Foreign Service Regional Medical Officer Psychiatrist

  • U.S. Department of State
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • Jan 16, 2020
Full time Government Health Care

Job Description

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer

Announcement No: RMOP-2020-0002
Position Title: Foreign Service Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist
Open Period: January 8, 2020 to February 4, 2020
Series/Grade: FP – 0180 – 01
Salary: $143,417 – $165,649
Promotion Potential: MC
Supervisory Status: Yes
Agency Contact: medhr@state.gov
Duty Locations: Department of State Posts – Overseas and Domestic, United States
Position Information: Work Schedule is Full-Time – Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) Tenure Board.

Who May Apply

Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and understand a Foreign Service career. Applicants may not reapply for one year after the previous application for the same positon. If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs.)

Job Overview

Summary

The U.S. Department of State is hiring Regional Medical Officer Psychiatrists (RMOP). The salary listed is from the FS Base Schedule Payscale. In most cases, new-hires are paid at the FS Overseas Comparability Pay rate ($143,417 to $165,649). If assigned to Washington, DC, the salary is from the FS Locality Pay rate. RMOPs may be eligible for a Physician’s Comparability Allowance up to $30,000. Refer to the Benefits section for more information on recruitment and retention incentives. Joining the Foreign Service is more than just salary.

Responsibilities

The Bureau of Medical Services (MED) in the Department of State safeguards and promotes the health and well-being of American’s diplomatic community, which consists of employees and their accompanying family members who represent United States government agencies abroad. The Department assigns Foreign Service Medical Officers (RMOs), Psychiatrists (RMO/Ps), Medical Providers (MPs), and Medical Laboratory Scientists (RMLS) to selected posts overseas. Many of these posts have significant health risks and local medical care that is inadequate by U.S. standards.

A Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist (RMOP) works either independently or as a member of a team of FS Medical Specialists to provide medical support for USG employees and their Eligible Family Members (EFMs).

An RMOP is considered “essential personnel” and is expected to be available on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. RMOP duties include but are not limited to:

Clinical

  • Provides ambulatory and emergency psychiatric care for employees and eligible family members – including children
  • Assesses post morale
  • Responds to emergencies 24-hour/7days a week
  • Performs telephone consultations; assures patient confidentiality
  • Responds to crises at the home post or regional posts
  • Renders clinical consultations on workplace and family violence events (including child and spousal abuse cases)
  • Provides educational and treatment services as feasible for alcohol and drug abuse prevention at post
  • Renders psychiatric consultations for Regional Medical Officer and Medical Provider
  • Helps employees in problems of adjustment to life style
  • Creates and provides educational and therapeutic presentations to officers and families at post
  • Assists with establishing lifestyle programs
  • Evaluates medical clearances

Diplomatic

  • Collaboration with local healthcare officials
  • Liaison with local and international experts
  • Provision of consultative support to mission personnel on host nation and mission-specific health-related issues, if needed
  • Works with non-Department of State agencies
  • Advises the Chief of Mission
  • Assists Consular officers

Administrative

  • Maintains required Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits
  • Trains staff as needed on screening for psychiatric conditions and stress management
  • Maintains accurate medical records including requested workload and clinical care metrics, documents and reports on regional travel, and plans and requests budgets for regional travel
  • Evaluates local mental health resources
  • Evaluates local mental health care providers
  • Arranges medical evacuations
  • Serves on country team
  • Works with mail order pharmacies
  • Sends statistical reports
  • Works with post medical advisor
  • Responds and collaborates with medical department in Washington
  • Liaises with other Department psychiatrists
  • Consults at the American or other international schools

Emergency Preparedness

  • Provision of medical leadership and psychiatric medical care during crisis

Regional Care Responsibilities

  • Performance of regular regional travel and in response to immediate post needs
  • Collaboration with regional colleagues, including performance of clinical peer review
  • Liaise with Regional Medical Managers (RMMs)
  • Provision of remote patient consultation via telemedicine or other communication means
  • Maintenance of regular communication with MED offices in Washington, D.C., as warranted

Travel Required

76% or greater – An RMOP generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to our overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Conditions of Employment

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.*
  • Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).**

Education

At the time of application, applicants must possess:

Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) 

    • degree from a university in the U.S. or Canada that was approved by a recognized U.S. accrediting body in the year of the applicant’s graduation.

MD or DO or equivalent degree from a foreign school that provided educational and medical knowledge substantially equivalent to accredited schools in the U.S. This equivalency may be demonstrated by either permanent certification of the applicant’s school by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or a Fifth Pathway Certificate.
Subsequent to obtaining a MD or DO degree, a candidate must have completed formal residency training. Qualifying graduate training programs include only those residency programs within the U.S or Canada and which are approved by an accrediting body recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA) or American Osteopathic Association (AOA).

