US Indian Health Service
2.7 of 5 12 reviews
www.ihs.gov Rockville, MD 5000+ Employees

US Indian Health Service Reviews

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2.7 12 reviews

                             
12 Employee Reviews
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Intern - Great experience

Environmental Engineer (Former Employee)
Bemidji, MN

I worked at US Indian Health Service as an intern for less than a year

ProsI worked as an engineering intern with IHS
Great camaraderie with others in the office. Wonderful environment
Great pay/benefits, especially for a summer internship
They really give you tons of project experience, rather than pigeon-holing you filling out forms or only doing one aspect of a project, as I've heard is the case with many private firms
Get to really broaden your cultural perspective. If you live near the reservation, you'll hear about Native-related events all the time, and they're all really fun
Even as an intern, I was salaried and pretty much allowed to work when i wanted, take lunch whenever and for as long as I wanted, as long as I put in at least 40 hours of work each week.

ConsHuman Resources is spectacularly awful; in the Area Office and especially in Washington DC. You'll have to deal with at least 4 different people when trying to get one job, and even though they all may work just a few feet away from each other, it seems like not one of them knows what the other is doing. I had to fill out 3-4 copies of every form, send out official transcripts (via Express Mail) multiple times, just because Person A was totally unwilling to walk down the hall and show them to Person B (and I was never reimbursed for this).

Advice to Senior ManagementStreamline your human resources department, but it's probably impossible, because this is the federal government we're talking about.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great clinical experience / terrible working conditions.

Physician (Former Employee)
Gallup, NM

I worked at US Indian Health Service full-time for more than a year

ProsFast hiring process, good benefits. Great clinical experience. Consider it a well paid Residency, then get out.

ConsStrong bias against non natives. The staff gets a big kick out of seeing non native professional staff fired for bogus violations based on rumor. Providers dumped at remote clinics with no orientation , EHR training or even EHR access. Rude, disrespectful, lazy support staff who can't be bothered to work up a patient or put an urgent referral through. No support from management. Career management are to busy covering their own incompetent asses to get anything done. IHS pours billions of dollars down the drain over treating and medicating non compliant patients, instead of addressing the real problem: uncontrolled diabetes , alcoholism and obesity .

Advice to Senior ManagementFire yourself. Oh, that is right...you can't because chances are you are an incompetent, lazy bootlicker who could not get another job.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Professional Licensed Staff (Native American)

Professional Licensed Staff (Current Employee)

I have been working at US Indian Health Service full-time for less than a year

ProsPrimary health care provider for a vulnerable, at-risk population. Clients are the best part of this work. Benefits are excellent since they are federal.

ConsPublic Health Service manages direct care staff in IHS clinics. Public Heath Service have Caucasian managers and a Caucasian CEO at my former work site. This meant that Native Americans professionals did not have the capacity to be promoted to management since these positions were the domain of Public Health Service. Public Health Service managers are uniformed officers and loyalty to their corps is the highest value. High turnover in direct care staff is common due to poor quality of management, poor working conditions and Public Health Service officers who promote corps interest over Indian Health Service interest.

Advice to Senior ManagementMy advice is to Indian Health Service: A mandatory confidential exit interview conducted by an independent third party needs to occur with each resignation.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Move along, nothing to see.

Medical Records (Former Employee)
Phoenix, AZ

I worked at US Indian Health Service full-time for less than a year

ProsThe jobs are easy to get, no one wants to work there.

ConsOutsiders walk on egg shells, USPHS outdated and outmoded and exists as a good government job. Race preference permeates all aspects of work. Non Indians expected to appreciate cultural events. Lots of social service work. Stifled and suppressed work environment. Everything relies on government checks. Long term employees look bitten and tired.

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep doing what you do, we'll keep working elsewhere.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Hostile work environment

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at US Indian Health Service full-time for more than 10 years

ProsGreat 401k and 8 hours of annual leave per pay period after 15 years. Most of the patients are lovely and friendly as well as a majority of staff.

ConsIHS shows serious favoritism to natives and corp members. The high turnover rate keeps incompetent temporary upper management that changes local rules at their whim to benefit themselves and their favorites while undermining and keeping those they don't like without approved time off or promotion.

