Reserve Defence Forces- Medical Officer

Why should I join the Reserve Defence Forces (RDF) as a Medical Officer?

Because your country needs you and your expertise as a contingency measure. If you are a Doctor interested in practising Military Medicine and are in full time employment in the health sector then joining the RDF as a Medical Officer may be your best option as it only requires a part time commitment. Manpower issues which affect the civilian health service also affect the Army Medical Corps and have resulted in vacancies for Medical Officers in the RDF. While the Defence Forces are primarily orientated towards the delivery of primary care , in the future the organisation may also need medical specialists who have a diverse range of skills.

So what do I need to do to join the RDF?

You must meet the minimum entry criteria to be a Medical Officer.You must then apply to join the RDF by completing the online application form and submit yourself to a medical examination and fitness test.

Why do I need to pass a medical and a fitness test if I am a specialist?

Because all members of the Defence Forces including Medical Officers must maintain their health and fitness to be operationally capable at immediate notice. If you are unable to do so through lack of fitness or ill health then you may be a hindrance to operational capabilities.

What will I do as a Medical Officer in the RDF?

You will become a part of a Medical Detachment under the command of the CMU (Central Medical Unit) and you will be asked to fulfil the roles assigned to you by your chain of command. These may include provision of medical cover for exercises as well as teaching/training of other members of the Defence Forces. There is also the possibility of deployment in aid to the civil authorities.

You will also have to complete the annual training requirements of all members of the RDF. These require the completion of an annual fitness test ,annual range practise and an annual occupational health examination. You will also have to undertake a cumulative total of 48 hours of training per year in addition to a 7 day block of Full Time Training and 12 hours of voluntary unpaid duties. It is not a small commitment.

Will I be paid for my time in the RDF?

Most of your time in the Reserve Defence Forces will be on a voluntary, unpaid basis. However, you will be paid to attend training courses and annual camp. The length of these courses varies but usually range from 7 to 14 days in duration. In the event that you are mobilised you will also be reimbursed.

Will I serve overseas if I join the RDF?

Although RDF medical personnel have served overseas before, RDF personnel do not currently deploy overseas.