Careers & Jobs
The lifestyle of an Army Psychiatrist

Psychiatrist (60W)

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

Overview

At U.S. Army facilities such as the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Psychiatry & Neuroscience, some of the finest minds in medicine are conducting groundbreaking research in key psychiatric issues to address the unique challenges that our service men and women face. Discover how the U.S. Army is making some of the most important advances in the field of psychiatry — and how you can be part of it.

Job Duties

  • Examine, diagnose and treat or prescribe course of treatment for personnel suffering from emotional or mental illness, intellectual disabilities or situational maladjustment
  • Conduct and supervise direct patient care, and plan and execute disease prevention and health promotion programs
  • 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, Department of Psychiatry; psychiatric consultant; medical School faculty appointment

Requirements

ACTIVE DUTY

  • 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 psychiatry or residency in the U.S.
  • Between 21 and 42 years of age   
  • U.S. citizenship

RESERVE:

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

Training

In the U.S. Army, the case diversity psychiatrists 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. Psychiatrists 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. Psychiatrists 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  duty 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

The U.S. Army Medical Corps offers opportunities for psychiatrists in a variety of practice areas, including clinical, administrative and research roles. As an Army Medical Corps officer, you’ll have access to the most sophisticated treatment methods and protocols, the opportunity to consult with experts in both the military and private sector, plus exceptional professional growth, including continuing education courses, seminars and conferences.

As a commissioned officer of the U.S Army, you’ll also enjoy residency programs and ongoing initiatives to support your career development and advancement.

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 psychiatrists 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 psychiatrists are highly desired candidates for competitive private sector jobs upon leaving the Army. In fact, many former U.S. Army psychiatrists 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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THE LIFESTYLE OF AN ARMY PSYCHIATRIST

My name is Rachel Sullivan and I’m a Captain in the Army. My job is Army Psychiatrist and I’m currently stationed at Walter Reed Bethesda which is the main hospital for the Army. I joined the Military in order to pay for Medical School and also to try out the lifestyle because it seemed really interesting. It’s a different world in the medical community in the military than it is in the civilian sector so when I started thinking about going into medicine my first thoughts were it was a very frustrating industry basically the HMO management, and the frustrations of being told how to practice medicine by somebody who doesn’t have a degree in medicine because they flat-out won’t pay for something really frustrated me. The more I found out about the military system the more I realized that wasn’t going to be an issue. Basically we don’t have anyone looking over our shoulder saying you can’t do that because it’s too expensive or you can’t do that because the patient doesn’t meet the threshold for when we would authorize that kind of treatment. If I decide it’s warranted then I’ll do it. For my family it’s been really ideal because a lot of the problem with our current medical education system at least in this country is there’s constant delayed gratification. So my story is that I got married the week after I graduated from college and I wanted to start having kids. My husband also wanted to get an advanced degree so we were looking at the idea of maybe a couple of hundred thousand dollars of worth debt between the two of us and not really being able to afford starting our family otherwise. The military enabled me to have my kids when I wanted to and now I have two daughters who are 5 and 7 years old. What I’m doing currently now, I’m finishing up my training. I’m a psychiatry resident. One of the chief’s this year at Walter Reed and I have been picked up for a child psychiatry fellowship at Tripler, which is the hospital at Hawaii – nice work if you can get it. And that’s where I’m headed. My family is very excited to go live on the island and we’re getting ready to move. I’d just like anyone out there considering this to do the research into what it will mean for you and consider it because so far I have no regrets. So a typical day for me is just like any other psychiatry resident. We have rotations just like our civilian counterparts. Some of them are at the military hospitals and some of them are somewhere else so the idea is that our training needs to be just as comprehensive as anyone else’s with the addition training of knowing how to deal with the military population area as well. So in the DC area I go to the children’s hospital I go to Inova Fairfax, it just depends on the day and the rotation. But really we’re doing the exact same work as the civilian doctors, we just do it in uniform and sometimes with a subset of the population that no one else gets to see.