic periods. In FY 2015, 124 students participated in the highly competitive program.

In my work, I get to put to use every skill I developed when I trained as a psychologist. I'm involved in research, writing, patient care, disease prevention and public health. Every day I learn something new and it makes my job very rewarding.

– IHS Psychologist
IHS Scholarship Recipient

For more information about eligibility and how to apply, visit the IHS Extern Program website. Click on these links for detailed information about opportunities for externships in Pharmacy, Dentistry and Optometry.

IHS Residencies and Rotations

IHS has established residency and rotation agreements with a number of health profession schools throughout the United States in a range of health disciplines. These opportunities provide excellent clinical and cultural experiences within Indian communities and can lay the foundation for a fulfilling career in Indian health.

Check with your school to find out where agreements are in place and check with Area contacts about current opportunities. Visit the Residencies and Rotations page to learn more about current opportunities and visit the Contact a Recruiter page for a list of contacts.

Other Student Opportunities

Indian health professions grant programs are designated partnerships between academic institutions and IHS for the purpose of training more American Indian and Alaska Native health professionals to serve in Indian health programs.

American Indians into Nursing Program

The American Indians into Nursing Program's mission is to increase the number of nurses, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners who serve Indian communities.

For more information, contact:

Arizona State University
Stephen Livingston
Phone: (602) 496-0889
Montana State University
Brian King
Phone: (406) 994-2710
University of North Dakota
Deb Wilson
Phone: (701) 777-4519
Oglala Lakota College
Joan Nelson
Phone: (605) 867-5856
Salish Kootenai College
Katherine M. Willock, PhD, RN
Phone: (406) 275-4921

American Indians into Psychology Program

A growing need for well-trained clinical psychologists of American Indian and Alaska Native descent led to the development of the American Indians into Psychology Program (INPSYC).

Scholarships are available to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing psychology degrees. INPSYC furnishes valuable, in-the-field training opportunities in Indian communities to graduate students in clinical psychology.

For more information on INPSYC programs, contact:

Oklahoma State University
John M. Chaney, PhD
Phone: (405) 659-1928
University of North Dakota
Justin McDonald, PhD
Phone: (701) 777-4497
University of Montana
Gyda Swaney, PhD
Phone: (406) 243-5630

American Indians into Medicine Program

American Indian and Alaska Native college students can pursue support for their health care career preparation via the American Indians Into Medicine Program (INMED). INMED presents a range of health care career possibilities and proven paths to success through career counseling, tutoring, scholarship and financial aid application assistance. Educational summer sessions are available as are travel grants for health conference expenses.

For more information, contact:

University of Minnesota
Anna Wirta Kosobuski
Phone: (218) 726-7235
University of North Dakota
Gene Delorme
Phone: (701) 777-3037
University of New Mexico
Gayle Dine'Chacon
Phone: (505) 272-2165

Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP)

The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) aims to identify, recruit, mentor and prepare American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) college students for careers in medicine and other health professions. The purpose of the AAIP College Program is to provide activities that alleviate common educational barriers for AI/AN college students in efforts to increase the number of qualified applicants, which in turn will result in increased admission and enrollment of AI/AN students into medical and other health professions schools. Visit Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) College Students Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving, for details on Scholarships, Medical Internships, Fellowships and more.