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Field Physicians and Surgeons

Health Science

Service Branches

Work Environment

Field physicians and surgeons work in hospitals and clinics on land and aboard ships, as well as in the field.

  • Military Status


  • Average Military Salary



Field physicians and surgeons conduct medical examinations and treatments related to specific environmental conditions (e.g., diving and sea operations, flight operations). They may also provide emergency care for injured and wounded soldiers. These physicians and surgeons may be required to live and work in combat environments.

Military Training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Learn more about becoming officer, here.

Job training for field physicians and surgeons primarily consists of on-the-job learning in various training environments. Scholarships for advanced medical training are available in return for an obligated period of military service. Qualifying students benefit through unique training experiences and get to attend certain military short courses designed to develop tactical, technical and operational skills unique to the military environment. Like other officers working in healthcare, they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities, orientation to military structure, healthcare and etiquette, traditions, and leadership development.

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely
  • Desire to help others
  • Professionalism
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Curiosity
  • Decision-making and integration skills
  • Interest in work requiring accuracy and attention to detail

Related Civilian Careers

  • Preventive Medicine Physicians, Physicians and Surgeons, All Other, Surgeons