Advice to Senior ManagementUpper management needs to do serious site inspections, interviewing all employees and not just taking acting CEO's word for truth. Make your presence known and make it known you care about all of the employees in your area. Do not support reprimands for termination based on limited information without investigation of the whole truth, not just the words of a very few over the majority.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Low pay poor living conditions, no respect

Nurse Practitioner (Former Employee)
Crownpoint, NM

I worked at US Indian Health Service full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat patient population. Opportunities to learn.

ConsDishonest hiring practices. Student loan repayment not guaranteed. Very low salary. Terrible living conditions (frozen pipes, leaking roof). Most medical staff are new graduates. Long hours and strict control of schedule. No admin staff to send letters to patient's, etc.

Advice to Senior ManagementHonestly present the position to applicants. Recognize nurse practitioners as the educated professionals they are.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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The Indian Health Service provides an opportunity for having more than "just a job"

Environmental Engineer (Current Employee)
Portland, OR

I have been working at US Indian Health Service

ProsJob satisfaction; working with Indians; sense of camaraderie; not 'just a job'; training and education support; direct contact with the people we provide services too; employment providing meaning other than profit and personal gain

ConsGovernment rules can be cumbersome and frustrating; arrogant colleagues; earning respect of the people served must be earned (not necessarily a con, but can be an obstacle); inter-office politics and pettiness displayed by fellow employees

Advice to Senior ManagementRemain in touch with what is happening in the field; better communication between departments and more cooperative efforts between the same

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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government gone wild

Physician (Current Employee)
Crownpoint, NM

I have been working at US Indian Health Service

Proshealthcare benefits for federal employees are pretty nice. thrift savings plan (TSP) is much simpler than a 401k, easier to invest money without fees.

Consmanagement comprised of tribal members who are not qualified, yet given preference due to their ethnicity. Physicians do not receive the proper amount of respect due to them.

Advice to Senior ManagementPhysicians are owed a certain level of respect by all non physicians, these people have sacrificed a great deal of time and money to acquire their educations.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Generally a good place to start in government and/or healthcare.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at US Indian Health Service full-time for less than a year

ProsI feel like in general IHS is a very laid-back environment. There is a good work-life balance, and I enjoy working with the people here. The work is also very rewarding, even in my case where I am working in a support setting and do not work directly with patients. I think a lot of the facilities tend to have a family atmosphere, and employees often help each other out in times of need. Depending on what you do, starting pay can be pretty good if you're in an area with a lower cost of living, and that is often the case in a lot of the regions served by IHS. You are also often given a lot of responsibility pretty quickly, which can be a pro or a con.

ConsA lot of the drawbacks are typical of any large organization, especially in government. The saying "the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" applies a lot of the time. There is a real disconnect between the Area Offices and the various service units, with Area often wanting unreasonable or unrealistic things, or introducing new processes and procedures that are impractical and not well planned. Activities that should be simple are often made needlessly complicated due to all the people that have to be involved, both within each service unit and in each area office.

We are often at the mercy of Congress as far as our budget, pay, etc., which can be nervewracking at times.

Some service units have better resources than others as far as new employee training. Depending on where you are and what you do, you could find yourself working with little or no guidance, not even from direct supervisors. This can be pretty frustrating.

Although starting pay can be competitive in certain areas, many jobs have no promotion potential and the longer one stays, the less they are making given their experience level. In many cases it might be better if people move on to another agency after a few years if they wish to get to a higher grade or want promotional opportunities. Despite this, we do have a lot of long time employees who are dedicated to serving their communities.

Some areas of IHS are more remote than others, and that can be a lot fo adjust to, although there are also states and regions where it's not an issue at all.

Advice to Senior ManagementQuit introducing change for the sake of change. A lot of things could be more efficient if the service units were allowed to handle things on their own or mostly on their own. It shouldn't take multiple people in multiple facilities just to order supplies or to pay vendors. More structured on-boarding for newer employees would also be helpful.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great company

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at US Indian Health Service

ProsAs an engineer at the US Indian Health Service, I was able to expand problem solving skills while working with people of difference backgrounds including mechanical, civil, and architectural engineers. The people are great and they take a big interest in all of their employees. Not to mention the pay and benefits are great.

ConsIt may require some travel or relocation to very small town areas. This may not be the place for someone who is not comfortable with small town life.

Advice to Senior ManagementThe leadership at US Indian Health Services is wonderful. There is much respect among everyone. I would suggest making sure this trend does not alter and avoid any favoritism of any kind.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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