Looking for something out of the ordinary? Consider becoming a doctor with the Australian Navy - Part 1November 3, 2014
Making sure that all of its personnel are fit and healthy is of vital importance to the Australian Navy. As a naval doctor, you would be responsible for the general health of all naval personnel with the opportunity to get involved in specialist areas such as underwater medicine, aviation medicine, severe trauma management, emergency medicine and occupational medicine.
When the Navy recruits medical professionals, the kind of people they look for are those who would be able to practice medicine for a sea-going community. This means practising high standards of care under adverse conditions and often with minimal support. If you are looking for a hospital-based specialist career or an intense academic career, this may not be for you.
The Australian Navy has modern, state-of-the-art facilities with trained administrative, nursing and allied health staff to support their doctors, both at sea and ashore. Ample support is also given to naval doctors who wish to specialise in different areas of medicine that are applicable to the Navy and the maritime environment. This includes specialities such as occupational medicine, primary care, public health medicine or medical administration.
As a naval doctor, you would serve in different locations and deal with a wide variety of cases. Two of the more extraordinary experiences include serving with Underwater Medicine Units and accompanying peace-keeping forces where the primary focus is humanitarian medicine.
To apply for the graduate program you must be between 17 and 56 years of age inclusive on entry.
The maximum age for entry into the Graduate Medical Program is such that you must be able to obtain your degree and complete your residency as well as your Initial Minimum Period of Service obligation before you turn 60, which is the compulsory retirement age.
Because of the unique working environment as a naval doctor, it is important that you do a self-assessment to determine whether you meet these basic requirements:
- Excellent hand-skills and hand-eye coordination
- Good attention to detail
- Ability to work under pressure
- Comfortable working in confined spaces
- Appreciation of safety requirements
- Resourcefulness and common sense
- Able to sustain long periods of precision lifting
Income potential as a naval doctor
Naval doctors earn handsome salaries in addition to enjoying numerous benefits as well as the opportunity to enrol in specialty training programmes without having to pay any tuition fees. Salaries increase on progression, based on medical level, rank and the number of years of service completed in that rank.