Job Family: Health Care Practitioners Physicians and Surgeons
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Coast Guard

Supplemental Information
Profile 1 |  Profile 2 |  Career Path
Photo 1: Physician examines patient. Photo 2:
Surgeon performs procedure.

Anthony Rugieri
Occupation: Physician

I always enjoyed biology and wanted to become a doctor. I chose the Army because of the educational opportunities it offered for obtaining a medica…

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Heather Cereste
Occupation: Physician and Surgeon

I’m Major Heather Cereste, an Air Force Medical Doctor. Near the end of my third year in residency, I decided to join the Air Force. A number…

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Short Description
Military physicians and surgeons represent all of the major fields of medical specialization. Physicians and surgeons are the chief providers of medical services to military personnel and their dependents. They examine patients, diagnose their injuries or illnesses, and provide medical treatment.


What They Do
Physicians and surgeons in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Examine patients to detect abnormalities in pulse, breathing, or other body functions
  • Determine presence and extent of illness or injury by reviewing medical histories, X-rays, laboratory reports, and examination reports
  • Develop treatment plans that may include medication, therapy, or surgery
  • Perform surgery to treat injuries or illnesses
  • Advise patients on their health problems and personal habits
  • Coordinate the activities of nurses, physician assistants, medical specialists, therapists, and other medical personnel
  • Conduct medical research

Helpful Attributes
Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely
  • Desire to help others

Training Provided
No initial job training is provided to officers in this occupation. However, advanced courses and programs in medical specialties are available. In addition, scholarships for advanced medical training are available in return for an obligated period of military service.

Work Environment
Physicians and surgeons work in hospitals and clinics on land and aboard ships.


Civilian Counterparts
Civilian physicians and surgeons work for hospitals or clinics or in private practice. They perform the same duties and work in the same areas of specialization as military physicians.

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