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Army Air Force Navy

Psychiatrist (Medical Specialist)

OFFICER | Full Time

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Psychiatrists belong to the Medical Specialist occupation in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and provide care and clinical leadership in mental health services at CAF Health Services facilities across Canada. They work closely with primary health care providers and multipdisciplinary teams to optimize patient care for CAF members. Video-assisted provision of care is also facilitated to assist in the care of members located in remote areas of Canada or on international operations. CAF Psychiatrists may also participate in expanded venues within Canada and internationally including: military operations and training, research, policy development and implementation, mentorship and education of other health care professionals & military members.  

Their primary responsibilities are to:

  • Provide consultative and direct patient care services for CAF members in Canada:

    • diagnose and manage mental patients with mental health conditions, emotional and behavioural disorders;

    • perform mental health patient safety assessments;

    • perform comprehensive biopsychosocial formulations including diagnostic impressions; and

    • produce biopsychosocial treatment plans for consulting clinicians

  • Provide subject matter expert (SME) recommendations and advice; and

  • Contribute to the development and application of health care policy within the CAF

Work environment

CAF Psychiatrists work in Mental Health Services clinics on army, air force and naval bases across Canada. Typically co-located with Canadian Forces Health Services Clinics, Psychiatrists services work closely with the referring primary care clinician and ensure a supportive, multidisciplinary, team approach to patient care.  In addition to Psychiatrists, these teams include mental health nurses, psychologists, counsellors, social workers and administrative support. Video-assisted provision of care is used as a modality to reach members remotely located in Canada or deployed on international operations.
Participation in education and training tasks, as well as research opportunities, occur nationally and internationally.


After enrolment, you will begin 6 weeks of Basic Military Officer Qualification training (BMOQ) at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Forces, basic weapons handling, field training, navigation and first aid.  A physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Opportunities will be provided to participate in training exercises and lead small group tasks to apply your newly acquired military skills. Basic officer training is provided in English or French and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.

Learn more about Basic Training here.

All physicians, including Psychiatrists, attend the Basic Medical Officer Course (BMOC) at the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre (CFHSTC) in Borden, Ontario. Here, they are introduced to the organizational structure and history of the Canadian Forces Medical Service and the unique circumstances of practicing military medicine. This course incorporates blended delivery modalities with on-line components and a residential component. In its entirety, the training lasts six weeks and is usually available twice per year, in one-, two- or three-week sessions.

CAF Psychiatrists may be eligible to apply for the opportunity to specialize their medical practice and, when applicable, can receive subsidy in exchange for additional years of service.  Supported training will normally consist of a sub-specialty fellowship program at a Canadian University, but may include other Post-graduate degrees and/or courses determined to be complimentary to military practice. 

As they progress in their career, Psychiatrists who demonstrate the required qualifications, ability and potential may be offered advanced training in the area of aviation medicine.  This will confer enhanced understanding of the unique considerations involved in managing the care of aircrew members and includes CAF-delivered Basic Aviation and Flight Surgeon training. 

Entry plans

If you are a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have an unrestricted licence to practise in Psychiatry in a Canadian province or territory, you may be eligible for enrolment and to commence basic training. 

To find out more information or to apply to the CAF you can contact our recruiters at: . 

Please indicate in the subject line of your e-mail: MEDICAL SPECIALIST