Job description: Join as a fully registered medical practitioner or medical cadet.
Pay: £96,200 - £131,000 (Depending on seniority & speciality)
Joining age: 21 – 55
(Or before your 46th birthday for GP
or 42nd birthday for specialists)
Usual service: Normally 6 years but
can apply for a Medium Commission
of 18 years once commissioned
Open to: men or women
Similar civilian jobs:
- General practitioner
- Emergency Medicine
- Rehab & Rheumatology
Qualifications you need: Full and/or professional GMC Registered. Plus GCSE/SCEs at Grade C/2 or equivalent in English language and maths.
Qualifications you can gain: A wide range of professional qualifications
Nationality: Citizen of the UK or the Republic of Ireland, or a Commonwealth citizen since birth
In order to apply for this role, please complete the online CV in addition to your application.
Medical Officers are the RAF’s doctors. You can join as a Registrar or as a specialist. You’ll receive postgraduate training in your specialism, as well as training in aviation medicine.
When to join
You must be able to join before your 55th birthday if you are already qualified or, if you require professional training, before your 46th birthday (for general practice) or before your 42nd birthday (for specialists).
Download our Medical Officer Brochure (Link opens in a new window)
The RAF offers a structured career path that mirrors the challenges and responsibilities of a civilian medical career. Once fully registered, you’ll join the RAF as a flight lieutenant or squadron leader, depending on your qualifications and experience. Initially, you will be offered a Short Commission, normally of six years, but once commissioned you may apply for a Medium Commission of 18 years. From entry as a flight lieutenant, you’ll be promoted to squadron leader within five years’ satisfactory service. Promotion to wing commander and above is by competitive selection. Your commission may be extended until you reach the age of 58, or even 60, subject to requirements and your medical fitness. Pay is competitive with your peers in the NHS and there is a non-contributory Armed Forces Pension Scheme.
As a Medical Officer in the RAF, you’ll have all the promotion and development opportunities of your civilian counterparts, together with the chance to work around the world and gain unique medical experiences. This will greatly improve your prospects if you decide to eventually leave the RAF.
Initial Officer Training
Like all our Specialist Branch officers, you’ll begin your RAF career on the Specialist Entrant and Re-entrant (SERE) course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. You’ll undertake an 11-week course specially designed for professionally-qualified entrants to the RAF. The course includes fitness development, military training, weapons handling and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.
After SERE, you’ll complete a two-week Basic Air Warfare Course at RAF Cranwell. After a short period of well-earned leave, you will then go to the Defence Medical Services Training Centre at Keogh Barracks in Hampshire, for a three-week course where you’ll learn about the delivery of medical care in the RAF. This is followed by a further two-week course at the Centre for Aviation Medicine at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire. Here you’ll learn about the effects of illness and medication on the ability of our staff to work onboard aircraft. The course also includes elements of occupational medicine.
Your First Tour
As with all new officers, you will probably move jobs every two or three years, and each job is known as a tour. As a qualified GP, you will begin your RAF career in a medical centre at one of our bases. As either a specialist trainee or a fully qualified consultant, you should expect a short posting to a medical centre to give you first-hand experience of RAF life. Then you will be posted to a Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit or to an NHS hospital, either to complete your specialist training or to work as a consultant in your specialty.
As a Medical Officer, you’ll have extensive opportunities for further professional development throughout your career. In primary care, this could include training to diploma and up to consultant level in occupational health, sports and exercise medicine, public health or aviation medicine. As a fully-qualified independent practitioner, either in primary or secondary care, you will have the opportunity to test your skills in more challenging ways when undergoing operational tours to Deployed Operating Bases at various locations around the world.