Part-Time Service Options

Serving part time means you are part of a global, highly qualified team of military physicians and healthcare professionals. You may serve in a military medical center, clinic, field hospital or community center. You could also have the opportunity to serve in a civilian facility, hospital or clinic, or a location close to your home. In any case, you will be in a learning environment where creativity and leadership skills are tested and pushed into new dimensions of care. In addition, it is important to understand that a physician’s specialty and need for that specialty may have a bearing on acceptance into a Service branch.

Medical students and residents serving part time can participate in stipend programs to help pay for schooling. Regardless of where you are in training, a part-time service commitment provides flexibility, invaluable experience and other benefits.

Training and Deployment

Medical training for part-time service options in today’s military is flexible, with support programs, drill schedules, and locations that can accommodate a variety of needs.

Drilling consists of training in your military medical duties as a physician. However, you will not be pulled away from medical training for deployments during your schooling, and you can participate in a flexible training program that allows you to balance your regular drill with your training.

Deployment is a temporary assignment which occurs as a part of a military operation or exercise. The requirements and frequency of deployment vary greatly based upon the specific needs of a Service branch, world events, a unit’s historical mission, and other factors. It can also include postings overseas or domestically within the United States or its territories. Questions about deployment can be answered and addressed during the initial unit interview before any decisions about service are made.

Tuition Assistance

What follows is a selection of the various financial support avenues available for students in the Reserve or Guard, including education and related finances:

  • The Medical and Dental Student Stipend Program (MDSSP)

    Through this stipend program, you can enter as a commissioned officer, but you will not be pulled away from medical training for deployments while you are in school. Drilling consists of training in your military medical duties as a physician. When it is time for you to choose a residency, you will participate in the civilian Match Day and train at a civilian institution. Match Day is a widely used term that designates the day when the National Resident Matching Program releases the results to applicants who are seeking residency or fellowship positions.

    In addition, when you drill, you will be paid as a second lieutenant in the Army or Air Force, or as an ensign in the Navy. When not drilling, you will receive a stipend of over $2,000 a month as a participant in the MDSSP.

  • Specialized Training Assistance Program (STRAP)

    For those who have been accepted into an accredited residency program, STRAP offers a stipend of over $2,000 a month in exchange for one year of Reserve or Guard drilling for every six months that you receive the stipend.

  • Training in Medical Specialties (TMS)

    TMS is a program open only to residents in the Navy Reserve. As with all other Reserve and Guard programs for residents, you will receive a stipend of over $2,000 a month. When your training is complete, you must serve as a Navy Reserve lieutenant with an obligation of one year of service for every six months of training you received.

  • The Air Force Reserve Stipend Program

    This program offers medical school graduates a substantial stipend each month while they are in an approved residency program. As a condition of this assistance, stipend recipients serve two months for every month financial assistance is received. The service commitment begins upon completion of the residency program.

  • Special Pay Incentive

    Residency-trained physicians are eligible for bonuses up to $75,000 upon entering the Air Force Reserve for a three-year commitment. In addition, critical wartime specialties may also receive incentive pay ranging from $43,000-59,000 (prorated annually).

    Learn About the Army Reserve

    Learn About the Navy Reserve

    Learn About the Air Force Reserve