Bolster your medical research career Research Physiology

Submarines that plunge more than 800 feet below the surface of the ocean. Regions that top 100-degree temperatures for weeks. There’s nowhere that America’s Navy doesn’t answer the call of duty. Beyond overcoming the mental challenges, there’s a need to deal with extreme pressures, withering temperatures and just about every other environmental extreme on earth.

The key to sound operation in these environments? Understanding the effects on human muscle and bone. Navy Physiologists conduct medical research and provide recommendations for helping Sailors and Marines adjust and perform their jobs well in all environmental extremes.

Besides generous financial offers, the Navy affords you unrivaled, real-life experience and state-of-the-art technology. Here, you can advance your skills and move beyond your peers who remained in civilian life.

Job Description

As a Navy Physiologist, you will apply innovative technologies in physiology and medicine to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate exercise- or training-related injuries.

As a research specialist, you will:

  • Analyze physiological and chemical functions of living organisms – human and animal
  • Conduct basic, applied and advanced research dealing with physiological responses to the stresses of military environments, including:
    • Temperature
    • Altitude
    • Pressure and acceleration
    • Exposure to hazardous chemicals and radiation
  • Recommend countermeasures to ensure maximum efficiency and safety of military personnel

If you’re in the field, you may research aquatic and terrestrial climatic extremes, including hot, cold, dry and wet environments, as well as altitude.

Specific Responsibilities

As an Officer in the Medical Service Corps, you may work at a research facility, including:

  • Exercise/work physiology laboratories
  • Biochemistry laboratories
  • Climatic chambers
  • Swim flume

You could also work with noted scientists and engineers to help plan, direct and coordinate applied research and advanced technology projects that are essential to fulfilling the call of duty.

Work Environment

As a Navy Health Care Specialist, you may serve at any one of more than 250 Navy and medical facilities around the globe, in some of the most dynamic environments imaginable: Hawaii to Japan, Germany to Guam, and Washington, D.C., to Washington state.

You could work at one of the highly acclaimed National Naval Medical Centers in Bethesda, Maryland; Portsmouth, Virginia; and San Diego, California. Or, you could provide medical support to deployed troops aboard one of two dedicated hospital ships: the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy.

Still more health-care opportunities are available stateside and abroad in a variety of settings: On board a surface ship, working closely with a nearby aircraft squadron, or even with the Fleet Marine Force.

Or you could conduct research at any one of dozens of Navy hospitals, anywhere from Okinawa, Japan, to Naples, Italy, to Rota, Spain. Or at Navy medical clinics anywhere from London, England, to Kaneohe, Hawaii.

No matter where you serve, you’ll provide leadership and expertise to support your country. In support of the men and women who defend it, and the world at large.

Education Opportunities

Wherever you are in your professional career, the Navy can help ease your financial burdens and advance your career with financial assistance and continuing education programs.

There's an alternative to spending years paying down the cost of your graduate education. If you're currently a practicing professional, you could potentially be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP). Talk to a Navy Officer Recruiter for more information.

Offers have many variables. To get information and find out which offer would benefit you most, request that a Navy Officer Recruiter contact you.


To qualify for Active Duty employment consideration as a Physiologist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the U.S. (contact a
    Navy Medical Recruiter for details)
  • Doctoral-degree level of training in physiology (preferred), but physiological aspects of other closely related disciplines (e.g., neuroscience, pharmacology) will be considered
  • Research emphasis in cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, environmental, exercise, work or hyperbaric physiology
  • Be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 41
  • Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination

You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:

  • One or two years of post-doctorate experience in physiology research
  • Publication in referred physiological journals as senior author
  • Strong professional recommendations
  • Professional versatility, with willingness and capability to redirect research goals every three to four years


After the Navy

In the Navy, you’ll find unrivaled training and educational opportunities. Incomparable benefits and experience. Deeper pride and purpose. And superior career advancement opportunities that will pay off when you return to the civilian world.

Consider Your Service Options.

There are different ways that you can commit to serve in America's Navy. Besides full-time opportunities in Active Duty, part-time Reserve positions are also available in this career area.