bm30
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#1
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#1
HI there, I am a third year medical student considering the idea of becoming an army surgeon (British Army). I've been looking on google but have been unable to find much information. If anybody has any experience of what it is like, or has any information on lifestyle, salary, perks, or anything in general about this I would appreciate it. Thank you!
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Spencer Wells
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#2
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Your best bet is to speak to your local recruitment office, or university officer training corps - they'll put you in touch with a medical recruitment advisor explaining the roles and responsibilities.
Essentially you'll spend a year or so post foundation as a general duties doctor before starting specialty training, in NHS hospitals but with additional time on deployment (usually 18 months or so during training time.) Note however that you get very little (if any) say in where you train - you will be placed where the defence medical deanery want to place you, which might mean moving all over the country throughout training.
As a consultant you spend the majority of your time in civilian hospitals (almost exclusively at trauma centres), but again with time spent on exercise or deployed, depending on the current operational requirements.
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Tcam9
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#3
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#3
(Original post by bm30)
HI there, I am a third year medical student considering the idea of becoming an army surgeon (British Army). I've been looking on google but have been unable to find much information. If anybody has any experience of what it is like, or has any information on lifestyle, salary, perks, or anything in general about this I would appreciate it. Thank you!
If you're at med school you have two options. Either join as a bursar - i.e join now and get paid during your final years at med school, do you foundation years with the defence deanery in a JHG (a hospital associated with the military, eg portsmouth, derriford, frimley park, northallerton, QE birmingham) and then go to RMAS to do the commissioning course after you finish FY2. OR join as a 'direct entrant' - apply during FY1 and join at the end of FY2, going straight onto the same commissioning course as the bursars.

After you commission you do 2.5 years as a GDMO (general duties medical officer), it's great fun but predominantly general practice and pre hospital care based. Lots of travel opportunities and you get to enjoy army life (join in with sport, adventure training etc..). The hours are good, great work life balance, brilliant salary. Even if you want to do surgery you are likely to really enjoy being a GDMO!

In your final year as a GDMO apply to do specialty training with the Army, specialty training jobs are limited and can be competitive, but surgery hasn't been too competitive recently. Currently GP is one of the most competitive, then probably EM and Anaesthetics.

You can ask to do your training in a hospital of your choice, but defence deanery may not always be able to accommodate this. Usually it needs to be a trauma centre and have a military surgical consultant already working there.

You don't usually get deployed during training and will follow a similar training pathway to your NHS colleagues, but you may move around a bit more. If you do move, the army will sort accommodation for you and pay moving costs though, so it's not as stressful as it sounds.

For salary details have a look at the below link. Scroll down to page 77 - table 1.17 is your salary during GDMO and your first two years of training, from ST3 you move on to table 1.15, and then when you become a consultant you move on to table 1.13 at whichever level you reached on table 1.15 (you go up a level each year).
https://assets.publishing.service.go...d_E-Laying.pdf

If you want to know more about the surgical training pathway in particular let me know and I can get some more info for you. Alternatively you can speak to Army Medical Services recruitment (contact details at the bottom of the page) https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/c...ical-services/

Or you can send me a PM on here, or ask a question via the Army jobs page https://apply.army.mod.uk/ask-a-question
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realtimme
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#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by Tcam9)
If you're at med school you have two options. Either join as a bursar - i.e join now and get paid during your final years at med school, do you foundation years with the defence deanery in a JHG (a hospital associated with the military, eg portsmouth, derriford, frimley park, northallerton, QE birmingham) and then go to RMAS to do the commissioning course after you finish FY2. OR join as a 'direct entrant' - apply during FY1 and join at the end of FY2, going straight onto the same commissioning course as the bursars.

After you commission you do 2.5 years as a GDMO (general duties medical officer), it's great fun but predominantly general practice and pre hospital care based. Lots of travel opportunities and you get to enjoy army life (join in with sport, adventure training etc..). The hours are good, great work life balance, brilliant salary. Even if you want to do surgery you are likely to really enjoy being a GDMO!

In your final year as a GDMO apply to do specialty training with the Army, specialty training jobs are limited and can be competitive, but surgery hasn't been too competitive recently. Currently GP is one of the most competitive, then probably EM and Anaesthetics.

You can ask to do your training in a hospital of your choice, but defence deanery may not always be able to accommodate this. Usually it needs to be a trauma centre and have a military surgical consultant already working there.

You don't usually get deployed during training and will follow a similar training pathway to your NHS colleagues, but you may move around a bit more. If you do move, the army will sort accommodation for you and pay moving costs though, so it's not as stressful as it sounds.

