Careers & Jobs
Advancing orthopedic care for Soldiers

Orthopedic Surgeon (61M)

  • Enlisted
  • Officer
  • Active Duty
  • Army Reserve
  • Open to Women
  • Entry Level

Overview

As an orthopedic surgeon and officer with Army Medical Corps, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the most advanced procedures and techniques in practice today. From groundbreaking bionic prosthetics to regenerative bone and tissue research, the U.S. Army Medical Department is pioneering work that is changing the practice — and improving the success rate — of orthopedic surgery.

Job Duties

  • Examine, diagnose and treat or prescribe course of treatment and surgery for patients with disorders, malformations, diseases and injuries to the musculoskeletal system, and perform required surgery
  • Conduct and supervise direct patient care, and plan and execute disease prevention and health promotion programs
  • Exercise command of medical units as provided by law and regulation
  • Perform special staff functions in health support for commanders at all levels
  • Conduct medical research on diseases of military importance, and conduct, supervise and participate in graduate medical education and training of other medical personnel needed to sustain a robust and readily available medical system

Unique duty positions include: chief, Orthopedic Service; medical school faculty appointment

Requirements

ACTIVE:

  • Doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy degree from an accredited U.S. school of medicine or osteopathy; foreign graduates may apply with permanent certificate from the Educational Council of Foreign Medical Graduates
  • Current license to practice medicine in the United States, District of Columbia or Puerto Rico
  • Eligibility for board certification
  • Completion of at least one year of an approved graduate medical education internship
  • Completion of a training program in orthopedic surgery
  • Between 21 and 42 years of age (health care professionals ages 43 to 60 are now eligible for a two-year service contract under the Officer Accessions Pilot Program)    
  • U.S. citizenship

RESERVE:

  • In addition to the above qualifications, permanent U.S. residency is required for  Reserve duty officers.

Training

In the U.S. Army, the case diversity surgeons experience in caring for Soldiers and their families far exceeds the medical care environment of the private sector.  As an Army Medical Corps officer, you’ll have access to the most sophisticated technology, the opportunity to consult with experts in both the military and private sector, plus exceptional professional growth opportunities, including continuing education courses, seminars and conferences. Surgeons may even serve as faculty at one of our prestigious graduate medical education programs.

Helpful Skills

The normal environment of an Army Medical Corps officer’s work requires time-sensitive problem analysis with an accurate, sound and immediate decision. Ability to operate under stress, apply critical thinking skills, make decisions and translate these skills to battlefield conditions is critical to medical and mission success.

Effective patient care requires the proper balance between technical skills and the ability to apply the appropriate treatment or procedure at the right moment. Army Medical Corps officers possess expert knowledge in their area of concentration, patient management, and general support and coordination principles. Surgeons gain this knowledge through continuing medical education and experience sustained by mentoring, additional institutional training, continuous self-development and progressive levels of assignments within their specialty.

Compensation

ACTIVE BENEFITS:
In addition to the many privileges that come with being an officer on the U.S. Army health care team, you’ll be rewarded with:

  • 30 days of paid vacation earned annually
  • Noncontributory retirement benefits with 20 years of qualifying service
  • No-cost or low-cost medical and dental care for you and your family
     

RESERVE BENEFITS:

  • Health Professional Special Pay
  • Health Professionals Loan Repayment
  • Noncontributory retirement benefits at age 60 with 20 years of qualifying service
  • Low-cost life and dental insurance
  • Travel opportunities, including humanitarian missions

Both active and  Reserve officers enjoy commissary and post exchange shopping privileges; a flexible, portable retirement savings and investment plan similar to a 401(k); may receive pay for continuing education; and specialized training to become a leader in their field.

Education Benefits

ACTIVE:
Not only are surgeons paid as commissioned officers but they also are eligible to receive special pay incentives and take advantage of unique education benefits. The Army Medical Corps may offer paid continuing education in your clinical specialty, paid malpractice premiums and options to specialize and serve at ever-increasing levels of leadership and responsibility.

RESERVE:
One of the many advantages of becoming a member of the U.S. Army Reserve health care team is that you’ll be able to focus on patient care instead of medical school loans. By continuing to practice in your own community and serving when needed, you may qualify for HPLR to repay your medical school loans.

Future Civilian Careers

As you advance through your medical career, you will be looking for experiences that blend teaching, research and clinical excellence to best prepare you for unique and challenging opportunities in medicine. Our surgeons excel in clinical, research, operational, academic and health administration arenas. Many have worked in more than one career track throughout their time in the U.S. Army and have held leadership positions ahead of their private sector counterparts.

U.S. Army surgeons are highly desired candidates for competitive private sector jobs upon leaving the Army. In fact, many former U.S. Army surgeons serve as faculty in elite medical schools and residency programs, and our fellows are accepted by many renowned training institutions.

PARTNERSHIP FOR YOUTH SUCCESS (PaYS) Program

Those interested in this job may be eligible for civilian employment, after the Army, by enrolling in the Army PaYS program. The PaYS program is a recruitment option that guarantees a job interview with military friendly employers that are looking for experience and trained Veterans to join their organization. Find out more about the Army PaYS Program at http://www.armypays.com.

  • Johns Hopkins
  • GE Healthcare
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Mercy Medical Center
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ADVANCING ORTHOPEDIC CARE FOR SOLDIERS

Good afternoon, I’m Colonel James Ficke. I’m an orthopedic surgeon. I graduated from the United States Military Academy and I had the privilege to go to the Uniform Services University for my medical school training. As an orthopedic surgeon I have deployed to Iraq for one year. During that time I was able to take care of enough warriors that I’ve learned tremendous amounts of the battle-injured Soldier. This benefit for our Soldiers is that I’ve come back to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and have spent the last five years trying to research, trying to learn and trying to teach residents, medical students and other surgeons how we do orthopedic care for the wounded warriors. This has been a phenomenal privilege for me and today I was able to speak at the American College of Surgeons’ Clinical Congress to share what we’ve learned and to be part of a symposium that has highlighted all of the efforts that we do at the Center for the Intrepid, one of the world’s leading rehabilitation centers. In conjunction with transplant surgeons from Pittsburgh, Dr. Andy Lee, and now at John’s Hopkins University, we look to give options to Soldiers that they’ve never had before. Some of these options include hand transplants or the most advanced prosthesis in the world. It’s been a privilege to serve and a privilege to speak today. Thank you.