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Physician Assistant

A Navy Physician Assistant examines a fellow Sailor

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Responsibilities

As a PA in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you will help care for Sailors, Marines and their families. You may also have the chance to assist in Navy medical relief missions worldwide. Responsibilities may include:

  • Working together with supervising physicians and surgeons
  • Providing services that civilian physicians provide
  • Handling primary-care issues or pursue a specific surgical subspecialty
  • Overseeing other members of the medical team
  • Training in emerging need areas, such as emergency medicine, rural medicine and family practice
  • Obtaining medical histories
  • Performing comprehensive exams
  • Treating minor injuries
  • Interpreting lab tests and X-rays
  • Counseling patients, providing detailed instructions for home-care procedures
  • Prescribing medications
  • Carrying out treatment plans

Work Environment

Navy Physician Assistants may serve among aviation, shipboard and U.S. Marine Corps communities stationed throughout the globe – or at any one of more than 250 Navy and medical facilities from Hawaii to Japan, Germany to Guam, and Washington, D.C., to Washington state.

As a Physician Assistant, you could also work at one of the highly acclaimed national medical centers in Bethesda, MD, Portsmouth, VA or San Diego, CA. You could provide support to pilots and air crews aboard one of two dedicated hospital ships: the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy.

Training & Advancement

Those pursuing a Physician Assistant position are required to attend Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here they learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette.

Once that training is complete, you will learn the ins and outs of life as a Physician Assistant at your first assignment.

Promotion opportunities are regularly available but competitive and based on performance.

Post-Service Opportunities

It’s also important to note that specialized training received and work experience gained in the course of service can lead to valuable credentialing and occupational opportunities in related fields.

Education Opportunities

The Navy offers generous scholarships, financial assistance and continuing education programs. You can finish your education with little or no debt, and learn to lead others, further distinguishing your career, enhancing your credentials and expanding the boundaries of your expertise. Plus, if you’re a student or resident, you can concentrate on your education or training, with no military/training obligation until after your program is completed.

Graduate Students

Through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP), you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to pay down the cost of your graduate education. This includes:

  • A monthly military salary in excess of $2,200 for up to 24 months
  • 100% tuition assistance
  • A generous housing allowance*
  • A comprehensive health-care benefits package

*Navy HSCP housing allowance based on graduate school location. Increased offer amounts available in areas with a higher cost of living.

Practicing Physician Assistants

Through the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP), you may be eligible to receive financial assistance to pay down the cost of your graduate education.

All offers have many variables. To get details and find out which offer would benefit you most, request a medical recruiter contact you.

Qualifications & Requirements

A degree from a four-year college or university is a minimum educational requirement to become a Commissioned Officer. You must also attend Officer Training. There may be exceptions to the degree requirements based on extensive service experience. Additional qualifications include:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently practicing in the U.S.
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Completion of a Physician Assistant education program approved by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation (CAHEA)
  • Certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)
  • 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

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

Part-Time Opportunities

Serving part-time as a Reserve Sailor, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Physician Assistants in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes. This gives you the flexibility to expand your medical experience in the Navy without compromising your civilian practice at home.

For annual training, Physician Assistants may serve anywhere in the world, whether at sea, in hospitals stateside, or in bases and camps in countries around the world.

Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Navy Reserve Sailors.

Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent.

Physician Assistants in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must first be met.

For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: Officer Candidates will be required to attend the Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, RI. ODS is a five-week program that provides a comprehensive and intense introduction to the responsibilities of Navy Staff Corps Officers. Here you will learn about the military structure of the U.S. Navy, its rich history of traditions and customs, leadership development and military etiquette. There may be an option for attendees to request to split the five-week program into two sessions.

With flexible training options, Medical Officers in the Navy Reserve can comfortably balance civilian and military schedules. You can maintain your own life and your own practice – enriching both with the rewarding work you do for others.

The Navy Medical Corps offers you a truly diverse variety of academic, clinical and operational settings in which to practice. In some cases, you can even work in the same civilian hospital or setting you work in now. What’s more, you will enjoy an unrivaled sense of pride and fulfillment known only to those who serve.

As a Physician Assistant in the Navy Medical Corps Reserve, you’ll receive a first-rate benefits package – including your choice of any one of these three generous financial offers:

  • Up to $50,000 per year in specialty pay
  • Up to $250,000 in medical school loan repayment assistance
  • An immediate one-time sign-on bonus of up to $10,000

Navy Reserve Sailors joining the Medical Corps as residents can get monthly stipend in excess of $2,200 while completing residency. Offers based on service commitment. For complete offer details, request a medical recruiter contact you.