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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 Canadian Forces Health Services facilities across Canada. They work closely with primary health care providers and multidisciplinary teams to optimize patient care for CAF members. Telepsychiatry is also an available option to assist in the care of members located in remote areas of Canada or on international operations. CAF psychiatrists may also participate in military operations and training within Canada and internationally. CAF psychiatrists can also be involved in research, policy development and implementation, mentorship and education of other health care professionals and military members.

The primary responsibilities of CAF psychiatrists are to:

  • Provide clinical care for CAF members in Canada. These activities include:
    • diagnostic assessments and follow-up care with an emphasis on medication management
    • collaboration with the clinicians of the multidisciplinary mental health team
    • supporting primary care clinicians in determinations of the military members’ operational readiness, as well as identifying occupational-related restrictions and limitations related to mental disorders
  • Provide subject matter expert (SME) recommendations and advice to the local and regional Canadian Forces Health Services Clinic medical leadership as well as to the local military leadership; and
  • Contribute to the development and application of mental health-related policies within the CAF.

Work environment

CAF psychiatrists work in mental health services clinics which are typically co-located with Canadian Forces Health Services Clinics on army, air force and naval bases across Canada, providing out-patient type of care for military members. CAF psychiatrists 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, addiction counsellors, social workers and administrative support. Telepsychiatry is used as a modality to reach members remotely located in Canada or deployed on international operations.

Career Overview


Psychiatrist (Medical Specialist)

I’m Major Yasir Khan, I’m a psychiatrist here in Ottawa, at the Montfort Clinic, Canadian Forces Health Services Centre.

I had a successful, satisfying civilian career prior to this, for several years. However, I wanted to also expand my experiences and the ability and opportunity to apply the clinical knowledge and skills in a different kind of setting – one that was both intellectually and physically interesting and challenging.

There’s a variety of conditions that we encounter which are comparable to the civilian setting, but because we serve a unique population, there are also some unique aspects, which I find very interesting from a clinical perspective and academic perspective.

There are various tasks that we engage in, both within the context of occupational medicine, but also opportunities in developing policy and giving input and education around mental health.

There’s also the military aspect, the military training and being an officer – myself, the element is the Army – and so, that is also exciting and interesting and challenging, and I’ve enjoyed all aspects.

I am still relatively new in the military; however, my experiences thus far have been enriching, challenging – it’s certainly informed my own development and growth as a clinician and as a professional within the military, including the roles and responsibilities of being an officer and a leader.

Pay and Benefits

A competitive compensation and benefits package is available for this medical specialization. Contact a Health Services Specialist Recruiter to learn more:


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 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