Advanced Education + Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities Header

If you are interested in expanding your knowledge as a physician, the Military offers service members access to advanced degrees and research opportunities that aren't always available to civilian physicians.

In the Military, you might find yourself working with partners beyond academia, including the Department of Defense and foreign governments. Also, compared to the civilian sector, the Military has a high acceptance rate for the clinical trials that are crucial for research. Finally, the Military offers technical resources that help you keep track of patients and gather data for potential breakthroughs.

Advanced Degree Opportunities

Serving as a physician in the Military provides access to a number of ways to further your education and your career through additional training. This includes obtaining advanced degrees and enrolling in other continuing education opportunities at institutions such as the Army, Naval and Air Force War Colleges, and Naval postgraduate School.

Military Physicians also have the ability to apply for The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Astronaut Candidate Program. If authorized to apply and selected, military officers are then detailed to NASA for a select period of time.

Research Opportunities

As a military physician, you can help shape the future of medicine for both service members and civilians. Start exploring the options available to you at every stage of your career.

Workers in Lab

Medical Students

For those attending medical school through the Military, research is a major aspect of training. The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) in particular has expertise in a range of areas, including post-traumatic stress disorder and infectious diseases. If you become a medical student at USU, you'll be learning from faculty who are performing cutting-edge research as well as teaching in many areas of science and medicine. USU students also have the ability to participate in a capstone project in which three elective months during your fourth year of medical school can be utilized to complete the project. These projects can conclude with a public presentation or publication in a peer reviewed journal.

Students in the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) may also have the chance to participate in military medical research as part of their required military medical rotations. For example, both HPSP and USU students may have rotations at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland, or they might work at the Naval Submarine Medical Research Laboratory in Groton, Connecticut. And that's just a glimpse of what is on offer available to all medical students.

Medical Residents

As for residents, all of the Military's residency programs are approved by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and residents have the opportunity to participate in and even lead research protocols. During their residency, they are also encouraged to publish, and they may have the opportunity to teach as assistant professors.

Licensed Physicians

Whether you are Active Duty, Reserve or Guard, you will be able to stay on top of your field as a licensed physician. The Military offers many continuing education opportunities, including funding for clinical specialization courses and travel allowances for professional society conferences.

Depending on the situation, you may also be able to apply for research-specific positions earlier than your civilian counterparts. Finally, many military physicians teach as assistant or associate professors in Graduate Medical Education (GME) as part of their active duty or reserve service.