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Medical officers (Series 0602) serve as medical advisors, consultants, and administrators. The results of their work are felt worldwide as they conduct cutting-edge medical research, collaborate with and/or provide specialized services, and institutionalize national and international health programs and scientific investigations. Qualifications for a medical officer are determined by the grade level of the position.
Degree: Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy from a school in the United States or Canada approved by a recognized accrediting body in the year of the applicant's graduation.
A Doctor of Medicine or equivalent degree from a foreign medical school that provided education and medical knowledge substantially equivalent to accredited schools in the United States may be demonstrated by permanent certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) (or a fifth pathway certificate for Americans who completed premedical education in the United States and graduate education in a foreign country).
Graduate Training: Subsequent to obtaining a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy degree, a candidate must have had at least 1 year of supervised experience providing direct service in a clinical setting, i.e., a 1-year internship or the first year of a residency program in an institution accredited for such training. (This 1 year of supervised experience may be waived for research or administrative positions not requiring direct patient care.) For purposes of this standard, graduate training programs include only those internship, residency, and fellowship programs that are approved by accrediting bodies recognized within the United States or Canada. Listings of accredited programs are published yearly in the Directory of Residency Training Programs and the Yearbook and Directory of Osteopathic Physicians.
- An internship program involves broadly based clinical practice in which physicians acquire experience in treating a variety of medical problems under supervision (e.g., internal medicine, surgery, general practice, obstetrics-gynecology, and pediatrics). Such programs are in hospitals or other institutions accredited for internship training by a recognized body of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).
- A residency program involves training in a specialized field of medicine in an institution accredited for training in the specialty by a recognized body of the American Medical Association (AMA) or AOA.
- A fellowship program involves advanced training (beyond residency training) in a given medical specialty in either a clinical or research setting in a hospital or other institution accredited in the United States for such training.
Licensure: For positions involving patient care, candidates must have a permanent, full, and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a State, District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or a territory of the United States. Applications will be accepted from physicians who are not currently licensed; however, if selected for appointment, they must (a) obtain a license before entering on duty, or (b) meet one of the following provisions:
- Waiver of Licensure Requirement: An agency may waive the licensure requirement for positions not involving direct patient care, e.g., positions performing disability evaluations, positions performing solely research, or administrative program managers. If the agency does not waive the license requirement for these kinds of positions, candidates may be appointed subject to obtaining a license within 1 year.
- Appointments Pending Meeting Licensure Requirement: Individual circumstances may warrant appointments pending meeting the licensure requirement (e.g., when a candidate has a temporary license to practice until the next regular session of the licensing board). Persons appointed pending licensure may not be retained beyond 1 year of appointment if they do not obtain the license.
Meeting these basic requirements qualifies you for GS-11 positions. Additional Requirements for Grades GS-12 and above are according to the different types of programsâ€”clinical and training, aviation medical, occupational health, disability evaluation, maternal and child health, and research. For more information on qualifying for these programs, go to http://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/IORs/gs0600/0602.htm.
EVALUATION OF CANDIDATES
- 1. Interviews: Applicants may be interviewed to assure that they possess the degree of skill in interpersonal relationships required for satisfactory performance of the duties of the position to be filled.
- 2. Substitution of Experience for Residency Training: Experience may not be substituted for residency training that is essential for the performance of specialized duties. For example, specialists such as psychiatrists and surgeons must complete the number of years of accredited residency training required in their respective specialties. An exception may be made when a peer panel of physicians (subject-matter experts) determines and documents that the knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired in professional medical practice are equivalent to those acquired during the same period of time in a graduate training program.
- 3. Teaching Experience: Graduate teaching experience as a member of the faculty in a school of medicine or school of public health may be credited for training positions or as appropriate for specialist positions. (Teaching undertaken as a part of a residency or fellowship training does not satisfy this requirement.)
- 4. Grade Credit for Creative Research Contributions: For positions involving substantial clinical investigations or basic or applied research, extra grade credit may be given for positive evidence or personally performed highly creative or outstanding research leading to major advances in a specific area of research, e.g., development of a basic principle, concept, method, approach, technique, or body of basic information that opened the way for major advancements, breakthroughs, or new applications. In such cases, candidates who meet the requirements for GS-13 or GS-14 may be rated eligible for the next higher grade.