JRCOSTEP, SRCOSTEP onto PHS career in IHS - Questions.


Full Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2008
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Looking for some guidance about a career in IHS through PHS.

My situation: 35 year old just accepted into medical school for 2009. (I'll be 40 when I graduate, 43 when I finish a family med, IM, or Peds residency - meaning I should just sneak in under the 44 year old age limit if I want a career with PHS).

Here are my questions.

1) How competitive are the JRCOSTEPs and SRCOSTEPs? How do I make myself competitive for those programs?
2) I understand that flexibility with assignments comes with the territory of a PHS officer career. I'm interested in working for the IHS in the Southwest (NM, NV, AZ, etc.) Are those sought after positions or would I be likely to be able to get stationed in a position like that? Or are there areas of even greater need that I'd be more likely to be stationed at?
3) How does residency play into a PHS career? Are you just on inactive reserve while you're training? Can you be pulled while in residency?
4) Other than the loss of certain autonomy as a uniformed service officer are there any other downsides to a PHS career?

Thanks for your input!
Last edited:
About the Ads
This thread is more than 12 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.