Almost 5,000 dentists work for the U.S. Public Health Service, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or the military, according to the ADA Center for Professional Success. Among the benefits with this professional choice:
- a base salary.
- access to an assortment of nontaxable income and benefits.
- a competitive compensation package that grows with years of service and promotions.
- potential use of time to complete a residency or specialty program.
- access to continuing education and often an opportunity to expand skill levels in an environment not unlike a general practice residency.
While you may already be familiar with the military and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (sometimes referred to as the VA), you may be less familiar with the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps are uniformed dental officers, serving in the Indian Health Service, U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Bureau of Prisons and the National Health Service Corps. While their uniforms are derived from the uniforms of the U.S. Navy, the Commissioned Corps is under the Department of Health and Human Services, overseen by the Surgeon General, rather than under the Department of Defense. While the Commissioned Corps is not an armed service, officers may have the opportunity to assist in public health responses to man-made and natural disasters. Officers receive the same benefits as their counterparts in the military.
Unlike many other opportunities in dentistry, most employment in federal dentistry involves an on-line application process. Take advantage of the following links to seek out more information on these opportunities: