An Interview with Navy ___________________________About Navy MedicalQ Medical care is an essential part of civilian life, but could it be even more so in the Navy?A Certainly medicine in the Navy has the potential for being at least as challenging as in thecivilian world, and often more so. That probably holds true for physicians of virtually anydiscipline.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 practices and procedures.Q So does that mean that Navy doctors 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.Q If Navy medicine is regarded as an especially important career category for the Navy,does the Navy do anything special to attract physicians?A Navy offers a variety of incentives, both for active duty and reserve physicians, rangingfrom sign-on bonuses and special-incentive pay to advance education assistance. Of course, thebenefits of serving America as a Navy officer come into play as well. One of the greatestincentives we have for medical students who are willing to serve on active duty is our HealthProfessions Scholarship ProgramQ How does that work?A In this program, the physician 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 as an officer, and begins an exciting career without incurring start-up costs or equipmentexpenses along the way.Q Does the individual need to be licensed as a part of this?A Yes, the graduated doctor 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 doctor have upon activation?A The doctor will be commissioned as a lieutenant or higher in the Navy Medical Corps,depending on specialty, so both status and salary are comparable to that of civilian doctors. Andwhen you consider that a physician in this program typically avoids having to take out a studentloan to get the degree, a lot more of that earned money remains in his or her own pocket.Q Are there opportunities for people to be a part of a medical team without a medicaldegree?A Of course physicians and nurses are at the top of the Navy’s needs list, but as you mightimagine, 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 ______________________________________.If you or an out of-town friend want to locate another station near them, visit www.navy.comand click on “find a recruiter” on the right side of the home page, then enter your zip codenumber. The website will identify contact locations for both enlisted and officer programs. A callto 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 –