§ 17.608 - Deferment of obligated service.
(a) Request for deferment. A participant receiving a degree from a school of medicine, osteopathy, dentistry, optometry, or podiatry, may request deferment of obligated service to complete an approved program of advanced clinical training. The Secretary may defer the beginning date of the obligated service to allow the participant to complete the advanced clinical training program. The period of this deferment will be the time designated for the specialty training.
(b) Deferment requirements. Any participant whose period of obligated service is deferred shall be required to take all or part of the advanced clinical training in an accredited program in an educational institution having an Affiliation Agreement with a Department of Veterans Affairs health care facility, and such training will be undertaken in a Department of Veterans Affairs health-care facility.
(c) Additional service obligation. A participant who has requested and received deferment for approved advanced clinical training may, at the time of approval of such deferment and at the discretion of the Secretary and upon the recommendation of the Under Secretary for Health, incur an additional period of obligated service -
(1) At the rate of one-half of a calendar year for each year of approved clinical training (or a proportionate ratio thereof) if the training is in a specialty determined to be necessary to meet health care requirements of the Veterans Health Administration; Department of Veterans Affairs; or
(2) At the rate of three-quarters of a calendar year for each year of approved graduate training (or a proportionate ratio thereof) if the training is in a medical specialty determined not to be necessary to meet the health care requirements of the Veterans Health Administration. Specialties necessary to meet the health care requirements of the Veterans Health Administration will be prescribed periodically by the Secretary when, and if, this provision for an additional period of obligated service is to be used.
(d) Altering deferment. Before altering the length or type of approved advanced clinical training for which the period of obligated service was deferred under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section, the participant must request and obtain the Secretary's written approval of the alteration.
(e) Beginning of service after deferment. Any participant whose period of obligated service has been deferred under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section must begin the obligated service effective on the date of appointment under title 38 in full-time clinical practice in an assignment or location in a Department of Veterans Affairs health care facility as determined by the Secretary. The assignment will be made by the Secretary within 120 days prior to or no later than 30 days following the completion of the requested graduate training for which the deferment was granted. Travel and relocation regulations will apply.