IHS Health Professions Extern Program

Do you know a student that would like to receive practical experience with IHS Extern Program opportunities? The IHS Extern Program application cycle opened December 1, 2015 and the deadline for applications is Friday, January 15, 2016.

Like most professions, those in the medical field not only learn by studying, but by doing. As a participant in the IHS Extern Program, health professions students can gain a wealth of valuable clinical hours and on-the-job insight while working alongside a team of practicing clinicians.
This practical, pre-professional experience helps to ease the transition into clinical practice and is a great way to establish relationships with future colleagues and networks when pursuing an Indian Health career. An IHS externship is the perfect opportunity to hone your skills while familiarizing students with American Indian and Alaska Native communities. It’s the type of experience no classroom can provide and it will be invaluable in their Indian Health journey.
All externs are employed for 30 to 120 workdays per calendar year during non-academic periods. Externs receive a salary based on experience and years of academic training that is comparable to industry standards. IHS will waive the salary if the externship fulfills a required academic field placement or an internship, in which case it will instead pay all required tuition, fees and a regular monthly stipend (scholarship students only). The program also covers the cost of one round-trip ticket to the externship site.
Eligibility and Priority for Selection
To apply for an IHS Externship, you must be:
  • A U.S. Citizen
  • Enrolled in an eligible health profession degree program.
  • In good academic standing with a 2.0 grade point average or above.

Funding for the IHS Extern Program is limited and selections are based on the needs of Indian health facilities. Selection is based on the following:

  • Health professions scholarship recipient.
  • Health professions student (non-recipients) who are American Indian or Alaska Native.
  • Non-American Indian/Alaska Native health professions students (non-recipients).
  • Preparatory or pre-graduate scholarship recipients.

How to Apply

All applicants, including those considering the USPHS Commissioned Corps’ JRCOSTEP program, must apply through the USAJOBS website. Applicants should search “student extern” jobs or use the job series and grade “GS-0699.”
The IHS Division of Oral Health offers two-week Dental Externships from April 1 – September 3. To learn more, visit
Program Materials and Contact
For detailed information, please see the IHS Extern Program page.