Non-U.S. and non-Canadian medical school graduates: You must submit a copy of medical school transcript(s) with your application. Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted. Transcripts must include your name, the school’s name, and the degree and date awarded. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may not be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level. Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation and acgme.org,in order to be credited towards qualifications. Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.

NACES: http://www.naces.org/members.htm

AICE: http://www.aice-eval.org/members

Qualifications

Licensure and Board Certification

Applicants must have a current, valid, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States. Applications will not be accepted from psychiatrists who are not licensed. The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) must certify applicants in psychiatry. American Board certification and re-certification, state medical licensure, and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration must be maintained for the duration of employment.

Specialized Experience

Applicant must have a current board certification by the ABPN and have a minimum of five years post-residency clinical experience within the past seven years, in adult or child/adolescent psychiatry with at least 50% of the applicant’s time involved in direct patient care during the last five years.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Education, work experience and other qualifications are evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements that have been identified as important to successful job performance as a Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrist based on extensive job analysis research. Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.

Knowledge of general psychiatry, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, autism and related disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, other learning disorders, sleep disorders, eating disorders, alcoholism and drug abuse, suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health problems of adolescence, violence directed at women/children/elderly, clinical psycho-pharmacology, laboratory medicine, medical and mental health aspects of terrorism, and health-related environmental factors.

Specific skills in history taking, physical examination, treatment, triage, medical communication, oral communication, providing constructive criticism, couples therapy, organizing others, stress counseling, written communication, computer use, supervision, dealing with different cultures, and working with limited resources.

General skills in social perceptiveness, active listening, reading comprehension, active learning, learning strategies, coordination, service orientation, instructing, time management, critical thinking, judgment and decision making, monitoring, persuasion, complex problem solving, and negotiation.

Willingness to deploy to high threat environments to provide care and consultation to persons under Chief of Mission Authority. Ability to consult with senior leaders, officers and family members with tact, recognizing the limited role of the physician in a non-medical organizational environment. Ability to work effectively with colleagues from other cultures. Ability to create supportive and effective relationships in overseas environments, due to successful self-management.

Applicants must be able to integrate clinical, administrative and management skills to effectively meet the mental health needs of U.S. Foreign Service employees and their eligible family members assigned overseas. Regional Medical Officer/Psychiatrists must be skilled and experienced clinicians able to gain the confidence of their patients, co-workers and supervisors, and capable of working independently in complex and difficult situations.

Applicant must be a skilled and experienced practitioner with excellent interpersonal skills. Applicant must be able to function well within a complex organization and have experience working in a high stress environment. The individual must be able to recognize and treat a wide range of mental health disorders and manage the special challenges of providing care to a diverse population, scattered over a large geographical area where local medical and mental health resources may be limited or non-existent. Clinical experience in child/adolescent psychiatric, marital/family therapy, cross cultural psychiatry, crisis intervention and substance abuse is desirable.

The applicant must be able to provide expert consultation and guidance to Foreign Service Medical Officers and other medical personnel with varying backgrounds and levels of training.

Applicants with experience in team building, leadership, and management in a multidisciplinary setting are preferred. Applicants must have effective written and oral communication skills and the ability to present findings in a clear and concise manner to both medical and non-medical personnel. Public speaking skills as well as knowledge and hands-on familiarity of computer systems and software are also desirable qualities.

The RMOP’s patient population is unique because of background and lifestyle as part of a diplomatic community overseas. This population also differs in terms of clinical and administrative needs and the national security concerns inherent in their employment. Previous experience working in an occupational setting and/or in an overseas setting is advantageous. The successful applicant will have an understanding of the challenges of consulting in a non-medical environment.

Other attributes include empathetic personality, unflappability, discerning self-confidence, adherence to confidentiality, interest in Foreign Service work, loyalty to the United States, tolerance of non-scheduled work hours and travel, and tolerance of living away from family.

Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. FSS must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).

Essential Physical Requirements

RMOPs may need to perform essential functions effectively with or without reasonable accommodation, in environments that pose physical or other occupational challenges. These duties may include:

      • Provision of direct patient care that may require heavy lifting, pulling, stooping, and twisting in austere environments
      • Travelling independently to regional posts utilizing commercial air carriers, military aircraft, or other transportation modalities that may not offer special access accommodations
      • Provision of emergency care in any location following an accident, natural disaster, or attack and emergency care in potentially hostile or physically challenging environments, such as in buildings without elevators or in areas with irregular spaces that require kneeling, bending, stooping, lifting, and running over uneven terrain.
      • Transportation of self or patients via small aircraft, helicopters, ambulances, or other non-standard modes of transportation with small entrances and high floors, such as high axle armored vehicles.

Additional information

*EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) – Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.

U.S. law requires organizations to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee’s information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.

