resta
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Hello, I'm currently a 2nd year medical student in the UK. I was wondering if anyone has any information on how to become a Medical Officer in the UK Armed Forces (information about any/all branches appreciated).

Obviously some specialties would be in higher demand than others, and I feel like they'd mainly be looking GPs, psychiatrists, and general surgeons, but I could be wrong? Anything about the daily life, the application process, and the specialties available would be appreciated.
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nexttime
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What stage are you at? The armed forces will pay your way through med school of course.



I'd suggest you look at their website and contact them - I'd imagine they'd jump at the chance to potentially recruit an already-qualified medic, if that's what you are.
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jackthelad200
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A whole host of answers required to this one.

First up, the first part of your career will be:

F1, F2, General Duties time (up to 3 years, which will be spent on the front line), then speciality selection. You apply for a relatively tightly defined group of specialities, which will fluctuate every year depending on the predicted demand whenever you would get your CCT. There is no guarantee that you will pass the military selection for your chosen speciality, and there is every chance the Armed Forces will invite you to continue with your medical career as a civilian (or you choose to leave at that point).

From then to CCT you will work in the NHS as a “civilian” gaining the requisite experience. Some of your time will be “military protected time” to allow you to maintain your military skills, as well as the fact you will have more leave than your NHS colleagues. Depending on your speciality, you may be deployed for periods in a military medical scenario - although given the relatively low tempo of Ops requiring medics, that chance is lower than a decade ago.

Post CCT you will continue to mix your NHS time and military time. In effect the military loan you out to Trusts (for nearly free), but your “military protected time” will go up. As an example, I know an EM Consultant who is 50/50 NHS and military.

Whilst I’m not comfortable in talking about specifics of specialities available, think about the things you’d need in war: EM, T&O, General Surgery, Radiology, Acute Medicine, Anaesthesia, Intensive Care (albeit not as stand-alone), plus some other niche specialities (aviation and space medicine, sports medicine, transfer medicine). There is a large demand for GPs, who can do some very interesting stuff (think remote and rural style, plus the ability to go to Level 8 in PHEM).

There are specific medical recruiters for each three services for Medical Officers, and despite a Joint (i.e. all 3 services working together) Medical Service, each offers their own niche. Don’t be afraid to visit all three and work out if your interest lies one way or another. As an example, the Army’s Aviation Medicine MOs are trained as pilots and spend two years flying before going back into AvMed, but it is obviously very competitive to get into; the RAF have more AvMed, but they don’t do the flying thing.

Hope this helps.
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username4900386
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(Original post by resta)
Hello, I'm currently a 2nd year medical student in the UK. I was wondering if anyone has any information on how to become a Medical Officer in the UK Armed Forces (information about any/all branches appreciated).

Obviously some specialties would be in higher demand than others, and I feel like they'd mainly be looking GPs, psychiatrists, and general surgeons, but I could be wrong? Anything about the daily life, the application process, and the specialties available would be appreciated.
Alright mate, firstly do you know you can get payed by the army for your tutition its something like a total of 75,000 pounds ovdr the space of 5 years and i believe once ur course is done then you serve for a minimum of 4-6 years.

Secondly mate you choose your role. What i mean is dont be told to do this or that if you want to be a gp yes you can if you want to be a physc yes you can 100% your choice. Im no doctor myself as im going through training but i know the system inside and out.

The army may also be in need of new doctors for when 2022 comes about when capitas contract expires ( thank god) youll be essentislly doing medical exams all day.

Send me a message if you want to chat more
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by jackthelad200)
A whole host of answers required to this one.

First up, the first part of your career will be:

F1, F2, General Duties time (up to 3 years, which will be spent on the front line), then speciality selection. You apply for a relatively tightly defined group of specialities, which will fluctuate every year depending on the predicted demand whenever you would get your CCT. There is no guarantee that you will pass the military selection for your chosen speciality, and there is every chance the Armed Forces will invite you to continue with your medical career as a civilian (or you choose to leave at that point).

From then to CCT you will work in the NHS as a “civilian” gaining the requisite experience. Some of your time will be “military protected time” to allow you to maintain your military skills, as well as the fact you will have more leave than your NHS colleagues. Depending on your speciality, you may be deployed for periods in a military medical scenario - although given the relatively low tempo of Ops requiring medics, that chance is lower than a decade ago.

Post CCT you will continue to mix your NHS time and military time. In effect the military loan you out to Trusts (for nearly free), but your “military protected time” will go up. As an example, I know an EM Consultant who is 50/50 NHS and military.

Whilst I’m not comfortable in talking about specifics of specialities available, think about the things you’d need in war: EM, T&O, General Surgery, Radiology, Acute Medicine, Anaesthesia, Intensive Care (albeit not as stand-alone), plus some other niche specialities (aviation and space medicine, sports medicine, transfer medicine). There is a large demand for GPs, who can do some very interesting stuff (think remote and rural style, plus the ability to go to Level 8 in PHEM).

