There are 32,468 medical doctors in all specialties employed throughout the federal government with positions available in many agencies. Physicians are in the (GS-0602) job series. The Veterans Administration  and HHS employ  the largest numbers in this group however smaller number are employed by the Department of Justice  which employs 277 doctors for their prison systems and the Department of Transportation employs 47 while the Department of State employs 27.
This series includes all classes of positions the duties of which are to advise on, administer, supervise, or perform professional and scientific work in one or more fields of medicine. Positions are classifiable to this series when the nature of duties and responsibilities is such that the degree of Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy is a fundamental requirement. Most positions in this series require a current license to practice medicine and surgery in a State or territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia.
Although there is overlapping in the subject-matter of certain specializations, the criterion for the establishment of these specializations is based on the differences in the requirements for filling the positions. In the main, the specializations represent those of approved American specialty boards. An approved American specialty board is one which has been approved for the particular specialty by the Council on Medical Education and Hospitals of the American Medical Association or by the Bureau of Professional Education, Advisory Board for Osteopathic Specialists of the American Osteopathic Association.
VA physicians enjoy being part of a team that is recognized and respected for significant contributions to medicine. Ranging from clinical practice to research and academics, VA physicians provide leadership within the medical profession that extends into the communities where they live. To ensure that VA physicians are able to meet their professional and personal goals, a broad range of practice options are available that include general medicine and primary care, along with specialties and subspecialties such as:
- Ambulatory Care
- Long Term Care
- Internal Medicine
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery
- General Surgery
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Plastic Surgery
- Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
- Radiology (Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic, and Therapeutic)
In addition to the above, the VA offers state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for basic and clinical research to further advance the frontiers of medicine and health care. Time is made available for VA physicians to pursue this critical aspect of their profession within an environment that promotes writing, editing, and publishing.
Physician (GS-0602) Career Path General Requirements
Special pay rates  are utilized for this profession and are in a separate pay band. Physicians typically earn 6 figure salaries including supplemental income.
Here are some general requirements of the physician occupation:
- You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.
- Degree of doctor of medicine or an equivalent degree resulting from a course of education in medicine or osteopathic medicine.
- Background in ongoing outpatient primary care clinics.
- Board certification in Internal Medicine/Family Medicine.
- Current, full, and unrestricted license to practice medicine or surgery in a State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia.
- The physical requirements of this position include occasional lifting, prolonged standing and sitting, frequent bending, walking (distance), climbing, reaching (overhead, extensive/repetitive), repetitive motion, and stooping.
- The mental/sensory requirements include recall, reasoning, problem solving, hearing, speaking clearly, writing legibly, reading, and logical thinking.
- The environment’s pace can vary from steady to a sometimes fast pace requiring handling of multiple priorities, frequent, sometimes intense customer interactions, and the ability to adapt to frequent changes in a sometimes noisy environment.
- There may be an occasional need to use personal protective equipment to prevent exposure to disease, illness, and hazardous materials.
In part 7 of this series, we will be interviewing physicians from specific specialties within the physician occupation.
- Michele Hammonds, Communications Specialist, US Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA Office of Public Communications (10B2B)
Other career information
Helpful Career Planning Tools
- Applying For Federal Jobs 
- Civil Service Exams 
- Veteran’s Preference 
- Interview Preparation 
- Take Charge of Your Federal Career ; An Action Oriented Career Management Workbook for Federal Employees
Visit our other informative site
- http://FederalJobs.net  (Explore occupations and find jobs)
- http://federalretirement.net  (Learn about retirement and other federal employee benefits)
- http://PostalWork.net  (Explore all postal occupations and prepare for postal exams)
- http://www.SearchFedJobs.com (Search federal, state, and private sector jobs in your area)
- Federal Employee’s Career Development & IDP Center 
The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
Last 5 posts by Betty Boyd
- Writer and Editor GS-1082-Working for the Federal Government  - October 15th, 2018
- An Interview with John Guenther (Aerospace Engineer & Blacksmith)  - August 29th, 2018
- Translator GS-1040-Working for the Federal Government  - July 26th, 2018
- Postal Inspectors - Working For the Federal Government  - May 24th, 2018
- Working for the Federal Government - Environmental Protection Specialist GS-0028  - April 23rd, 2018