For salary details have a look at the below link. Scroll down to page 77 - table 1.17 is your salary during GDMO and your first two years of training, from ST3 you move on to table 1.15, and then when you become a consultant you move on to table 1.13 at whichever level you reached on table 1.15 (you go up a level each year).
https://assets.publishing.service.go...d_E-Laying.pdf

If you want to know more about the surgical training pathway in particular let me know and I can get some more info for you. Alternatively you can speak to Army Medical Services recruitment (contact details at the bottom of the page) https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/c...ical-services/

Or you can send me a PM on here, or ask a question via the Army jobs page https://apply.army.mod.uk/ask-a-question
I've been thinking about this as well, this is the most info i've been able to find so far thanks!
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Hpl0001
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#5
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#5
This is really helpful thank you. I have a few more questions.

Is it possible to transfer from another cap badge (as an officer) to the RAMC? If so, will the Army support the training?

Does the Army provide accommodation (SLA/SFA) for doctors and their families during FY1 and FY2? Similarly, is accommodation provided for army doctors whilst they are training in the NHS later in their careers?

Which are the key hospitals FY1 and FY2 can be conducted in?

How are the spots on speciality training selected? i.e. if everyone wants to become a trauma surgeon who decides who gets the spot? If a bursary is offered, what is the return on service required?

Cheers!
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Tcam9
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Hpl0001)
This is really helpful thank you. I have a few more questions.

Is it possible to transfer from another cap badge (as an officer) to the RAMC? If so, will the Army support the training?

Does the Army provide accommodation (SLA/SFA) for doctors and their families during FY1 and FY2? Similarly, is accommodation provided for army doctors whilst they are training in the NHS later in their careers?

Which are the key hospitals FY1 and FY2 can be conducted in?

How are the spots on speciality training selected? i.e. if everyone wants to become a trauma surgeon who decides who gets the spot? If a bursary is offered, what is the return on service required?

Cheers!
Hi,

You could theoretically transfer to the RAMC, but as a Medical Support Officer rather than a Medical Officer. If you want to be an MO (doctor) but are currently serving then you would need to leave the Army to go to medical school and then reapply during medical school (or after medical school).

SLA is provided during FY1 and FY2, but I believe SFA is not (or at least it wasn't a few years ago). Both SLA and SFA is provided during training later on in your career, if you end up training in an NHS hospital or GP practice without near by SLA or SFA then you are entitled to SSSA or SSFA.

Usually FY1&2 years are done in a JHG - Derriford (Plymouth), Portsmouth, Frimley Park, QE Birmingham, Northallerton.

It is very rare that everyone wants to become a trauma surgeon! But if spots are competitive for speciality training then it'll be up to the head of cadre and usually a panel of other specialists who decide. Sometimes they will limit the number of people who are allowed to apply beforehand, this is usually done with a CV and an interview, and may include looking at your reports from the previous years. Sometimes they allow everyone to apply to the programme and then will use the scores you obtain during the selection process to aid their decision.

If you get a bursary then the return of service is 4 years from when you commission (and you commission after FY2).

Hope that helps!
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Kerzen
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#7
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#7
(Original post by bm30)
HI there, I am a third year medical student considering the idea of becoming an army surgeon (British Army). I've been looking on google but have been unable to find much information. If anybody has any experience of what it is like, or has any information on lifestyle, salary, perks, or anything in general about this I would appreciate it. Thank you!
As you are in your third year, you might find this interesting too.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers...-officer-cadet
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Hudl
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Tcam9)
If you're at med school you have two options. Either join as a bursar - i.e join now and get paid during your final years at med school, do you foundation years with the defence deanery in a JHG (a hospital associated with the military, eg portsmouth, derriford, frimley park, northallerton, QE birmingham) and then go to RMAS to do the commissioning course after you finish FY2. OR join as a 'direct entrant' - apply during FY1 and join at the end of FY2, going straight onto the same commissioning course as the bursars.

After you commission you do 2.5 years as a GDMO (general duties medical officer), it's great fun but predominantly general practice and pre hospital care based. Lots of travel opportunities and you get to enjoy army life (join in with sport, adventure training etc..). The hours are good, great work life balance, brilliant salary. Even if you want to do surgery you are likely to really enjoy being a GDMO!

In your final year as a GDMO apply to do specialty training with the Army, specialty training jobs are limited and can be competitive, but surgery hasn't been too competitive recently. Currently GP is one of the most competitive, then probably EM and Anaesthetics.

You can ask to do your training in a hospital of your choice, but defence deanery may not always be able to accommodate this. Usually it needs to be a trauma centre and have a military surgical consultant already working there.

You don't usually get deployed during training and will follow a similar training pathway to your NHS colleagues, but you may move around a bit more. If you do move, the army will sort accommodation for you and pay moving costs though, so it's not as stressful as it sounds.