There are specific medical recruiters for each three services for Medical Officers, and despite a Joint (i.e. all 3 services working together) Medical Service, each offers their own niche. Don’t be afraid to visit all three and work out if your interest lies one way or another. As an example, the Army’s Aviation Medicine MOs are trained as pilots and spend two years flying before going back into AvMed, but it is obviously very competitive to get into; the RAF have more AvMed, but they don’t do the flying thing.

Hope this helps.
Is the entry for Medical Officers the same for regular roles (e.g. they have to pass the same medical/fitness requirements)? Or are they willing to overlooking some U/P8s in exchange for good performance and no problems compared to the cohort during basics/fitness skills?

I've heard some conflicting anecdotes on this one (e.g. Army nurses looking after regulars who should've been P8), but also the upper age barrier for MOs being unusually high (~40).
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jackthelad200
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No idea.

I’d suggest you ring up and ask the specialist recruiters. I imagine the deciding factor may be if you are post-CCT, and/or in a secondary care speciality. But there really is no way to tell without pushing your case.
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(Original post by jackthelad200)
No idea.

I’d suggest you ring up and ask the specialist recruiters. I imagine the deciding factor may be if you are post-CCT, and/or in a secondary care speciality. But there really is no way to tell without pushing your case.
Well I was wondering in the context of trying for cadetships...

But good to know anyway.

Cheers
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Drewski
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Is the entry for Medical Officers the same for regular roles (e.g. they have to pass the same medical/fitness requirements)? Or are they willing to overlooking some U/P8s in exchange for good performance and no problems compared to the cohort during basics/fitness skills?

I've heard some conflicting anecdotes on this one (e.g. Army nurses looking after regulars who should've been P8), but also the upper age barrier for MOs being unusually high (~40).
You can find it on the various forces careers sites in terms of ages, but fitness and medical history wise, yes, you have to be at the same level as regulars.

There's an armed forces careers forum here that you can ask questions on too.
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resta
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(Original post by jackthelad200)
A whole host of answers required to this one.

First up, the first part of your career will be:

F1, F2, General Duties time (up to 3 years, which will be spent on the front line), then speciality selection. You apply for a relatively tightly defined group of specialities, which will fluctuate every year depending on the predicted demand whenever you would get your CCT. There is no guarantee that you will pass the military selection for your chosen speciality, and there is every chance the Armed Forces will invite you to continue with your medical career as a civilian (or you choose to leave at that point).

From then to CCT you will work in the NHS as a “civilian” gaining the requisite experience. Some of your time will be “military protected time” to allow you to maintain your military skills, as well as the fact you will have more leave than your NHS colleagues. Depending on your speciality, you may be deployed for periods in a military medical scenario - although given the relatively low tempo of Ops requiring medics, that chance is lower than a decade ago.

Post CCT you will continue to mix your NHS time and military time. In effect the military loan you out to Trusts (for nearly free), but your “military protected time” will go up. As an example, I know an EM Consultant who is 50/50 NHS and military.

Whilst I’m not comfortable in talking about specifics of specialities available, think about the things you’d need in war: EM, T&O, General Surgery, Radiology, Acute Medicine, Anaesthesia, Intensive Care (albeit not as stand-alone), plus some other niche specialities (aviation and space medicine, sports medicine, transfer medicine). There is a large demand for GPs, who can do some very interesting stuff (think remote and rural style, plus the ability to go to Level 8 in PHEM).

There are specific medical recruiters for each three services for Medical Officers, and despite a Joint (i.e. all 3 services working together) Medical Service, each offers their own niche. Don’t be afraid to visit all three and work out if your interest lies one way or another. As an example, the Army’s Aviation Medicine MOs are trained as pilots and spend two years flying before going back into AvMed, but it is obviously very competitive to get into; the RAF have more AvMed, but they don’t do the flying thing.

Hope this helps.
Wow, thank you! That's really in depth, very helpful stuff. General duties is up to 3 years? What does that involve?

One extra question if I can: do you know if you're only able to work in a MDHU (military hospital in the UK, think that's what they're called?) as a Medical Officer? Wikipedia says there's 7 in the UK, so it does cut options down if that's the case.
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jackthelad200
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From GDMOs who’ve worked for me:

Up to 24 months in a deployable unit - unlikely to be the same units.
Time in a Military GP practice.
Time in specialist military medical units or one specialist courses (P Coy, Cdo training, SM training etc)

But your primary role is deployable medical cover, the rest are just add-on. Your role will also vary with Service - the RN are routinely deployed, the other two less so. As a RN GDMO it is primarily “primary care”, but your population at risk are young, physically active people. In the 80% of the time you’re not doing medicine, you’ll be learning about your Service in order to be credible as an Officer.

You should expect to train in a trust that hosts MDHUs, but not just the Major Trauma Centre the MDHU is physically located in. As a example I know a trainee Surgeon based in a MTC who will be doing two years in DGHs within the area. Remember, you will require to pass a ‘Normal’ CCT within your speciality; your training locations will be rotated to give you enough exposure so that you’re not disadvantaged compared to your civilian peers.

There are also opportunities to work overseas - I know someone who has spent the last three years doing a fully paid for PhD in another country.
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