Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service

Physician Professional Advisory Committee

Billets and Positions Awareness Subcommittee

CO Chairs:

CDR Tobe Propst (


LCDR Kenneth Luna ( 


Vision:  Enhance camaraderie and career satisfaction among medical category officers through linkage to USPHS career opportunities, guidance, and insight.

Mission:  To provide medical category officers a one-stop shop for Corps positions worldwide and provide PPAC input, review, and advice to the CPO on Corps billet issues.

For a list of available billets and positions please click here.


"How I got here"

personal vignettes on fellow PHS medical officers' career journeys to their current position.


LCDR R. began her uniformed service career as a medical student in the Air Force at USUHS during a brief period when PHS scholarships were temporarily suspended. She was aware of the PHS through her father, a retired PHS Captain, who worked at the NIH and FDA. During the final year of her 7 year Air Force commitment, she began searching for PHS opportunities by contacting every Agency liaison and searching on USA jobs for both medical officer and other healthcare related positions. Her resume was also circulated to various divisions within the FDA for potential openings via contacts there. After considering positions with the BOP, Coast Guard, and ICE, she settled on one with the FDA in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. She has found the FDA to be supportive of work-life balance, and to offer diverse opportunities for many PHS categories. LCDR Radden is eager to support other officers interested in learning about the FDA and to serve as a contact to facilitate engagement with offices in the FDA for potential job openings.


CDR P. is a USU graduate, sponsored at the time through NHSC. He saw the growing need for Spanish-speaking physicians and so decided to create his own immersion by applying to his PGY-1 year of residency in an accredited residency program in Puerto Rico. It was a tough year learning both medicine and spanish, but he accomplished his goal of fluency, and even better, met his darling wife. The couple then moved to Texas where CDR P. finished his PGY 2 & 3 years of Family Medicine Residency.

As he was finishing residency, 9/11 occurred and DHS/IHSC (Immigration Health Services Corps) was actively recruitying physicians. He was recruited by a prior USU grad in IHSC at the time, and the work appealed to him so he agreed. His first duty station out of residency was in an Immigration center in southern California as a staff physician O-5 billet, but serving as the acting Clinical Director, an O-6 billet. He enjoyed working there for about 3 years. He and his wife then decided to seek a duty station closer to family in Florida, and CDR P. also sought a broader patient population, and so called various potential PHS / Federal positions in the state.

He noticed there were two Native American tribal run health departments in the area and so looked up their numbers and inquired. It so happened one tribe was actively seeking a Pediatrician. CDR P. was a bit rusty in Peds at the time as his IHSC duty station was all adult patients, but committed to refreshing his Peds knowledge. The tribe invited him on board and a PHS O-5 billet was created through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) through the Nashville Area Office of IHS. CDR P. brushed up on his Peds through reading, Peds board review coursework, and shadowing local civilian Pediatricians both before and immediately after the PCS to Florida.

After seven very enjoyable years working with Native Americans in IHS, CDR P's father-in-law fell ill, so the couple (+1 at this point) decided to seek a duty station closer to his wife's parents. He had stayed in contact with IHSC and found that they were actively recruiting primary care physicians again, and so once again accepted a position with thim, this time an O-6 billet in CA.


Dr. X. - IHS:
Dr. X. was an Air Force physician who was contemplating leaving the Air Force. He was at an AAFP conference and happened upon the booth of a AK Native run healthcare organization in Alaska, a geographic location that just so happens was appealing to him. This meeting led to further discussions and an interview a position as a direct hire employee during his terminal leave from the Air Force, after which he was able to transition to the PHS in an O-6 billet.


it was so long ago when I was interviewed here (Tuba City Regional Health Care) almost 14 years ago. About 8 months later, I took the job simply because it was closest to my mother in California. Looks like I am a lifer until my children are ready for high school.


CAPT W. is a USU graduate through IHS. During his final year of Ob/Gyn residency in Chicago, he began inquiring with the various IHS area office liaisons for positions. He interviewed with two IHS Ob/Gyn positions in the Oklahoma Area, but finally decided Tahlequah, OK would be the best fit for him and his family. Although it was a small city with a population of about 15,000, his supervisor had trained in Chicago and his sponsor from Medical school was working at Hastings Indian Hospital. Additionally one of CAPT G.W.’s classmates started working at the hospital at the same time. This provided CAPT G.W. a sense of familiarity and family. The duty station did indeed turn out to be a good fit and CAPT G.W. has been there for 13 years and has served at the Department Director for 8.5 years.


Page Last Modified on 9/1/2016

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