If you're interested in a career in health care, joining the U.S. Navy could be just the stepping-stone you are looking for to launch your health care education and career. There are abundant opportunities for success with the Navy, thanks to its incentive programs, which will help pay for some or all of your medical training. You will also have the chance to study and work in state-of-the-art medical facilities around the world and will enjoy all the benefits afforded to Navy officers.
According to the Navy's Web site, as a health care professional, you will be commissioned as an officer, which means you will be awarded competitive pay, 30 days paid vacation annually, free or low-cost travel, benefits for you and your family, a generous retirement package, and other benefits.
If you've already completed training, the Navy can help you pay back your loans. Similarly, if you're in school or about to start, the Navy has programs to assist you in paying for your education. And once you're part of the Navy, you will belong to a "culture devoted to continuing training and professional development and the unparalleled chance to help others and your country."
According to the Web site, within the Navy's ranks you will be given the unique opportunity to do what you do best: "You'll have the chance to practice within your specialty-almost all specialties are represented in the Navy medical corps. You'll be working with other highly skilled professionals on some of the world's most modern equipment. You'll get to focus on providing care and will have the chance to advance your career and even teach other health care professionals if that's what interests you."
Medical Service Corps
If you're interested in the medical field, but not quite sure what exactly it is you want to do, the Navy advises you to check out the Medical Service Corps (MSC). In the MSC, you have your choice of over 22 different specialties, some working directly with patients, some behind the scenes.
Diversity is an appealing aspect of the MSC. There are over 250 Navy and medical facilities around the globe, from carriers in the Mediterranean to Naval hospitals in Japan, so you could wind up serving almost anywhere! And as an Officer in the MSC, you'll become part of a highly diversified medical team consisting of Clinical Care Providers, Health Care Administrators and Health Care Sciences.
Clinical Care Providers
As a Clinical Care Provider, you might be prescribing contact lenses to the Admiral as an optometrist, or managing the buying, storing and distribution of drugs and medicines as a pharmacist. Some specialties found within the Clinical Care Providers field include:
Health Care Administration
In Health Care Administration you could find yourself evaluating the medical and humanitarian needs after a natural disaster, or you might be in charge of managing the proper construction of a new medical facility at an air base. Once on active duty, the Navy offers specialized training in these areas:
General Health Care Administration
Plans, Operations, and Medical Intelligence
Manpower Systems Analysis
Education and Training Management
Medical Construction Liaison
Health Care Sciences
In Health Care Science, you could become a radiologist and study the thermal stress and magnetic force of a submarine's nuclear reactor, or you could become an aerospace physiologist, correlating the aerodynamics of a new super jet. Some specialties found within the Health Care Sciences field include:
Officer Indoctrination School
To become part of the Medical Service Corps, you will need to attend Officer Indoctrination School or OIS. This is a five-week program that includes a full schedule of academic studies, military indoctrination and physical fitness training.
Several career fields within this section have their own separate career training, scholarships and/or assistance programs. To find out which are available to you, contact your local recruiter by logging onto this Web page: www.navy.com/navyhealthcare/requestinfo.