MSC Medical Officer

Hello folks, I found you guys while doing research on MSC and hope to take advantage of your vast knowledge and experience. I’m ret. military and I’m interested in any info about the medical services officer position. I’ve been a physician assistant for over 19 yrs now and I have a lot of experience providing medical care in austere and remote regions, but none at sea. I would imagine that not all MSC ships have an assigned MSO. Is that correct? Which ship class would have the most robust medical requirement? With the size of the crews being what there are I can’t imagine there’s a steady patient flow at sea so I suspect there are additional duties required. If so, what kind of duties? What are the chances of actually getting some on-board training in navigation, spending time in other departments learning a little about what they do, etc? I spent 25 yrs in the military and some the best times were when I’d visit the units I was medically responsible for and they’d show me what they’d do. It helped me understand how I could help keep them healthy.
What is your general impression of healthcare at sea? As you can see, I’m full of questions, some I don’t even know enough to ask yet, so feel free to tell me anything you’d think would help. And, if there’s anyone that’s served as an MSO please shoot me a PM if you wouldn’t mind some medical duty specific questions.



I’m not an MSO, Shark, but I can say this. We’ve only had 1 full fledged PA as an MSO in MSC that I know of in the last 10 years or so. I think you would be highly desirable here. The majority of our MSO’s are retired IDC’s and i think 1 or 2 RN’s. I’ll see if I can get word to a few contacts and have them reply back.

Shark, you can do much much better as Rig Medic on an oil drilling rig.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;78252]Shark, you can do much much better as Rig Medic on an oil drilling rig.[/QUOTE]

I’d be interested in working rigs but I’ve only see requirements for EMT-Ps. I’m done doing remote medicine in the middle east so now I’m interested in South America or South China sea areas.

Thanks Fat Man. I’m ready to see something other than Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m very interested seeing how you guys operate on board ship. And the idea of seeing different ports of call is great. Even Djibouti would be interesting… Once.

Checkout the rig medic job postings on

Some NOAA ships working in the South Pacific carry a Commissioned PHS officer Officer. The ships have a small but well stocked sick bay. There is plenty of opportunity to help out in other departments on board.

Thanks BSC. After 26 yrs in uniform I’m trying to avoid that. Although, a fellow AF PA retired, joined the PHS and re-retired as a flag officer. Could have knocked me over with a feather…

I keep an eye on the rig jobs in the GOM for some other bidness I’m involved in. They typically want EMT-Ps. I’ve been managing EMT-Ps in the middle east and Africa for 5 yrs and it’s time to get some where where I’m less likely to get blown up, shot at or decapitated.