Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) — Worldwide

Position Title: Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) – (Formerly Regional Medical Technologist)
Open Period: 10/22/2014 – 11/26/2014
Series/Grade: FP – 0644 – 05
Salary: $43,378 – $63,702
Promotion Potential: FP-02
Duty Locations: MANY vacancies throughout the world
For more information: Medical Services Office, 202-663-1084,

Grade and Starting Salary Range: FP-05, $43,378 – $63,702

Major Duties


Serving as a Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) in support of the employees of the United States Government and their eligible family members, a medical laboratory scientist works in conjunction with other Foreign Service medical personnel. Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist duties include implementing the following responsibilities at each post assigned:

  1. Supervising instrument management and procedures: Manages laboratory, performs testing, collects blood, oversees send-out testing, updates technology, performs cost analysis, implements MED polices, performs on-call duty, etc.
  2. Training and supervising: Instructs how to perform tests, communicates information, instructs on sanitation inspections, presents food safety classes, instructs on specimen collection, writes safety plan, supervises laboratory staff, provides evaluation input, etc.
  3. Assuring quality: Monitors quality control programs, uses computer programs, maintains U.S. standards, reviews proficiency testing program, assesses competency of health unit staff, updates skills, maintains ServSafe® manager certification, liaises for health unit with local laboratories, advises local laboratory professionals.
  4. Performing regional duties: Makes travel arrangements, visits regional posts, assesses local diagnostic testing facilities and blood banks, communicates with regional posts, assists with hiring, conducts sanitation inspections, submits reports, searches for means of reliable testing, collaborates with other organizations, designates laboratories for testing biological hazards, collaborates with the Center for Disease Control, arranges for continuing education, etc.
  5. Addressing environmental issues: Determines corrective action, tests water for bacteria, addresses other environmental issues, etc.

Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientists are considered essential personnel and are on call to provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


A career in the Foreign Service involves uncommon commitment and could include extreme hardship along with unique rewards and opportunities. A decision to enter this career must involve enthusiastic motivation, and a firm dedication to public service. In addition to living and serving in the United States as with all Foreign Service positions, living and serving overseas is mandatory. Many overseas posts are in small or remote countries where harsh climates, health hazards, potential danger, and other discomforts exist, and where American-style amenities frequently are unavailable.

Foreign Service Medical Providers (RMOs, RMO/Ps, FSHPs, and RMLSs) are responsible for Department of State medical and safety policies, provision of a range of medical services, management of Health Unit operations, supervision of subordinate staff, and the actual performance of all of the following essential functions in addition to routine family care:

  • Inspect and assess the care and capability of local clinics, hospitals, laboratories, and private practices in possibly hazardous environments, and/or where there are no special access accommodations.
  • Provide patient care that may include heavy lifting, pulling, stooping and twisting in adverse settings.
  • Travel independently to regional constituent posts (if applicable) utilizing air carriers and transportation facilities that may not have special access accommodations.




In addition to the general requirements for employment in the Foreign Service, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree, be certified by a national certification agency, and have the specified experience as outlined below. In addition, the applicant must be able to pass a writing skill assessment that may be conducted following successful completion of the initial review stage and qualifications review panel. The panel will recommend the most competitive candidates be invited to participate in an oral assessment, and at that time, the candidate will draft an essay, which will evaluate command of English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and thought content. This is explained further in our website,, under Selection Process.

Applicant must have a minimum of:

  1. a bachelor’s degree in medical technology, clinical laboratory science, chemistry, or biological science that must include 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) of biological science (with one semester in microbiology), 16 semester hours or (24 quarter hours) in chemistry (with one semester in organic or biochemistry), one semester/quarter of mathematics from a regionally accredited university or college; and,
  2. completion of a National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) /Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education (CAAHEP) medical technology/CLS program AND five years of fulltime clinical laboratory experience in blood banking, chemistry, hematology, microbiology, immunology and clinical microscopy in the U.S./Canada or a CAP/Joint Commission/AABB/CMS approved accredited laboratory within the last ten years. At least two years of the clinical laboratory experience must be under the supervision of a pathologist (certified by the American Board of Pathology) or a board certified medical scientist and a certified medical technologist /scientist; and,
  3. a passing score on a national certification examination for medical laboratory scientist or medical technologist; and,
  4. at least four years of laboratory experience as a Generalist Medical Laboratory Scientist/Medical Technologist in a clinical laboratory after certification. The four years of experience must be within the last five years; and,
  5. a current registration as a Medical Laboratory Scientist or Medical Technologist.

Applications will not be accepted from Medical Laboratory Scientists/ Medical Technologists who do not meet the criteria outlined above.

