Skip to site content

How to Apply

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 IHS Dental Externship Program for the Class of 2021 is cancelled.

The IHS Division of Oral Health (DOH) is currently not accepting applications for 2020 Dental Externships. If you are seeking a life-changing cultural and pre-professional experience, we encourage you to apply next year. The application cycle opens January 2021 and runs through the end of February 2021. We recommend you prepare and submit your externship application well before the 2021 deadline once the cycle opens.

Pre-Application Recommendations

Completing the following steps before beginning your application will help minimize the time it takes to complete the process.

  1. Compose your answer to the following question in a Word document using no more than 2,500 characters: Please tell us why you are interested in an Indian Health Service Dental Externship. Copy and paste your answer from the Word document into question No. 10 of the application.
  2. Read the Dental Externship Program Quick Reference Guide (QRG) [PDF - 720KB] prior to starting the application. The application contains a quiz covering all travel information.
  3. If you have completed item No. 1 and No. 2 above, the application will take 30 – 45 minutes to complete. Please make sure you have enough time available prior to starting the application.
View our DENTAL EXTERNSHIP VIDEO for valuable application tips!

2020 Externship Sites

The Division of Oral Health has created two documents to assist you in identifying 2020 externship sites and communicating with preceptors serving those sites.

  • Extern Site Contact List [PDF - 606KB] — This document identifies the Indian health facilities accepting externs for 2020 and includes names and contact information for the preceptors serving each facility.
  • DOH Externship Site Profiles [PDF - 15.8MB] — This document provides an in-depth look at various Indian health facilities that have participated in the program, including each site’s location, information about the externship experience at that site and information about the surrounding community. Please note, this is a comprehensive listing of sites that have participated in the Dental Externship program in the past. Please refer to the Extern Site Contact List to see sites participating in 2020.

These materials will help you to determine whether a site is the right fit for the externship experience you seek. Please note that not all sites participating this year will have a site profile.

School Agreements

All externs must verify that insurance and malpractice liability agreements are in place between your chosen facility and your dental school in order to participate in the externship program. DOH recommends that you work with your school’s externship coordinator to identify facilities with school agreements before selecting your preferred facilities as part of your application. You can verify if a school has an agreement by referencing the Externship Program Guide [PDF - 720KB].

If an agreement does not exist between your dental school and your preferred facility, it is your responsibility to connect the school’s externship coordinator with the facility in order to establish an agreement with your school. Please note that this process may take at least six months or more to complete, often jeopardizing the opportunity to participate in the program.