Flying Doctors(Specialists in Aviation Medicine)

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by airbornedoc, Dec 5, 2006.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi Guys,
    Another newbie with a few questions,hope someone can help. I am currently a medical student considering a career as an MO in the navy.I also have a strong passion for flying and I'm wondering if i can combine the two in the navy. I am aware that the army has SAMs(Flying Doctors),is this the same with the navy? Can i join as a pilot initially and transfer to the medical branch after gaining my wings? Any info appreciated.Cheers
  2. The best people to ask are the AIB or a Careers Officer. I can't see why not though.
    I know we had a couple of Air Engineer Officers who were also pilots. That is to say they were employed as pilots rather than Engineers when appointed as such.
  3. About 9 years ago I knew a naval doc with his pilots wings. He had joined as a doc and then later been trained as a pilot, something to do with better being able to understand aviation medicine. I don't know if they still do it though. I would concentrate on being a MO, and then anything else is a bonus.
  4. ABdoc, in short, there should be no reason why an RN medical officer should not transfer for flying duties. Indeed, the precedent has been set on several previous occasions. However, after 6(?) years of doctor school, the RN will probably expect you to join as a Doctor, unless you sign up as a direct entry aircrew officer, which kinda negates all your medical training??? The most recent flying doctor went through the Sea King pipeline before getting promoted to Surgeon Commander and becoming Principal Medical Officer of RNAS YEOVILTON. Aside from actual flying duties, there is a sub-specialisation in the medical world of Aviation Medicine where you will be trained in the peculiarities of medicinal matters at high altitude.
    Hope this helps but I would recommend joining as a Surgeon and then volunteering to transfer to flying duties. As always, it'll depend on which of the trades is shorter of man (or woman) power.
    Best of luck.
  5. Thanks for all your posts.As has been advised, I will join up as a doc and try for flying duties afterwards. Had a word with the recruiting officer yesterday and he suggested that I contact the medical recruiters directly.cheers

    LBV : Could you please tell me how recent did the MO qualified?Cheers
  6. "From Doctors, Dentists, Schoolies and Padres, good Lord deliver us"
  7. Airbornedoc - hate to burst your balloon but I think it's unlikely to happen.

    If you join as a cadet, the RN invests a vast amount of money in your medical education. If you try to "jump ship" as soon as you qualify, the powers that be could view the whole thing as not getting their money's worth. You need to ask permission to branch transfer, and for this reason you may be refused.

    In addition, after spending 5-6 years in medical school, then doing F1 and F2, would you really want to throw this all away? In the current medical climate you would not be able to combine the two careers - doctor and pilot/observer. You would have to spend lots of time in the air, therefore de-skilling medically. Also, with the ST pathways you would not be able to take the required time out.

    There may be a couple of MOs with wings, but they are few and far between. I can only think of one (and he's pretty senior).

    So, the simple answer is that you would join as an MO and probably stay as one. You could do General Duties time in an Air Station and get experience of aviation medicine (or each of the new carriers will have a specific aviation MO on board). During such time you'd definitely get in the air, but I don't think you'd be able to get your wings.

    Anyway - to transfer from MO to WAFU would entail a paycut - and don't let the WAFUs tell you otherwise!!!

  8. I remember that in the late 70s we had a doc with his wings at Lossiemouth. I believe that he was a specialist in aviation medicine
  9. There is still an option for Av Med docs to learn to fly and spend two years with a frontline squadron. Not that it happens very often. The last person I know of who was hoping to head down this route was unable to pass flying grading.

    You would not take a pay cut, but add flying pay to your doctor's salary.

    Now that would be serious pop star wages!
  10. Drwibble,

    Bit of a misunderstanding. I meant you'd take a paycut if you branch transferred to WAFU - obviously if you remained an MO but got wings on top of that then your cheque book would say Coutts at the top!
  11. Cheers for all your post.Very informative indeed.Any further inputs are still welcome.At the moment, I'm waiting for a reply from the naval medical recruiters. Just a few questions for the docs,aviators and all.
    I have read on the RN site, that Docs can specialise in aviation medicine, Isn't it a requirement to do the pilots course? I read n article by a naval doc Surg Lt Cl**** H****r who did the DAvMed course,did she do the pilots course afterwards? Does one get to travel around lots more in the navy than other services? Sorry for the long post.Cheers

    PS. Dont think I will enjoy a paycut to transfer branch but pop star wages will be highly welcome!!!
  12. The only flying doc I have seen was at Yeovilton 74/75 when Prince Charles was flying training, there was a flying doc on the same sqdn, and all because of charlie I would think...
  13. Airbornedoc> you have a PM.
  14. A related question I think...

