Opportunities for Dentists and Dental Students
A $150,000 to $300,000 signing bonus is available for new USPHS officers in return for a four year commitment. Individuals who are receiving Health and Human Services (HHS) supported financial assistance (e.g. scholarships, SRCOSTEP), were discharged from active duty less than 24 months prior, were converting from a position as a civil service employee (except in specific circumstances), or are restricted by a limited tour of duty of less than four years are ineligible. For additional eligibility criteria and rate details please see https://dcp.psc.gov/ccmis/ccis/documents/CCI_633.01.pdf.
National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Scholarship – This scholarship fully funds the tuition and fees of your dental school education, as well as providing a monthly stipend. In return you agree to work one year at a NHSC-approved site for each year of the scholarship (1 to 4 years of scholarship with 2 to 4 years of repayment). This scholarship is available to anyone, and receiving one does not obligate you to work for the PHS. However, by choosing to commission as a Dental Officer in the PHS and selecting one of our many NHSC-approved sites, you can pay back your scholarship obligation while earning a competitive salary and accruing valuable benefits. For a list of current sites that are eligible, please see the Dentist Vacancy List (NHSC scores >14 are typically eligible). To learn more about the NHSC Scholarship, please visit https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/scholarships/.
Indian Health Service (IHS) Scholarships – These scholarships are available to American Indian and Alaska Natives and fully fund the tuition and fees of your pre-dental and dental school education and provides a monthly stipend. In return for the dental school scholarship you must work for the IHS (2 to 4 years, depending on scholarship length) as either a PHS Officer, Civil Service employee or a tribal contractor; there is no payback for the pre-dental scholarship. To learn more about these scholarships, please visit https://www.ihs.gov/scholarship/.
NHSC Student to Service Loan Repayment – Provides $120,000 of loan repayment in the final year of dental school in return for a 3-year commitment to work at an approved NHSC site in a high-need, underserved area. As with the NHSC Scholarship, selecting a PHS NHSC-approved site and choosing to commission as a USPHS Dental Officer allows you to earn a competitive salary and accrue valuable benefits. More information on the S2S LRP is available at: https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loan-repayment/nhsc-students-to-service-loan-repayment-program.html.
NHSC Loan Repayment – Provides $50,000 of loan repayment in return for a 2-year commitment to work at an approved NHSC site in a high-need, underserved area. As with the NHSC Scholarship, selecting a PHS NHSC-approved site and choosing to commission as a USPHS Dental Officer allows you to earn a competitive salary and accrue valuable benefits. More information about this program is available at https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loan-repayment/index.html.
IHS Loan Repayment – Provides $40,000 of loan repayment in return for a 2-year commitment to work at a site in the IHS. The LRP will also pay an additional 20 percent annually to the Internal Revenue Service to offset the increased tax liability incurred by the participant. More information is available at https://www.ihs.gov/loanrepayment/.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment – This loan repayment program provides up to $35,000 per year in return for a commitment to conduct NIH mission-relevant research. More information on this program can be found at https://www.lrp.nih.gov/eligibility-programs.
Senior Commissioned Officer Student Externship Program (SRCOSTEP) – The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) offers this externship for dental students in their final year of study. Recipients attend dental school as normal, but are commissioned in the PHS and receive all pay and benefits of an Ensign (O-1). After graduation they are promoted to Lieutenant (O-3) and practice dentistry at a BOP job site for twice the length of the externship. More information can be found at https://www.usphs.gov/student/srcostep.aspx.
IHS Externship – The IHS offers an externship for dental students between their 3rd and 4th years. It provides a per diem and travel/lodging expenses. More information can be found at https://www.ihs.gov/dentistry/dentalexternships/.
Each agency (eg. IHS, BOP, USCG, ICE, etc.) offers post-graduate training opportunities based on their current and future needs. Some upcoming training opportunities are listed on the Dentist Vacancy List, but contacting each agency will yield the most accurate information.