NOVEMBER 26, 2021 – The military needs medical personnel just as it needs people in every other type of specialty, from computer programmers to journalists, administrative assistants to instructors and more. You can start your medical career in the military, or you can start a medical career after you leave the service.
Choosing Your Specialty
Becoming a nurse or doctor may be what many people think of first when they consider a medical career, but there are many other possibilities in and out of the military. These include becoming an anesthesiologist, a radiology specialist or a pharmacy tech. Within the roles of doctor and nurse there are also specialties, such as becoming a surgeon or working in an emergency room. In fact, if you are interested in medicine but you tend to connect better with animals than humans, there are opportunities for veterinarians as well.
Education and Training After Military Service
Not every 18-year-old finishes high school knowing what they want to do with their lives. Your stint in the military may be just what it takes to get you pointed in the direction of medicine, even if you never considered it previously. The leadership and problem-solving skills that you develop in the military will make you an excellent fit in health care jobs. There are a number of benefits for veterans attending college, including the possibility of getting college credit for some of your experience. You may also be able to get all or some of your tuition paid for. If you need to get a graduate medical degree as well, one option for getting more money to cover the costs is by taking out a student loan from a private lender.
Education During a Military Career
On the other hand, if you do know that you want both a career in medicine and in the military, combining the two can be great. One of the big advantages for aspiring doctors is that the military may pay for your medical school and even give you a stipend. You will receive training and then enter the service as an officer. And there are many marine corps healthcare careers that you can choose from. A recruiter can give you more details on these programs and your options. You might go to a conventional medical school, or you might attend a military medical school.
Pros and Cons of Military Medical Careers
One advantage of launching your medical career with the help of the military is that you might not have any student loans to repay, unlike most physicians. You will need to commit a certain amount of time to military service. Some people choose to spend their entire careers in the service, but you also have the option to transition to civilian life after a certain amount of time. There are some disadvantages to practicing as a physician in the service. While you will be well paid, it’s probably not as much as you would make in private practice. You’ll also have less control over where you go and the nature of your job. On the positive side, you may receive free housing or housing allowance, you won’t need malpractice insurance and you may get to travel the world.