From the thunder of combat to the hush of a clinic, Canada’s fighting forces can depend on the highest level of life-saving medical care. As officers, clinicians, and healers – and as leaders of a highly motivated professional healthcare team – Medical Officers enjoy the unique opportunity to practice medicine and serve with honour, wherever the fight for security, justice and dignity is joined.
As a Medical Officer, you provide primary healthcare services to Forces members in Canada or deployed on overseas missions.
Your primary responsibilities are to lead a clinical team of highly trained professionals, promote health and education, provide primary healthcare, practice environmental medicine and promote occupational health and safety.
Medical officers work in fully equipped medical clinics on bases or garrisons in Canada and in temporary clinics or field hospitals in support of overseas missions. You can expect to spend your first four years following training in one location within Canada.
Salary and Benefits
Starting salary for a fully trained Medical Officer is $148,700 per year, but may be higher, depending on your previous experience and training. The Canadian Armed Forces also provides you with office space and medical support services, in addition to paying all licensing fees.
Professional Training and Development
As a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, you have access to ongoing training. You also have the opportunity to travel the world and enjoy several other tangible services and benefits. If you demonstrate dedication, potential and the required skills, you may be selected for opportunities in career advancement, promotions and advanced training.
Basic Military Officer Qualification
After enrolment, you start your Basic Military Officer Training, or Basic Training, which lasts approximately three months, at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, located 40 km southeast of Montreal. The subjects you study include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Forces, basic weapons handling, and first aid. You also have the opportunity to apply your newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field exercises, orienteering and leadership. In addition, you participate in a rigorous sports and physical fitness program. The Basic Military Officer Qualification training is provided in English or French, and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Following your basic training, you may have access to official second language training. This training can take from two to nine months to complete, depending on your fluency in your second language.
Medical Officers attend the Canadian Forces Medical Services School in Borden, Ontario, where they study the organizational structure and uniqueness of military medicine and the history of the Royal Canadian Medical Service. Environmental training, an operational requirement, includes field exercises that may take place anywhere in the world.
Medical Officers may put in a request to receive training to specialize their medical practice in exchange for additional years of service. The Canadian Armed Forces will pay the tuition fees of Medical Officers who wish to specialize in the following areas:
- Acute Care
- Emergency Medicine
- Orthopaedic Surgery
- Internal Medicine
As they progress in their career, Medical Officers who demonstrate the required ability and credentials will be offered advanced training in the following fields:
- Public Health Medicine
- Occupational Medicine
- Aerospace Medicine
- Tropical Medicine
- Healthcare Administration
A Doctor of Medicine is required to become a Medical Officer.
Medical Officer Training Plan
Since this post requires a medical degree, the Canadian Armed Forces pay the selected recruits to complete a Doctor of Medicine degree at a Canadian university. This plan covers the cost of tuition and education-related expenses, including books, equipment, supplies, student fees and registration costs. Family medicine residents and students already enrolled in an Undergraduate Medical Education Program may also be eligible for this Training Plan.
If you apply for this program, you must apply both to the Canadian Armed Forces and to a Canadian university of your choice that offers a medical program. For more information, visit the “Paid Education and Training” page on the Forces website.
If you already have a medical degree from a recognized Canadian university, the Canadian Armed Forces will determine whether your academic program meets the criteria for this position. You may be placed directly into on-the-job training after you complete your basic training. Basic Military Officer Qualification and the Military Officer Training Plan are required before being assigned.
To be eligible to apply to the Canadian Armed Forces, you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen.
- Be 17 years of age (with consent from a parent or legal guardian) or older, except for junior candidates in the Regular Officer Training Plan, who must be 16 or older.
- Have completed at least Grade 10 or Secondary IV in Quebec.
- Certain entry programs and occupations require higher levels of education.
Join the Forces
Learn how you can become a Medical Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and discover over 100 other job opportunities at Canada.ca/forces-jobs, by calling 1 800 856-8488 or by visiting a Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment Centre near you.