Licensed Physician Options

Licensed physicians can serve in the Military on a full-time or part-time basis. Whichever option you choose, the Military will provide all the tools you need to practice your specialty and spend time with patients without worrying about overhead, personnel or budgets. Additionally, you could receive a substantial signing bonus, depending on your specialty.

Application Checklist

To qualify for employment consideration, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the United States
  • Be a graduate of an eligible medical school accredited by the AMA or the AOA
  • Have completed one year of graduate-level medical education in a program approved by the AMA or AOA (interns currently in training may also apply)
  • Have a current state medical license within one year of entering the Medical Corps
  • Be willing to serve a minimum of two years of active duty
  • Be between the ages of 21 and 62 (qualified candidates over the age of 62 will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination
  • General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you intend to serve active duty or Reserve duty, and whether you are currently serving, have served before or have never served before

Steps for Joining

  • Determine if you are eligible to join the Military
  • Contact a recruiter
  • Your recruiter will schedule a physical examination for you via a Military Entrance Processing Station or the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board
  • Keep in mind that the application process may be anywhere from three to six months or longer depending on how long it takes to complete the application, review your credentials, obtain a security clearance and ensure that you meet medical requirements


The Military provides benefits for licensed physicians and their families that are competitive to similar roles and responsibilities in the civilian world. These benefits go beyond just pay to include the repayment of student loans and various types of insurance and malpractice coverage.

Service Commitment

Most physicians sign up for a minimum of three years of service. Your commitment may be longer depending on the types of bonuses, special pays or the health professions loan repayment program funds you accept upon joining.

If you join the Military part time, you will be commissioned and trained as an officer, and you will be expected to drill one weekend a month and two weeks a year. Drilling consists of training in your military medical duties as a physician.