An Interview with Navy ________________________________________________About Navy DentistryQ Professional dentists and soon-to-be dentists seldom think about service in the Navy, butit really is a viable option isn’t it?A Certainly anyone in the field of dentistry should consider Navy service. Sailors, Marinesand their families certainly need dental care every bit as much as other Americans, and the Navyrewards dentists with competitive compensation and benefits. But the truth of the matter is thatNavy dentistry has the potential to be even more rewarding than dentistry in a civilianenvironment.Q Do you say that because of the way medical teams support the Navy’s military missions?A In part, yes. It’s true that Navy physicians need to be prepared to support our deployedsailors at sea and sometimes also Marines and sailors on land in combat roles, but please alsorecognize that America’s Navy is typically the first responder to natural disaster situationsranging from earthquakes to tsunamis to hurricanes, so our medical teams often see situationsand medical environments that are rarely seen by civilian medical groups. Those situationspresent not only challenges, but also learning experiences. And they often result in remarkableinnovations in medical and dental practices and procedures.Q So does that mean that Navy dentists serve primarily onboard ships?A Everyone who joins the Navy must anticipate that shipboard duty will be a part of theirfuture. At the same time, it is important to note that even the saltiest sailor only spends a portionof his or her time at sea, and many don’t have sea duty at all. The same holds true for dentists,including dental specialists.Q If Navy dentistry is regarded as an especially important career category for the Navy,does the Navy do anything special to attract dentists?A Navy offers a variety of incentives, both for active duty and reserve dentists, rangingfrom sign-on bonuses and special-incentive pay to advance education assistance. Of course, thebenefits of serving as a Naval officer come into play as well. Already practicing dentists areeligible for a sign-on bonus that can range from $75,000 to $300,000 depending on specialty andservice requirements. For medical students who are willing to serve on active duty, one of thegreatest incentives we have is our Health Professions Scholarship Program.Q How does that work?
A In this program, the dental candidate enlists in the Navy Reserve until after graduationfrom a graduate medical program when active duty starts. The active duty commitment timeperiod will vary depending upon which year of the educational program the enlistment starts. Inreturn, the Navy pays the graduate school tuition plus a sizeable monthly stipend to help covermost of the student’s living expenses. Upon graduation, he or she receives a commission,entering with the rank of an officer, and begins an exciting career.Q You mentioned specialties. What specialties qualify for the program?A Actually, there are opportunities in any of 13 specialty areas, from general care tomaxiofacial prosthodontics to forensics. In all of these areas, Navy dentists use some of the mostadvanced technology on the planet without having to make the front-end investment on theirown—no start-up costs, no equipment expenses and no insurance fees.Q Does the individual need to be licensed as a part of this?A Yes, the graduated dentist must have and maintain a license to practice as a Navyphysician. The license must be from a U.S. state, territory or District of Columbia, and that willrequire passage of the required exams as close to graduation as possible.Q What rank or status will the dentist have upon activation?A The dentist will be commissioned as a lieutenant of higher in the Navy Medical/DentalCorps, depending on specialty, so both status and salary are comparable to that of civiliandentists. And when you consider that a dentist in this program typically avoids having to take outa student loan to get the degree, a lot more of that earned money remains in his or her ownpocket.Q Are there opportunities for people to be a part of a medical team without a four-yearnursing degree?A Of course physicians dentists, and nurses are at the top f the Navy’s needs list, but as youmight imagine, the medical field is extensive, so the Navy also needs strong medical technologypeople, corpsmen and medical technology people as well.Q How does one get started pursuing this opportunity?A Actually, the best first step is to contact the local recruiting station to find out about anyand all of the jobs that we have available. To reach us, simply contact our station by calling______________, or stop in most afternoons at ___________________________________. Ifyou or an out of-town friend want to locate another station near them, visit www.navy.com and
click on ―find a recruiter‖ on the right side of the home page, then enter your zip code number.The website will identify contact locations for both enlisted and officer programs. A call to 800-4go –Navy will do the trick as well.Additional comment:To put the Navy’s role in perspective, you need to recognize that 70 percent of the world iscovered by ocean, 80 percent of the world’s population lives along coasts and 90 percent of theworld’s commerce travels by water. Protecting all of that is our job, and that makes America’sNavy a global force for good.Sailors serve on land and from the sea; from ships on the water, submarines under the water, andplanes and helicopters over the water – all to meet America’s threats far away so that thosethreats cannot harm us here. We welcome the best men and women to join us in accomplishingtoday’s missions and meeting tomorrow’s challenges. - 30 -