Medical & medical support

Medical Officer (Doctor)

Medical Officers deliver a high standard of care, sometimes under challenging conditions. They play a vital role in keeping our personnel fit and medically prepared for operational roles.

Typical Responsibilities:

  • Medical duties in field hospitals
  • General Practitioner duties in RAF medical centres
  • Specialist activities in NHS medical units

Similar civilian roles include GP and Consultant.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

RAF Regulars and Reserves work side by side.

Scroll down to explore the opportunities as a Medical Officer (Doctor) in the RAF.

Key Facts

Recommend this role

Full Time
Regular

Initial pay after training

Consultants from £78,158 + Benefits 
GMP from £98,627 + Benefits 
(Pay scale, subject to experience within specialty)

Pay during training

Pay from Foundation Year 1 - £40,344 + Benefits

Annual increments in line with the armed forces pay review body.
Pay is competitive with NHS salaries.
Medical Sponsorship Schemes are also available. Bursars from year 3 of Medical School, Cadetship for years 4 and 5.
A £50,000 joining bonus may be available for GP or Emergency Medicine speciality candidates.
More information available via the Medical Dental Liaison Team on 01400 266810/11

Entry level

Officer

Commitment
Usual service

Initial commission of 6 or 12 years but can apply for a Medium Commission of 20 years.
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Spare Time
Reserve

Initial pay after training

Day rates dependent on rank, role and experience

Entry level

Officer

Commitment

27 days per year for 12 years minimum. Each year includes a 15 day block for general RAF training, which is taken over a two week period, and 12 days for additional/trade training, or training exercises.

 

The possibility of being deployed to a UK or overseas base for up to 6 months after the first year.

Locations

RAF Northolt, Middlesex

RAF Leuchars, Fife

RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire

Aldergrove Flying Station, Co Antrim

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Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

In the RAF

My Role

‘I am currently the Deputy Senior Medical Officer at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire where I am a GP at the medical centre. The aspect that makes the difference from NHS GP is truly being an integral part of the community that you serve. Being part of this community on the station provides an amazing network that really looks after each other.

The pay and conditions are a significantly positive aspect too. Virtually all CPD and exam fees are funded by the military and pension contributions are made by the RAF. You also have the benefit of working with like-minded individuals who are equally as committed and professional as you are.’

My Day

‘My working day involves a stimulating mix of aviation medicine, occupational medicine, sports medicine and usual general practice. This can see me making decisions on an aviators fitness to fly to treating hypertension or heart disease to deciding if someone is fit to deploy to the Falkland Islands for example.

 

This combined with being on call for aircraft emergencies and crashes on station ensures that no one day is the same and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating job. I have also been fortunate enough to serve on out of area detachments to the Falkland Islands and the Middle East. I also take my turn on the aeromedical evacuation rota. This is an aspect of the role that you receive extra training for and whilst this brings extra challenges and demands, it is extremely rewarding and an exciting part of the job.’

Elaine, Medical Officer

Training

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Full Time
Regular

Initial Officer Training

Like all our Specialist Branch officers, you will begin your RAF career on the Specialist Entrant and Re-entrant (SERE) course at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire.  You will 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.

Specialist RAF Training

After the SERE course, you will complete a Basic Air Warfare Course at RAF College Cranwell and, after a short period of well-earned leave, you will then go to the Defence Medical Services Training Group for a two-week course where you will learn about the delivery of medical care in the RAF.  This is followed by a further course at the Centre of Aviation Medicine at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire.  Here you will learn about the effects of illness and medication on the ability of our staff to work onboard aircraft, aircrew life support and human factors in aviation.  The course also includes elements of occupational medicine.

General Duties Medical Officer (GDMO) Tour

As with all new officers, you will probably move jobs every 2 or 3 years, and each job is known as a tour.  As a trainee or fully qualified GP or consultant, you will begin your RAF career in a Medical Centre at one of our bases as a GDMO to give you first-hand experience of RAF life and time to attend military courses relevant to your future role.  You will then be posted to a Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit (MDHU) or to a NHS hospital, either to complete your training or to work as a consultant in your specialty.  Qualified GPs will remain working in a Medical Centre.

Your Career Prospects

The RAF offers a structured career path that mirrors the challenges and responsibilities of a civilian medical career. There are opportunities to join as a bursar or cadet rewarded with support through the latter stages of medical school and FY1&2. Once fully registered, you will hold the rank of Flight Lieutenant or Squadron Leader dependent on your experience at time of joining. Initially, you will be offered an Initial Commission of 6 or 12 years depending on whether you have already completed specialist training, but opportunities may be available later to extend to a pension earning commission of 20 years service or age 40, whichever is the later, during this time. Promotion from Flight Lieutenant to Squadron Leader is after 5 years satisfactory service. Promotion to Wing Commander and above is by competitive selection. Your commission may be extended until you reach the age of 60, subject to Service requirements and your medical fitness. Pay is aligned with your peers in the NHS and there is a generous Armed Forces Pension Scheme.

Ongoing Development

As a Medical Officer, you will have extensive opportunities for further professional development throughout your career. In primary care, this may include training to the Diploma in Occupational Medicine and, for some, the opportunity to train up to consultant level. Training also exists for sports and exercise medicine, General Practitioner training, public health or aviation medicine, depending on your career aspirations and the needs of the RAF. As a fully-qualified independent practitioner, either in primary or secondary care, you will undergo various types of further military and adventure training to test your skills in more challenging ways. Some Medical Officers receive extensive Command and Staff Training for senior appointments.

Transferable skills

As a Medical Officer in the RAF, you will have similar professional promotion and development opportunities to your civilian counterparts, the chance to work in challenging locations around the world and gain unique medical experiences. The development of your leadership skills and broader military experience has been demonstrated to enhance your prospects if you decide to eventually leave the RAF.

Royal Air Force - Regular & Reserve

Spare Time
Reserve

Reserve Officer Initial Training

After basic training, recruits go on to Reserve Officer Initial Training during their second year. This combines distance learning with residential weekends at the prestigious RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. It also includes a two-week residential phase at Cranwell where Reserves mix with Regular Officers on their initial training. During this period you will gain the skills and knowledge to command and lead in military roles and beyond. 

Requirements

Full Time
Regular

Job requirements

Qualifications:

Direct entrants must be fully registered with the General Medical Council.  Applicants for sponsorship should already have an established place in a UK Medical School.

Age:

  • 21 - 53

Application Requirement

In order to apply for this role please complete this CV form in addition to your application.

Specialisations Currently required are:

If you require more information or want to discuss applications for this role, you can call the Medical & Dental Liaison team on 01400 266811.
 

 

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.

Spare Time
Reserve

Job requirements

Qualifications:

Applicants must have full and/or professional GMC Registration. If uncertain of the relevance of your personal qualifications, contact the Medical Reserves Specialist Team on 01400 268011.

Age:

  • 18 - 54.6

RAF Requirements

To join the RAF you will also need to meet fitness, health, nationality, residency, and other criteria detailed below.