Wanting to look into PHS or IHS instead of Navy...

Apologies if this has come up numerous times, but searches didn’t turn up anything (although that may be a symptom of my wacky browser/OS interactions…just built a new computer with Ubuntu).

I was pretty sure that I was set on trying to get back into the Navy upon entering medical school (HSPS scholarship), but as of late I am thinking a lot about either PHS or IHS (I am a registered Navajo). The thing is, I’m not sure where to start looking…so far I have found a lot of broken links in old SDN posts, and Google thinks I am trying to search for PhD doctor instead of PHS doctor.

Apparently this is revealing the lack of popularity of the Public Health Service…any info is appreciated.

Because of being a Navajo you qualify to apply for the IHS scholarship which is similar to HPSP. http://www.ihs.gov/scholarship/index.cfm?

Another thing to consider is applying to Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), the federal medical school. They have 4 seats per year, 2 for NIH and 2 for IHS. They usually go unseated. All the details of what’s required are at the USU website which I included below. Essentially you owe the Federal government 7 years after you’ve completed residency. For the IHS you have more options than the NIH side. On the NIH side you can go into Internal Medicine or Peds and that’s it. For IHS you can do family practice, internal medicine, peds, OB/GYN, ortho, surgery, and EM. They also grant waivers to do other specialties. After USU you have the option of applying to military or civilian residencies. I haven’t figured out if you are still paid as a PHS officer if you chose the civilian route but I also haven’t called anyone to find out.

From the IHS website you should be able to find a point of contact. They can give you all the information on the scholarship. It is fairly easy to get awarded this scholarship because unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective, there is no competition for it. So as long as you are competitive for it thanks to your Navajo status you will have it awarded.

You should find all the info you need for USU here: http://www.usuhs.mil/usuhs/uniformedservic es/phsco… CAPT Stewart is the POC and can answer your questions or put you in contact with someone else.

I think that is all I know at this point. Feel free to ask and I’ll try to answer the best I can.

Regarding Public Health Service, the medical scholarship is thru the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) which is what you should google.

Unfortunately, it is very competitive to get an NHSC scholarship, you can’t apply till you are accepted to medical school, and you do not find out until October after you have started school if you received a scholarship or not. Having said that, if you are economically disadvantaged (or were), your chances are much higher. Here’s a link to info about the NHSC: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/scholarships/

Hope that is helpful!


If you want to go into the IHS, then you should target the big three IHS medical schools. They are The University of North Dakota, The University of Minnesota-Duluth and The University of Washington. Each of these schools has some type of American Indian support programs (ie, INMED, CAIMH and NACOE). As a registered Navajo tribal member, you should also apply to Arizona and New Mexico medical schools. Regards.

Thanks to all three of you, that is great info. Eagleeye: intersetingly enough the top 3 IHS schools that you listed are definitely in my top 5 list…that works out eerily well.

I love OPM for this…no criticisms, no arguments about how much is sucks to work for the gov’t, just great answers and kind attitudes.

  • Jfowler Said:
I love OPM for this...no criticisms, no arguments about how much is sucks to work for the gov't, just great answers and kind attitudes.

I get criticisms about my jokes all the time here. I get no respect, no respect at all.

BTW, at the conference this year I will likely have a nontrad PHS doc as a speaker to dovetail with military HPSP speakers. I should be posting details in the next week

That would be great!

ditto. I would be interested in all that HPSP, IHS and ETC stuff…

OK, so I’ll ask here, so as not to fragment into multiple threads.

According to the letter of the documentation, an NHSC loan repayment award is good for up to $60,000 for the first 2 years of service, followed by another $60,000 for the next 2. Apparently it is possible to renew contingent on funding until all one’s loans are paid. (Rules on PDF; loan repayment website)

Does anyone know someone who is presently working, or has worked, a 5th year or beyond at an NHSC site? With repayment, obviously?

I see that the “calculator” goes up way past four years…but I would be a lot more willing to take the risk of the scholarship if there are actual problems getting funding for years beyond four.