Become A Doctor In The Royal Australian Army

February 28, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Doctors in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (RAAMC) are responsible for the general physical and mental health of all Army personnel, which in turn allows the Army to operate efficiently in operational and training environments. Army doctors work as part of a team in Army medical centres and hospitals across the country or as solo practitioners with elite Army units.

Gap Medics students with their mentor in Tanzania It’s no ordinary job though. RAAMC Medical Officers can expect to deploy wherever the Australian Army goes, whether it is combat operations or humanitarian or peacekeeping operations. Regardless of the type or place of operation, there is always a requirement for a Medical Officer to accompany the other army personnel. Work fields straddle diverse areas from primary care, which focuses on rehabilitation and trauma, to population health and tropical medicine.

If you are a medical student, the RAAMC can pay for your tuition and offer financial support through your first years of post-graduate training.

If you are already qualified as a doctor, the Army has a wide range of direct employment opportunities for General Practitioners, Public Health Medicine Specialists, Occupational Medicine Specialists and Medical Administrators.

The Royal Australian Army Medical Corps has a wide-ranging post graduate program and currently offers training in several specialty areas including:

Whatever specialisation you may choose, a career as an Army doctor combines the unique professions of Army Officer and medical practitioner. Should you opt for a career as a military medical officer you will develop a range of clinical and management skills that will prepare you for both clinical and executive leadership at the highest levels.

On being appointed as a Medical Officer in the Army, you will have to complete the Specialist Service Officer First Appointment Course. This is an initial officer course and is conducted at the Royal Military College Duntroon, ACT. This course consists of two 16-day modules – the Foundation Skills Module and the Basic Officer Skills Module. Both modules are completed as one block of training.

After completion of the initial officer course, you then have to complete a number of clinically and military focused courses over 12-18 months to prepare you for deployment on operations.

Graduate Medical Program

The Graduate Medical Program sponsors persons who already hold an appropriate degree qualification to qualify as a medical practitioner, after which they can then serve as a Medical Officer in the Australian Defence Force. Successful applicants undertake a 4 year degree course at one of the Australian universities offering the graduate medical program, after which they do a two year residency to be completed at a teaching hospital.

Applicants accepted for sponsorship in the Graduate Medical Program are reimbursed all reasonable costs related to gaining admission to the course, including fees, books, Student Contribution Charges and reasonable travel expenses for thesis work and compulsory residentials within Australia.


The Australian Regular Army has a continuing need for undergraduates studying for professional and technical vocations. This need is partly met partly by the Graduate Entry Scheme and in part by the Undergraduate Scheme.

Through the Undergraduate Scheme, select tertiary students are appointed as Commissioned Officers. These selected students are sponsored to complete their studies. The Undergraduate Scheme provides for tuition, library and examination fees, Student Contribution Charges, and the provision of textbooks as well as a salary while studying.

Full-fee paying students do not qualify for sponsorship under the Army Undergraduate Scheme.

Graduate (Reserve)

Degree qualified professionals may also consider a career as Specialist Service Officers (Graduate Only) in the Australian Army Reserve. Specialist Service Officers are enlisted direct to their unit and are required to complete the Specialist Service Officer First Appointment Course.