For salary details have a look at the below link. Scroll down to page 77 - table 1.17 is your salary during GDMO and your first two years of training, from ST3 you move on to table 1.15, and then when you become a consultant you move on to table 1.13 at whichever level you reached on table 1.15 (you go up a level each year).
https://assets.publishing.service.go...d_E-Laying.pdf

If you want to know more about the surgical training pathway in particular let me know and I can get some more info for you. Alternatively you can speak to Army Medical Services recruitment (contact details at the bottom of the page) https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/c...ical-services/

Or you can send me a PM on here, or ask a question via the Army jobs page https://apply.army.mod.uk/ask-a-question
Very interesting, looking into this again as I previously failed my medical at Litchfield due to an undiagnosed scalp condition at the time. Will love to give it another stab now I am an FY1
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ct04
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Tcam9)
If you're at med school you have two options. Either join as a bursar - i.e join now and get paid during your final years at med school, do you foundation years with the defence deanery in a JHG (a hospital associated with the military, eg portsmouth, derriford, frimley park, northallerton, QE birmingham) and then go to RMAS to do the commissioning course after you finish FY2. OR join as a 'direct entrant' - apply during FY1 and join at the end of FY2, going straight onto the same commissioning course as the bursars.

After you commission you do 2.5 years as a GDMO (general duties medical officer), it's great fun but predominantly general practice and pre hospital care based. Lots of travel opportunities and you get to enjoy army life (join in with sport, adventure training etc..). The hours are good, great work life balance, brilliant salary. Even if you want to do surgery you are likely to really enjoy being a GDMO!

In your final year as a GDMO apply to do specialty training with the Army, specialty training jobs are limited and can be competitive, but surgery hasn't been too competitive recently. Currently GP is one of the most competitive, then probably EM and Anaesthetics.

You can ask to do your training in a hospital of your choice, but defence deanery may not always be able to accommodate this. Usually it needs to be a trauma centre and have a military surgical consultant already working there.

You don't usually get deployed during training and will follow a similar training pathway to your NHS colleagues, but you may move around a bit more. If you do move, the army will sort accommodation for you and pay moving costs though, so it's not as stressful as it sounds.

For salary details have a look at the below link. Scroll down to page 77 - table 1.17 is your salary during GDMO and your first two years of training, from ST3 you move on to table 1.15, and then when you become a consultant you move on to table 1.13 at whichever level you reached on table 1.15 (you go up a level each year).
https://assets.publishing.service.go...d_E-Laying.pdf

If you want to know more about the surgical training pathway in particular let me know and I can get some more info for you. Alternatively you can speak to Army Medical Services recruitment (contact details at the bottom of the page) https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/c...ical-services/

Or you can send me a PM on here, or ask a question via the Army jobs page https://apply.army.mod.uk/ask-a-question
I'd love to know a bit more about life as a GDMO if that's alright.
Is there any way to reduce the amount of general practice you do, e.g. having some placements in hospitals? I feel like by taking you out of that environment the army are making you miss out on all the learning that the civilian cohort will experience there?
Also, after your GDMO years, do you literally enter specialty training as if you've just finished FY2? Or is the speciality training in some way accelerated to take into account the ~3 years you've spent as a GDMO?
Thanks!
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Tcam9
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#10
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#10
(Original post by ct04)
I'd love to know a bit more about life as a GDMO if that's alright.
Is there any way to reduce the amount of general practice you do, e.g. having some placements in hospitals? I feel like by taking you out of that environment the army are making you miss out on all the learning that the civilian cohort will experience there?
Also, after your GDMO years, do you literally enter specialty training as if you've just finished FY2? Or is the speciality training in some way accelerated to take into account the ~3 years you've spent as a GDMO?
Thanks!
You can't do hospital placements as a GDMO, you may be allowed to do the odd day here or there, and some GDMOs will do that prior to starting specialty training just to get used to being back in a hospital environment.

Your civilian colleagues might be working as trust grades or locums in a hospital environment, but that is not necessarily good training, and won't always result in a better CV. GDMOs tend to have very good CVs as they have the added leadership bits in there, but they also get a lot of support to develop their medical CV and take part in research/get publications done, it's a small family and consultants are often willing to help GDMOs that show an interest in their specialty. There's also lots of time to attend courses and conferences, as well as gain extra qualifications.

It may feel like a bit of a shock going back in to hospitals after being out for so long, but if being a GDMO teaches you anything, it's how to manage in a new environment under pressure. I wouldn't say I found it any more difficult than civilian colleagues who were moving to a new hospital or specialty.

After GDMO you start specialty training just the same as everyone else, no speeding things up I'm afraid! But that's not necessarily a bad thing, don't forget during your specialty training you may need to acquire skills that your civilian colleagues don't. For example, military GP trainees tend to sit their exams a bit earlier so they can spend the last 8 months of training getting back up to speed on occupational medicine and pre hospital care, as well as learning about the managerial bits that come with being a regimental medical officer.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any more questions.
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