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How to become a Flight Surgeon?

Sam I am

Average looking, not a farmer.
So, it would appear my oldest daughter was intrigued by the uniform when we went to her uncle's retirement in Pensacola this past spring and she's asking questions, which I think is pretty cool. She's not interested in being a pilot because that's what Dad did and whatever we do, we can't be like Dad right now. She's always been into the medical stuff and has attended a couple "Scrubs Camps" at local medical schools and college. Seems to genuinely love it.

In my 14 years of flying time, I had a variety of flight surgeon types, but I think all did Medical School first, joined the Navy, became flight surgeons? But I'm pretty sure there were some other type folk in flight surgeon community as well, including Chiropractors? Which reminds me of a total A-hole joke I would always tell around our Flight Surgeon.

Set up: What do you call the person who graduates last in their medical school class? A doctor.
Follow up: What do you call the person who graduates last in the Flight Surgeon class? A chiropractor.

I'll warn you though, telling that joke around your flight surgeon may get you a colonoscopy...even if you're like 27 years old. Don't ask me why I know that.


Well-Known Member
A guy I grew up with went to college on an NROTC scholarship and then went on to med school. Did a tour as a flight doc after getting out of med school, did some other stuff, and is now the President's Doctor. So there are ways she can go to undergrad on an NROTC scholarship and go on to med school. I've known a few others like him and also had one flight doc who went to USNA and then went on to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences on some sort of government scholarship.


Well-Known Member
Okay, that's interesting. Did the Navy pay for med school too?
I think so but don't know for sure. I believe attending the USUHS incurs an obligation but is otherwise free. Not sure how it worked out with NROTC and getting commissioned into the med corps vs URL. But people can get into USUHS without having gone to ROTC or USNA prior to. I think it's more like a service academy for the medical corps.


Professional CCX Wrangler
The recruiter websites are pretty good knowledge. I kicked the tires on going back to medical school after my commitment and becoming a flight doc. Last I checked it’s a four/five year payback if they pay for your school. Billets are all over and lots of random good deals beyond the abbreviated flight school they get. The flight docs that come through primary all seem to think they figured out a pretty good drug deal to not be six figures in debt.

Also, consider the coast guard too. They’re docs are part of the Public Service Health Corps, but you get all the bennies of a commissioned coastie and less of the deployment shenanigans.


Noise, vibration and harshness
The two oldest guys I saw get picked up were in their 50s. So, based on that limited data set, seems the door may be open. Get fitted for that white coat!