Physicians who begin or further their career in the Navy Medical Corps are officers who can choose from many areas of specialty including emergency medicine, undersea/diving medicine, plastic surgery and psychiatry. They gain experience both in an office on base and in the field. Navy physicians enjoy training and education at no cost to the medical officer, plus various types of compensation.
The Navy offers two programs for medical students to complete their education. Both programs allow the student to choose his desired medical school. The first program is the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program, which includes a payment of tuition, a stipend of $2,060 per month for up to four years and a one-time sign-on bonus of $20,000.
The Navy Health Services Collegiate Program offers students a monthly military salary, housing allowance based on location and full health coverage. This program provides between $157,000 to $269,000 over four years.
Residents in the Navy qualify for the Navy Financial Assistance Program. This program offers a grant of $45,000 per year and a stipend of $2,060 per month for up to four years of residency.
Physicians who are already licensed when entering the Navy receive additional compensation including a one-time sign-on bonus of $220,000 to $400,000. They also have access to the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program, which is a three-year program providing up to $120,000 to repay medical school loans.
Physicians receive basic pay as Medical Corp Officers. The specific amount depends on the the level of the officer. For example, as of 2010, officers at the O-1 pay grade start at $2,745.60 per month and $223.04 for Basic Allowance for Sustenance. Basic Allowance for Housing is also included and varies based on where the physician is stationed.
Medical officers also may receive other compensation in addition to their base pay: Additional Special Pay of $15,000 per year once the physician is no longer in residency and remains on active duty; between $2,500 and $6,000 per year on active duty in Board Certified Pay, and $100 to $1,000 per month in Variable Special Pay. Active duty physicians may qualify for additional pay including Incentive Special Pay and Multi-year Specialty Pay.