    I will be in Plymouth for two years from August. I had hoped to perhaps get flying lessons etc. in that time with pretty much the same objectives as airbornedoc. Someone mentioned 727 training squadron (who are about to move unfortunately I hear) as a possibility for this, but maybe there is a more straightforward way that I don't know of? This 2 year course thing that has been alluded to for instance...

    Can anyone summarise what the possibilities/realities are? I'm aware that it would be difficult, but I'd like to try. Also, I turn 26 next september, is that a cutoff of some sort, and so should I get something underway before I reach that, umm, milestone? :?

    [[Apologies to angrydoc for borrowing his av :oops: ]]
  15. Docrichard - grrr about my avatar!

    I assume your two years is your F1/2 time? If so, I doubt you'll get enough time off to do a formal course, ie get your wings. You could probably get a civvy equivalent though.
  16. Sorry! Had the graphic for quite a while now - was going to get a batch of ties done up. Noticed it tacked to the bottom of the MDG(N)s letter I received today (dated 8th Sept.) as well...

    Actually, one of the reasons I joined was to find out what these "rumours" were that he seems keen to dispell. I know one of the Surg. Lt. Cdr. that I spoke with at great length this summer was of the opinion the RNMB was going nowhere and would be manned entirely by reservists in due course, but there must be something more substantial to get a response from the MDG(N).

    As for getting wings, I have the commitment to do the flying thing if there is actually a way to do it within the RN. Civvy would be a spare time thing as and when, but if done through the service (and if it was relatively close to Plymouth), I think it might be possible (even with F1/F2 comitments). Just concerned about this age 26 thing... forgot to memorise the Aircrew joining rules when I was doing medicals earlier this year!

    On a side note, they really seem to be pushing the Birmingham placements, I suspect that up and coming medstu cadets will be forced to go there (actually it might be a nice place... :roll: ) eventually...
  17. First - don't bother getting ties done. You can get them from the Hon Sec of the RNMC (the symbol is technically that of the Royal Naval Medical Club, not the branch), or if you're feeling flash you can nip down to Gieves & Hawkes (or their website) and get one there.

    Second - rumours. Nothing at all to do with reservists. There are lots of issues at the mo regarding higher management and the number of 2*s required in the RN as a whole. The letter you refer to (dated 8 Dec) explains all and there's no need to repeat it in this forum.

    Third - don't know about any age restriction, but I haven't done an aircrew medical for a while now. If I think of anything I'll let you know but if you're seriously interested you should speak to the Career Manager in Jago Road, HMNB Portsmouth.

    Whether we like it or not, Birmingham is going to be the place to be - it is expanding all the time and, when we finally get a military set-up there (messes etc) it may not be all that bad. Currently, it's a cluster.
  18. Sorry, 727 NAS has five Grob aircraft and is not a training squadron. It grades prospective aircrew and provides air experience flights. It relocated to RNAS Yeovilton today.
  19. Yep, I had read as much. :( Anyway, any suggestions on going the military route (in the SW) are welcome, but otherwise I guess it will be bit by bit the civilian way towards a PPL(A) or PPL(H)...
  20. Sorry Doc - flying medics are pretty much a dead duck (no pun intended) these days. Years ago there were several (but not that many) spec AV Med with wings but that was when we had big, big Fixed Wing and Commando Carriers deployed in the Far East for up to two and a half years in commission (happy days!). I can't think of a single one left now (but might be wrong). Frankly, if you wan't to be a doc then do it and leave the flying to those who choose that profession. I think that you're stuck with the PPL - for info - try the Heron Flying Club at RNAS Yeovilton which has a club aircraft (and others) and provides lessons and flying at the best rates in the SW - pm me if you would like more information.

Share This Page