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Becoming an RAF Medical Officer

Whether you are looking ahead at a medicine degree or already on your way towards one, you will know just how many career options it can make available. But have you considered the extra boosts that becoming an RAF Medical Officer could provide?

You will still deliver the same first-class medical care that you would as a civilian doctor, but the RAF can help you progress your professional development in ways not available to other doctors. You could even be sponsored through part of your training in the form of a bursary or a cadetship.

Keep reading to find out how the RAF could help you complete your medical degree.

What does an RAF Medical Officer do?

Medical Officers play a vital part in the RAF by ensuring personnel are fit and medically prepared to fulfil their primary tasks and Operational deployed roles.

They deal with the same conditions as NHS doctors but also encounter complex health issues specific to working within an aviation focused environment.

On top of that, they are prepared for the demands of working in austere conditions within Deployed Medical Treatment Facilities on Exercises and Operations abroad with the RAF or wider Defence Medical Service.

Where might you work?

There are many options for Medical Officers within the RAF. Depending on your specialisation of choice and RAF requirement, there are a number of areas within secondary health or primary healthcare for you to choose from. You could choose Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine, General Medicine, Surgery, General Practice to name but a few.

Or you could join an Aeromedical Evacuation team, managing the physiological challenges relevant to casualties in-flight medical management or wider aviation medicine considerations.

On the ground you could work as a Station Medical Officer (General Practitioner), responsible for the health and wellbeing of the military populous, including aircrew on an RAF base and with possible progression to Senior Medical Officer or GP trainer. There may also be a requirement for you to treat Service personnel’s family if you are based at a GP training unit.

You could become a doctor or consultant in a Joint Hospital Group or NHS hospital, practising alongside civilian colleagues treating NHS and military patients. You would also get the chance to use your specialist skills in facilities overseas, on operations and even during humanitarian and disaster relief missions.

And for a more advisory role, an Air Command Medical Officer is the link between medical and flying policy. They ensure that RAF aircrew operate safely while at the edge of human endurance.

RAF Medical Sponsorship

For those who commit to becoming a Medical Officer, the RAF can sponsor medical training through its bursaries and cadetships.


An RAF Medical Officer bursary of £3,000 is available for your third year of medical school (or yea