Civilian Medical Work for the US Armed Forces?
June 8, 2008 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Wondering if anyone on the threads has any experience with civilian medical jobs for the military or could point to a resource on the web where people might discuss this.

In particular I am looking at some medical officer position with the air force overseas. the pay isn't great (though not bad either), but i have reason to want to consider living in a couple locales where they have openings and where otherwise my medical degree would be unusable secondary to licensing reqs.
Things i wonder about: is the work and lifestyle more military or civilian in nature? Could one reasonably be opposed to our war effort and yet work in such a field? how are employees treated in general in your own experience?
posted by dougiedd to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes, you can be reasonably opposed to the war effort, provided that you don't voice such opinions loudly. Seriously. You would be providing care to people who largely DO support the effort and take great pride in their service and their fellow Airmen. Your role would be to focus completely on providing medical care to patriots who are proud of what they do, for the express purpose of returning them to duty. Or caring for their family members, who are likely even MORE proud of their spouses'/parents' service.

And as far as the day-to-day clinical experience: it is largely "civilian" in nature -- check-in patients, evaluate, diagnose, prescribe, etc. There is some administrative burden above and beyond what you might find in a private (civilian) medical practice, but that is balanced by not having to worry about co-pays and insurance and some other stuff.

Good luck - and if you do find a way to serve in such a capacity: thank you.
posted by davidmsc at 10:34 PM on June 8, 2008

I would contact the credentialing office/coordinator for the hospital at the base. If you are a civilian, no one will be particularly interested in your personal political opinions on the war or anything else as long as you are not broadcasting them. There isn't any type of political test. Besides, I think that you'll find the medical corps to be one of the most liberal enclaves in the military (perhaps by virtue of being the most educated).

There is a military sub-forum over at Student Doctor Network. It's primarily geared at pre-med/med-students looking for information on the various types of financial assistance programs through the military. However, there are a number of current and former military medical corps folks who hang out there (and mostly complain about the military, but that's to be expected) and some are air force. If you post something there looking for more location-specific / specialty-specific advice, I'm sure someone would oblige. The military is a small pond and inside each specialty is an even smaller one, so most docs are pretty familiar with the global situation for their specialty inside of their respective services.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:29 AM on June 9, 2008

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