Education completed in foreign colleges or universities may be used to meet Federal job requirements for this position if the applicant can show that foreign education is comparable to education received in the United States. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide such evidence when applying for Federal jobs. To view how foreign education is evaluated for federal jobs, please visit



Applicant must have at least four years of laboratory experience as a generalist in the Clinical Laboratory and include work in Chemistry, Hematology, Blood Banking, Urinalysis, Microbiology, Parasitology, and Serology, with progressively responsible experience as a Medical Technologist/Medical Laboratory Scientist.

Applicant must have demonstrated skill in performing tests with detail and accuracy and providing information to appropriate individuals as necessary. The work involves exercising a high degree of laboratory management expertise.

Applicant must have knowledge of the following: Laboratory Science, General Anatomy, Medical Terminology; Quality Control procedures and Quality Assurance plans; laboratory equipment used in performing a variety of laboratory tests; skill in performing preventive maintenance and troubleshooting on laboratory equipment; ability to train other medical professionals in laboratory techniques is required.

The patient population covered is unique because of background and lifestyle as part of a diplomatic community overseas. This population also differs in terms of clinical and administrative needs and the national security concerns inherent in their employment.

Applicant must be a skilled and experienced Medical Laboratory Scientist who recognizes and understands the problems of delivering laboratory services to a large group of Americans posted in widely scattered groups of varying size most often where local medical resources are limited or non-existent. Experience in providing laboratory results and assistance via electronic communication such as fax, telephone, telegram and e-mail is preferable. Experience in performing laboratory techniques to diagnose infectious and tropical diseases is required.

Applicant must have the ability to develop, coordinate, and administer health care programs and procedures, including individual and community health promotion and disease prevention programs. Applicant must have the ability to organize and supervise a diverse group of technologists/medical scientists who have varying degrees of expertise, education and command of the English language. Understanding the unique cultural differences related to health care delivery in varied countries and the ability to deal with the differences in a positive manner is a necessity.

Candidates must have the capacity to gain the cooperation and confidence of patients, co-workers, supervisors, and subordinates. Individuals must have experience in working in a multidisciplinary practice as well as experience in team building. Effective written and oral communication skills, and the ability to present laboratory findings in a clear and concise manner to medical and non-medical personnel are essential. The demonstrated ability to teach or lecture to groups on laboratory issues is preferred.

General computer and Microsoft Office skills are required.


The education, work experience and other qualifications are evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements that have been identified as important to successful job performance as a Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist (RMLS) based on extensive job analysis research.

Not all of these attributes need to be met by a candidate; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate candidates.

  1. Knowledge of medical laboratory equipment, the Federal Regulations governing clinical laboratories and testing to include: CLIA 88, OSHA requirements for safety in the clinical laboratories and health clinics, US accreditation requirements, phlebotomy, computers and Microsoft Office, Quality System Essentials (QSEs) and Quality Management guidelines, International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations, medical laboratory tests, laboratory management, food safety guidelines, water testing methods and standards, and, Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) guidelines for all testing.
  2. Specialized skills in performing laboratory tests, performing phlebotomy, analyzing, observing, interviewing, public speaking, organizing, supervising, networking, customer service.
  3. General skills in operations monitoring, systems analysis, systems evaluation, quality control analysis, equipment maintenance, equipment selection, science, reading comprehension, active learning, coordination, time management, critical thinking, complex problem solving, judgment and decision making, service orientation, instructing, persuasion, social perceptiveness, mathematics, active listening, writing, speaking.
  4. Other attributes including tolerance of travel, worldwide available, tolerance of living overseas, tolerance of living away from family, teamwork and cooperation, empathetic personality, self motivated/sufficient, physical endurance, etc.



Purpose: To allow an opportunity to describe your experiences that relate to the personal and professional skills required to accomplish the work of the Foreign Service Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist.

Instructions: During the application process, you will be asked to individually address each of the numbered items listed below, limiting responses to 2,000 characters or less for each item. Examples can be drawn from any part of your experience, but must reflect personal accomplishments. You should compose your replies carefully as one of the skills required of an experienced Regional Medical Laboratory Scientist is the ability to write clearly and concisely.

  1. Laboratory Skills: Describe a specific complex laboratory case, which you have encountered that demonstrates your laboratory skills in identifying and investigating an unexpected laboratory result.
  2. Technology Skills: Describe your skill in managing laboratory instruments and technology, including conducting complex procedures and maintaining or troubleshooting equipment.
  3. Organizational Abilities: Describe a specific achievement demonstrating your planning and organizational skills in the setting of a multidisciplinary clinical team or practice.
  4. Problem Solving and Troubleshooting: Use specific examples to describe your troubleshooting skills involving laboratory instrumentation and procedures.
  5. Teamwork Abilities: Discuss your abilities to participate as a team member working toward a common goal, as well as examples of your ability to assist a team in the accomplishment of a goal.
  6. Public Speaking and Teaching Ability: Describe specific examples demonstrating your public speaking and teaching abilities as part of an assignment or work-related task.


How Candidates Will Be Evaluated:

Candidates will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated


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