Medical Officer entry for oldies

I would like to apply to the RN during my FY1, when all being well I will be 4-5 years clear of asthma prescription issues.
I read on another thread that you should apply by the age of 39 (this was the poster's personal opinion I believe), yet the age limit is 55. I will be older than 39.

Has anybody joined or know anyone who's joined at such an infirm and wrinkly age? Who knows, I could be the first. Look out.


War Hero
To be honest, if you've been using an asthma inhaler beyond age 39, it would be difficult to suggest it was only childhood asthma & you've now grown out of it.

According to the eligibility matrix for regular service, already qualified Doctors can join up to age 55 (46 max if still requiring training) subject to the medical specialisation being required and, somewhat bizarrely 45 in the Reserves. 3/br3book/ch07 Matrix RNRMRFA.pdf

Best bet? Speak to the medical specialist recruiter in Pompey, direct: 02392 727 096
Thanks for your fast reply. I won't indulge you with the reasons for the continued prescription - sure you've heard it all before. Thanks for the phone no.
Indeed I take your point, and I am using the interim to think honestly about it. It would not be fair to encumber a deployment with someone who, out of the blue, has a reaction to their environment. Plus I care about my welfare.

Even so...I'd like to hear if anyone over 40 has been successful and have they enjoyed their career with the RN so far? Cheers.
In the last couple of months, I've met GDMOs (i.e. MOs who've passed out of BRNC but joined before starting SpR training) who were in the 35 - 42(ish?) bracket. I think the big thing to take away is your tolerance for bullshit as a middle aged bloke/lass. The MO on a deployed ship, whilst doing some Medical stuff, is also the chair of the Entertainment Committee, Wardroom Socials, etc etc, which can be fine as a 27 year old, but might grate a little 15 years later.

The older of the 2 GDMOs I met was also a little concerned about his SpR training pipeline: the impression I got was the RN's fine if you want to be a GP but if you want a specialism it might pay to get into that with your civvy training number before joining up.

I'm sure Angry_Doc will be along soon to be angry and tell you a proper MO's opinion!


In every MO intake there is a couple of more mature folks. This can range from year 1-2 SHOs (which is what I did) to Registrars and Consultants or GPs.

As Ninja has stated, though, I think the main issue with you will be the salbutamol. The reason is largely academic - GPs are very fast to dish out beta-agonists to those with URTIs and a bit of wheeze (without any evidence base I'm aware of). Such people are subject to the same criteria as those with any wheezing diathesis.

I wouldn't let age put you off looking at the RNR - the RNR medical branch is thin on the ground at best and apparently the Reserves are the way forward. Time will tell!

Happy to give more specific advice if necessary - PM me.

Consultant Emergency Physician
Thanks all.
I know it's a long shot and I have it all in perspective. I was upset about the salbutamol issue - last two prescriptions still boxed and sealed in cupboard, one of which is out of date!
Entertainments committee? Try and stop me. I used to sing in a band and have acted on the stage.
As for the delay to speciality, that's the least of my concerns. I would prefer not to get on the hamster wheel too soon.

I'm going to see how I feel in a couple of years. I might be too old in the RN's eyes, but if it isn't there in writing I'm not going to let that put me off.


Lantern Swinger
Evening. I agree with both Ninja S and AD about the inhaler matter. The fact that you have been prescribed the medication late on in life (past your teenage years) does not bode well. Although the meds may still be in their boxes, allegedly sealed - it is the date of the prescription etc that matters. The ME will dig into your medical history, apply the standards as they are and make his/her decision.

Good luck.


RFA MOs were a special sub-set of doctors who now no longer exist. Where there's an RFA vessel, a Pusser's Grey complete with RN MO isn't far away. When I was a bit younger I bailed out quite a few RFA Med Techs!

Posted from the Navy Net mobile app (iOS)

Similar threads

Latest Threads

New Posts