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Physicians and Surgeons

Health Science

Service Branches

  • Air Force logo

Work Environment

Physicians and surgeons work in hospitals and clinics on land and aboard ships.

  • Military Status


  • Median Military Salary This is the median, or the midpoint, of the salary range for this career.


    Military Salary Range Salary varies based on years of service, degree level, special pays, family status and location.

    $53,011 - $362,582


Physicians and surgeons in the Military provide comprehensive medical care to military personnel and their families. They examine patients, diagnose and treat diseases, provide medication, and sometimes perform surgery. Some military physicians and surgeons work in the field, providing support to deployed personnel. Others specialize in a specific type of medicine.

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. Job training for physicians and surgeons primarily consists of on-the-job learning in various training environments. Advanced courses and programs in medical specialties are available as well as residency and fellowship programs access to sophisticated technologies research methods and opportunities to consult with leading military and civilian researchers in addition to other professional growth opportunities such as attending professional development courses research seminars and academic conferences. In addition 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. Job-specific training content may include:

  • Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety/TeamSTEPPS® Essentials and Fundamentals
  • Aviation/Field Medicine
  • Mishap Investigation and Prevention
  • Operational Aeromedical Problems
  • Senior Leadership
  • Joint Operations Medical Management

Helpful Attributes

  • Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely
  • Desire to help others

Related Civilian Careers

  • Medical and Health Services Managers