Joining + Eligibility
The Military offers several entry points for physicians and aspiring physicians alike. At whatever stage you join, you will benefit from exclusive training, financial assistance and the unique experiences that come from working with the Military's exceptional patient population. Discover how the Military can help you achieve your goals.
About the Military Services
The U.S. Military has five Services: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Each Service has an active-duty and Reserve component. Additionally, the Army and Air Force have Guard components that are controlled by state governments, unless they are called to serve during emergencies or support military objectives.
While all the Service branches need physicians, keep in mind that Navy physicians serve the Marine Corps as well as the Navy, and members of the Coast Guard rely on the Public Health Service instead of the Military. There are also some differences in the career paths available for different active-duty Services and different Reserve and Guard components.
Did You Know?
The U.S. Military has five Services, and each Service has an active-duty and a Reserve component.Learn More About the Military Service Branches »
Explore your options
Select the category that best fits you and see the opportunities the Military has to offer.
The Military offers several funding programs to cover the costs of medical school in exchange for a service commitment. If you elect to join the Military through one of these programs, not only will you receive funding for education, but you will also gain unique training experiences that will set you apart from your peers.
The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) covers the cost of civilian medical school, provides extra training opportunities and can be used at any accredited medical school in the United States or Puerto Rico.
America's Medical School, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), offers world-class medical training, along with leadership development and training in global health and medical diplomacy.
If one of your students is interested in attending a civilian medical school, they may be able to participate in the Medical and Dental Student Stipend Program (MDSSP), which offers $2,000 per month in exchange for part-time service in either the Reserve or Guard.
If you are already a medical student, it isn't too late to join a physician officer commissioning program and receive a scholarship for the remainder of your schooling. You could also serve part time in exchange for drill pay and additional training as a member of the Reserve and Guard.
The Health Professions Scholarship Program covers the cost of civilian medical school, provides extra training opportunities and can be used at any accredited medical school in the United States or Puerto Rico.
Students in their last year of medical school may be interested in the Financial Assistance Program, which provides a monthly stipend of over $2,000 and an annual grant of $45,000 in exchange for a service commitment. Participants must attend an accredited residency in a specialty that the Military considers critical.
If you are already accepted to a civilian medical school, you can participate in the Reserve and Guard's Medical and Dental Student Stipend Program, which offers $2,000 a month in exchange for part-time service.
As a resident, you will surely immerse yourself in your medical specialty — but you can further bolster your training through military service. You can also participate in the Financial Assistance Program, which helps pay for your residency, or you can participate in programs specific to the Reserve or Guard.
The Financial Assistance Program provides a monthly stipend of over $2,000 and an annual grant of $45,000 on top of normal residency pay in exchange for a service commitment. Participants must attend an accredited residency in a specialty that the Military considers critical.
If you are already accepted to a civilian residency program, you can participate in the Specialized Training Assistance Program or Training in Medical Specialties program, each of which offers $2,000 a month in exchange for part-time Reserve or Guard service.
If you have already completed medical school and residency, you can serve as a military physician, regardless of where you are in your career. You could join the Military full time, or you could maintain your civilian practice while serving part time as a member of the Reserve or Guard.
You can serve either full-time on Active Duty or part-time in the Reserve or Guard, which will allow you to maintain your civilian practice. Depending on your training, experience and skills, you typically enter the Military at the rank of captain or major in the Army and Air Force or lieutenant or lieutenant commander in the Navy.