**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit: https://fam.state.gov/.

***For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit: http://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/are-veterans-given-hiring-preference-

No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at ReasonableAccommodations@state.gov, within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)

RMOPs receive at least 10 hours of category 1 CME credit through an annual State Department-sponsored continuing medical education program.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

Medical Credentialing and Indemnification

Applicants are subject to a medical credentialing process conducted by the Quality Improvement Staff of the Bureau of Medical Services. The medical credentialing process includes queries of the National Practitioner Data Bank and Physician Data Profile through the American Medical Association (AMA). Once hired, medical personnel are indemnified for official duties only through the U.S. Federal Tort Claims Act.

To preview questions please click here.

Security clearance

Top Secret

Required Documents

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further.

  1. USAJobs Résumé Builder is the only résumé format that is accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
  2. Completed online application including the required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives in the online application.
  3. Uploaded/faxed all required supporting documentation including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement to qualify for this position.
  4. For applicants who are age 60 to 65, you must provide your Veteran’s Preference documentation at the time of your application. If claiming a 5 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or Certification of service. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214 or Certification of service. A Certification must be from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days after the Certification is submitted by the applicant and should include military service dates, date of expected discharge or release, and character of service and disability rating, if applicable.

Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest

These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming an FSS. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as an FSS is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to the all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application.

Accomplishments Questionnaire

Clinical skills: Describe a specific complex clinical case which demonstrates your skills in diagnosing and treating patient mental health problems.

Organizational Abilities: Describe a specific achievement demonstrating your planning and organizational skills in the setting of a multidisciplinary mental health team or in an organizational consultation role.

Leadership and Teamwork Abilities: Discuss your abilities to participate as a team member working toward a common goal, as well as examples of your ability to lead a team in the accomplishment of a goal.

Public Speaking and Teaching Ability: Describe specific examples demonstrating your public speaking and teaching abilities as part of an assignment or work-related task.

Interpersonal skills: Provide an example of effectively dealing with difficult patients, colleagues, or situation at work utilizing your interpersonal skills.

Crisis Management Skills: Describe an example in which your skills significantly contributed to the positive outcome of a complex or difficult clinical crisis situation.

Statement of Interest

Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:

      • Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
      • Comments about your work experience, include special skills (e.g., child psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, or addictions medicine), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,
      • Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.

Benefits

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

The starting salary range for RMOPs is FP-01, steps 5 through 14. The starting step level is determined in part by both highest educational level achieved and also professional experience level beyond that used to meet the minimum job qualifications. Individuals already working in government positions may be appointed based on highest previous rate as a Federal employee.

For information on FS Salary, please visit https://careers.state.gov/faqs/faqs-wiki/foreign-service-salary-matching-pay-tables-danger-pay-overseas-moving-expenses-and-taxes.

DOS may authorize payment of recruitment incentives to eligible newly-appointed employees.

An additional step may be granted based on the following:

One step for a Master’s degree in public health from a program accredited by a nationally recognized U.S. accrediting agency.

Physicians Comparability Allowance (PCA): $14,000.00 – $30,000.00

The Department of State has current authority from the Office of Management and Budget to enter into agreement with physicians enabling allowances of $30,000 a year to full-time physicians with more than five years of Federal service, $22,000 a year to full-time physicians with more than two years of Federal service, and $14,000 to those with less than two years of Federal service. Federal service must have been as a physician.

Review our benefits

How to Apply

You should submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.

  1. From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log in to your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
  2. Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs federal online resume. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department agency online application site. Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
  3. The application system allows up to four methods to submit required documentation: Transfer documents from a USAJOBS portfolio; upload documents from your computer; resubmit documents from a previous application; or fax. If you are submitting documents by fax, you must follow the fax directions, and generate and use the fax coversheets for your set(s) of documents.
  4. After you attach all of your required supporting documentation, answer all the required application questions, and complete the application steps, please review the entire application packet, including the links for your submitted documents.
  5. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in your application not being considered further.
    Required attachments include:

    • Copy of current Medical License, Medical Degree and verification of highest level of medical training.
    • Proof of Board Certification.
    • Proof of completion of residency.
    • Standard Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certificate, if applicable, and other required documentation to demonstrate the U.S. equivalency of a foreign degree.
  6. Confirm and submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.

Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully submit any documentation required in this Vacancy Announcement.

Application packages must be complete and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.

You should submit your application early, and may make changes as often as needed, up until the closing date of the announcement. We strongly recommended that you go back into your application and verify that your documents are attached.

If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing mgshelp@monster.com. The Monster Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

For more information on the FSS hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at http://careers.state.gov/faqs. If you have any questions regarding FS careers, please visit our careers.state.gov site and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section: https://careers.state.gov/connect/forums.

Next steps

Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred” or “not referred” after the close of the announcement. This status on USAJobs will not be updated further.

All applicants will be notified via his/her Monster account about the outcome of the initial application review and if they will be further considered for this FS position. Additional notifications to applicants concerning the application status will be by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State.

Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the results of your applications.

We recommend adding the Department of State domain (@state.gov) as an approved sender.

For more information, please visit http://careers.state.gov/work/foreign-service/specialist/selection-process.