Becoming an Army doctor

June 20, 2016

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Armed forces

Becoming a doctor in the Australian Army is a wonderful way to combine your passion for medicine and army life. Your work could take you across the country and even overseas as you provide routine and emergency health care to elite troops during combat operations as well as to remote communities devastated by natural disasters. As an Army doctor you will find yourself working across multiple disciplines including primary care, sports medicine, trauma and rehabilitation and sports medicine.

The life of an Army doctor

While life as a doctor in the Australian Army presents a unique set of challenges, there is no doubt that it is also rich and rewarding. You will get experience working in a variety of settings, from well-equipped clinics in your home base to sparsely-equipped field hospitals on exercises and deployments. You will also have access to extensive sports and leisure facilities ensuring a fantastic work-life balance.

Fitness training will be a major part of your job, as it is important to be in good physical shape to carry out your duties safely and effectively, especially when you are out in the field.

Medical Officers in the Australian Army earn over AU$ 93,600 per annum on completion of initial employment training. This includes uniform and service allowances and applies to full time Officer Entry.

If a career as an Army doctor sounds like a good fit for you, the first step is to determine if you are eligible.

Pathways to becoming an Army doctor

There are three pathways to becoming an Army doctor – undergraduate programme, graduate programme and graduate medical programme. Each of these programmes has its own specific eligibility criteria and benefits.

If you are a medical student, the Army will pay your tuition fees and provide financial support through your first years of post-graduate training.

If you have already completed your training and are a qualified doctor, the Army offers a range of direct employment opportunities in several disciplines including Occupational Medicine Specialist, General Practitioners, Health Medicine Specialists and Medical Administrators.

Whether you join as a graduate or as an undergraduate, you will go on to receive world-class leadership training in addition to exciting professional development opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria

Only Australian citizens are eligible to serve in the Armed Forces of Australia. if you are a Permanent Resident, you may be able to get the citizenship requirement waived off temporarily but only if certain conditions are met. You must then compulsorily obtain Australian citizenship as early as possible following enlistment or appointment.

All applicants must be between 17 and 60 years of age at the time of selection and entry.

You will need to complete a series of aptitude tests, including verbal, general mathematics, spatial and numerical ability tests as part of the application and selection process.

Peak physical and medical fitness is a mandatory requirement for entry into the army. You will also have to complete various tests to evaluate our level of medical and physical fitness and will also be appointed if you successful pass all of these tests.



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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.