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Army Air Force Navy

Orthopedic Surgeon (Medical Specialist)

OFFICER | Full Time, Part Time

In Demand

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Overview

Orthopedic Surgeons belong to the Medical Specialist occupation in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and provide trauma-focused orthopedic surgical care for CAF members, whether at Canadian Forces Health Services Clinics/operating theatres or overseas in support of peacekeeping or humanitarian missions. They have the opportunity to be a leader within the CAF Health Services, as well as a mentor and educator to other Health Services personnel including Medical Officers, Nursing Officers, Physician Assistants as well as Medical, Operating Room and Diagnostic Technicians.

Their primary responsibilities are to:

  • Provide orthopedic consultation/care for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Members in Canada.

  • Lead a surgical or emergent care team in the management of injured and ill patients in Canada and in deployed settings, internationally. 

  • Educate and advise multidisciplinary teams on trauma and orthopedic care.

  • Maintain a high level of clinical currency by holding a position within a civilian health care facility.

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

Work environment

Orthopedic Surgeons in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) maintain their clinical readiness by being embedded as staff in tertiary care civilian hospitals across Canada, working alongside their civilian colleagues. Part of their time may be spent providing consultative services to support Primary Care Clinicians at Canadian Forces Health Services Clinics in Canada. Participation in education and training tasks, as well as research opportunities, occur nationally and internationally.
They belong to 1 Canadian Field Hospital and maintain their operational readiness by participating in annual military skills training and field exercises. When required, they will be called upon to deploy to unique and challenging clinical environments as part of a Health Services team on domestic and international operations.

Career Overview

Transcript

TITLE:
Orthopedic Surgeon (Medical Specialist)

I’m Lieutenant-Colonel John McPherson, I’m an orthopedic surgeon. I’m currently practising in Kentville, Nova Scotia.

I joined the Canadian Armed Forces because I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon but do it in a place where I’d be able to work with different people, and an opportunity to practise it in different locations, and have experiences that people wouldn’t normally have in Canada, working here.

Being in the military has allowed me to travel to different countries, and do my job in different environments with different people, and see different parts of the world that I never would have been able to see if I was just stuck working in the same hospital every day.

I’m being recognized on my civilian side for skills I’ve learned in the military, to become a leader – which I don’t think that many people outside of the military would get that experience as just part of their day-to-day job, where being a leader is an expectation and you’re trained to become a leader in the military.

I think the most rewarding aspect of my job is just seeing a member get back on his feet, to get back to work, to get him back to doing what he wants to do – and that’s true on the civilian side, but when you see a military member whose expectations of what he wants to be able to do and what’s expected of him, it’s certainly rewarding to see him get there.

One of the moments that I had where I knew that I was doing what I wanted to do, was when I was stepping off the ramp of one of our transport aircrafts in the middle of the desert in Africa, looking around and seeing what was there and the people that were there – and that’s when I knew that this is what I wanted to be doing. It was only me and my small team, we were the only ones there that could do the job that we were sent there do do.

Somebody who has a sense of adventure, teamwork, looking for a challenge – somebody who wants to make a difference – those are the types of people that will gravitate towards the military, and that’s the type of people that we’re looking for.

Pay and Benefits

A competitive compensation and benefits package is available for this medical specialization. Contact a Health Services Specialist Recruiter to learn more: HSRecruiting-RecrutementSS@forces.gc.ca

Training

At the first available opportunity, you will complete Basic Military Officer Qualification training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. You will take the Condensed Health Services Basic Military Officer Qualification Training which consists of two weeks of Distance Learning and four weeks of in-house training in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.  Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the Forces, basic weapons handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic Military Officer Qualification 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 Orthopedic Surgeons, 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 training 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.

Environmental training, an operational requirement, includes field exercises that may take place anywhere in the world.

CAF Orthopedic Surgeons 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, Orthopedic Surgeons who demonstrate the required qualifications, ability and potential may be offered advanced training in the following areas:

  • Mobile Surgical Resuscitation Team

  • Forward Acute Care Resuscitation Team Training

  • War Surgery Courses

  • Definitive Surgical Trauma Care Course

  • Advanced Surgical Skills for Exposure in Trauma

  • Medical Education and Simulation; and

  • Military and health care leadership

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 Orthopedic Surgery 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 as an Orthopedic Surgeon you can contact our recruiters at:

HSRecruiting-RecrutementSS@forces.gc.ca.

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

Part time options

The role of the Canadian Forces Health Services Reserves is to provide trained personnel to support, augment and sustain Canadian Forces Health Services organizations for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations and training activities, while building and maintaining links between the CAF and the local community.

As a health care professional in the Health Service Reserves, you must have an unrestricted licence to practise in your clinical field (including certification in your specific specialty) and maintain clinical currency within your civilian workplace.

A position may be available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Members of the Primary Reserve are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they can volunteer to move close to another unit. They may also volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.

Medical Specialists can broaden the medical support capability of the Health Services by joining 1 Canadian Field Hospital Detachment Ottawa. Members of this Primary Reserve unit complete a minimum annual commitment of 14 days of service and/or training at any time during the year, doing any or all of the following: providing health care services to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, teaching and monitoring clinical skills of personnel, attending field exercises to practice and/or provide medical care in a military field environment. 

Medical Specialists serving in the Primary Reserve may live and work across Canada, as long as they are within a 100 km of a CAF Health Services unit. There is a small headquarters and administration section located in Ottawa, Ontario to assist them. All members of the Canadian Forces Health Services Reserves may have an opportunity to work internationally as members of a deployed Canadian Forces Health Services Team, on a voluntary basis.

Part-time opportunities within the CAF may exist for specialties and sub-specialties, depending on the requirements and position availability. These include:

Anesthesiology

Emergency Medicine

General Surgery

Internal Medicine (General, Infectious Diseases, Critical Care)

Orthopedic Surgery 

Radiology

Neurosurgery

Plastic Surgery

Thoracic Surgery

Obstetrics and Gynecology

Pediatrics

To find out more information or to apply please contact a Health Services Specialist Recruiter: HSRecruiting-RecrutementSS@forces.gc.ca

Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. All members complete 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.  This training varies in length and is usually available in two-week sessions or on weekends. You must also complete basic occupational training (Basic Medical Officer Course, BMOC), which teaches you how to employ your clinical skill/profession within the military environment. This training incorporates both on-line and on-site training over six weeks and is usually available twice a year, in one-, two- or three-week sessions held at the Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre (CFHSTC), in Borden, Ontario.

Medical Specialists in the Primary Reserve maintain their civilian positions in tertiary care hospitals across Canada. They belong to 1 Canadian Field Hospital Detachment Ottawa and stay operationally ready by participating in required military skills training and field exercises. Primary Reserve Medical Specialists will be able to contribute to development and delivery of clinical teaching and training tasks delivered across Canada, as well as to deploy to unique and challenging clinical environments as part of a Health Services team on domestic and international operations. In some cases, they may be able to provide medical care in a Canadian military health care clinic or operating theatre.  Reserve Force members are paid 92.8% of Regular Force rates of pay, have the opportunity to receive a reasonable benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.