Scholarship Connections
IHS Scholarship
Program News
and Information
September 2016
Transitioning to a Career in Indian Health

Congratulations! Your academic training is nearly complete!

As you progress to the final step of your health professions journey, we recommend that you begin preparing for graduation and your search for an Indian health career as soon as possible.

Preparing for Your Service Commitment

The following documents are required prior to or immediately after graduation.

  • Notice of Impending Graduation [PDF 94KB] — Due at the beginning of your final academic term.
  • A copy of your diploma — Due immediately after graduation.
  • Final official transcript documenting the degree awarded — Due immediately after graduation. The transcript must document the degree awarded.
  • License/board certification — Due immediately after graduation, if required for employment.

The following forms are due during your final year of academic training in preparation for or to update the program on your job search:

  • Preferred Placement (IHS-856-12) [PDF 90KB] — This form must be submitted at the beginning of your final year of school documenting the IHS Areas and Indian health facilities where you would like to fulfill your service commitment.
  • Placement Update (IHS-856-15) [PDF 90KB] — This form must be submitted every 30 days (up to 90 days) after graduation if you are unable to secure employment prior to completing your academic or post-graduate clinical training.
Job Search

The IHS Scholarship Program recommends that you begin researching career opportunities at the beginning of your final year of academic training. Completing the following six steps will help you get started and secure a position that fits your preferred location and career needs:

  • Step Three — Research the three career paths available to Indian health professionals.
  • Step Four — Submit position description(s) or vacancy announcement(s) to your Program Analyst to determine the eligibility of your preferred position(s) and Indian health facility(s).
  • Step Five — Apply for approved openings through USAJOBS.
  • Step Six — Submit Verification of Employment documentation to your Program Analyst.

Note: If you are unfamiliar with how to apply through or how to apply for a federal position through, please view the five How to Apply for IHS Jobs videos on our website.

Fulfilling Your Service Commitment

It’s important to keep in mind that you are required to begin your Indian health career within 90 days after graduation. Failure to secure an eligible position can result in involuntary placement at an in-need facility or you will be deemed in breach of your contract and placed in default. For detailed information about fulfilling your service commitment and the documentation needed to update IHS Scholarship Program staff during your service, consult your Service Commitment Handbook [PDF 2.6MB].

Contact Us

Contact your Program Analyst with questions regarding your transition from student to health professional.

Email all required documentation or mail to:

Indian Health Service
Scholarship Program
5600 Fishers Lane, Mail Stop: OHR (11E53A)
Rockville, MD 20857

Indian Health Service Scholarship Program
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