Combine your love for flying and your love for medicine by becoming a doctor with the Australian Air Force – Part 2

November 21, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Entry routes and qualifying criteria

There are three main entry routes into the Australian Air Force and each has its own eligibility criteria.

All set for observation in the operating room! Entry route one – Graduate entry

Only those who are already degree qualified professionals are eligible for entry under this category. Medical professionals are selected directly from the non-armed forces community and are then appointed as Medical Officers if they meet all other eligibility criteria. To be appointed as a Medical Officer in the Air Force under this category, you need to be registered as a medical practitioner or hold qualifications that will enable you to be registered. Applicants completing their internship or residency phase are also eligible to apply.


Entry route two – Graduate medical program

Through this program individuals who hold an appropriate degree qualification and meet all other requirements are sponsored to qualify as medical practitioners and then serve as Medical Officers in the Australian Defence Force.

Successful candidates undertake a four-year degree course at one of the Australian universities that offer the graduate medical program, followed by two years residency, which is completed at a teaching hospital. If you are accepted for sponsorship through this program, the ADF reimburses the major expenses associated with gaining admission to the course, including cost of travel and application fees.

To apply under this category, you need to meet three requirements:

  1. Completed an appropriate undergraduate degree
  2. Successfully completed the GAMSAT or Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admission Test
  3. Accepted by an Australian university of your choice


Entry route three – Undergraduate

This is a great entry point for those who are sure they want to join the Air Force and would like to be a part of it as early as possible.

To apply under the undergraduate category, you need to meet these requirements:

  1. Completed Year 12 with specific subjects
  2. Completed the 1st full year of study on a degree course at a recognised Faculty of Medicine

If you meet all of the eligibility requirements and are a suitable candidate, the Air Force will sponsor your tertiary studies at an appropriate civilian university in Australia after you’ve successfully completed your first full year of study.


Conditions for medical education sponsorship

In addition to the many perks of joining the Australian Defence Forces, the Air Force also sponsors the education of candidates interested in serving as Medical Officers in their establishment. There are different sponsorship criteria depending on which stage of your education you are at. The three main entry routes into the Australian Air Force – Graduate, Graduate Medical Program and Undergraduate, each has a different eligibility criteria as well as different sponsorship benefits.

In return for the sponsorship benefits, you will have to sign a contract agreeing to serve in the Air Force for a period of one year for each year of sponsorship that you’ve availed of, plus one additional year. This means that if you’ve availed of a three-year degree sponsorship you will have to complete a four-year return of service obligation after you’ve completed your degree studies.