Apr 5, 2019
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  1. Medical Student
Hello everyone, I am currently a second year Air Force HPSP osteopathic medical student and recently got an email from the AF advertising for integrated flight surgeon/internal medicine residency, flight surgeon/EM residency, and flight surgeon/family medicine residency. I am most interested in general surgery or internal medicine. If I went the internal medicine route, I would want to do a civilian pulmonary critical care fellowship after my four-year commitment (I only plan to spend 4 years in the military). The majority of things I have heard about being a flight surgeon have been negative however, I cannot seem to find any threads on integrated flight surgeon/internal medicine. I personally think a flight surgeon would be a cool way to fulfill my obligation as a military physician but am wondering 1.) will I get paid the rate of a flight a flight surgeon or will I get paid the rate of an internal medicine physician in the military? (when I researched flight surgeon salary it was around 80,000/year while a physician in the military averages about 150-170ish) and 2.) will being a flight surgeon for four years increase/decrease my chances of obtaining a pulmonary critical care fellowship upon leaving the military? Thanks!


Go Navy
10+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2008
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  1. Resident [Any Field]
Not in the air force but I heard they've been designating some of the interns/residents as destined to be flight surgeons when they graduate. (and not because they asked for it) So I'm guessing this is what they are talking about. Basically it just means they miss out on a few electives to go do the flight surgeon training and get to go be an air force flight surgeon out of residency. Mostly that means you get to see aviation personnel in clinic. In the Navy you get some flight time as a flight surgeon but I've heard it's probably less in the Air Force. I'd defer to someone in the Air Force for details on that.

As for the pay thing they way things work now if you are a board certified "_______" you get those bonuses even if you are doing an operational type gig. So for example we've had a few radiologists have to go do flight or dive jobs for one reason or another and they still get paid as a radiologist. I can't imagine that the Air Force is different in this regard.

I am not pulm critical care so I don't know what they think about a gap between residency and fellowship but I can't imaging they would care any more than if you had been in clinic without being a flight surgeon.

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