Opportunities for Medical Students in the Armed Forces

by Tanvi Sharma

Career in defence for Medical Students

If you are a medical student who wants to serve the nation and join the Indian army, it would be like a cherry on the cake. Many students are unaware of the opportunities that are waiting for medical students in armed forces. this article has all the information you need to join the armed forces.

Information given below is stream wise and opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate have been enlisted.


After 10+2

The only way to get into Army for becoming an officer is through NDA exam, where NDA stands for National Defense Academy. This is basically a common exam for recruitment of candidates for training in the Army, Naval and Air Force wing of the National Defense Academy.

Candidates with or without Physics and Maths in +2 level are eligible for the Army wing of National Defense Academy but you will have to answer a paper of Mathematics along with General Ability Test in the exam. The examination is conducted twice a year and are called NDA I and NDA II.

After graduation

Biology graduates do have two options at Indian Army for becoming an officer.

Combined Defence Services Examination conducted by UPSC: Candidates need to qualify in CDS exam and then they need to be recommended by Services Selection Board in SSB interviews. Once recommended by the board, candidate will be admitted into IMA or OTA according to the course opted and vacancies available.
Indian Army recruitment through Non Tech entry: Indian Army releases Non Technical course notifications occasionally to recruit eligible candidates for administrative officer posts. Indian Army will shortlist the candidates for SSB interviews


For Air Force wing of National Defense Academy, Physics and Mathematics in the +2 level is mandatory so medical students are not eligible to apply for Air Force through NDA examination

After 10+2


Air force conducts group ‘X’ and‘Y‘examination for the recruitment of airmen in Indian Air force. Students having Physics, Chemistry and Biology as subjects in 12th can apply for the post of medical assistant (Airmen) in Group ‘Y’ but there age limit should lie between 17-21 Years
Educational qualification for group ‘Y‘ The candidate must have passed 10+2 / Intermediate / equivalent exam with Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English with a minimum of 50% marks in aggregate 50% marks in English

After graduation

Medical students can join Indian Air Force as an officer through AFCAT but are not eligible to apply get recruited to Air force through CDS. IAF is divided further into 3 streams:
(a) Flying Branch: Fighter pilots, Transport pilots, Helicopter pilots
(b) Technical Branch: Mechanical, Electronics and other engineering streams
(c) Ground Duty Branch: Administration, Accounts, Logistics, Education, Meteorology
Medical students are eligible to apply for:
Administration and Logistics– Graduate in any discipline with 60% marks in aggregate or post-graduate in any discipline with 50% marks in aggregate
 Education- Post Graduate degree in any discipline with minimum 50% marks in aggregate

Indian Navy

Indian Navy does not have much opportunity for medical student’s recruitment. The only opportunity you can avail to work with Indian navy is getting recruitment through Army Medical Corps

Army Medical Corps

The Indian Army Medical Corps is a specialist corps in the Indian Army which provides medical services to all Army personnel. It recruits candidates as short service commissioned (SSC) officer having age less than 45 years. Applicants should have passed Post Graduate degree/ diploma holders e.g. MD/ MS/ MCh/ DM/ DNB/ DLO/ DOMS/ DA. For recruitment you have to submit online application . The eligible candidates will be called for Indian Army Medical Corps interview by a Board of Officers at New Delhi to assess their suitability and merit for grant of Short Service Commission in the Armed Forces Medical Services .As an officer in the Army Medical Corps, a candidate is liable to be employed in the Indian Army, Navy or Air Force in any part of the country or world.

Selection Procedure for Army Medical Corps

There are two ways for getting recruited for Army Medical Corps one is through Short Service Commission ( SSC) and other is through permanent commission.

Through Short Service Commission SSC

Notification for the post of doctors (married/unmarried – male and female) in Indian Navy through SSC is published in leading newspapers once a year. Eligible candidates are called for interview at New Delhi to assess their merit and suitability for grant of Short Service Commission in the Army Medical Corps. Based on the results of the interview, candidates who have been short listed are subjected to medical examination at designated Armed Forces hospitals in New Delhi.

Through Permanent Commission

SSC officers can appear in their departmental interviews for grant of Permanent Commission at any time after completion of two years SSC service. Also, there should be no break in service and they should fulfill the conditions of eligibility laid down. The age limit for granting PC for different professional educational qualification is

  • MBBS (Max. 30 years)
  • Post Graduate Diploma (Max. 31 years)
  • Post Graduate MD/MS (Max. 35 years)

Army Dental Corps (ADC)

Permanent Commission
Age criteria 28 Years (for BDS)
30 Years (for MDS)
Education qualification
1. BDS with minimum 60% marks in final year / MDS from a recognised College or University.
2. Should have completed one year rotatory internship recognised by the Dental Council of India.
3. Should be in possession of Permanent Dental Registration Certificate.
Method of Selection: Eligible candidates are called for interview by a Board of Officers at Army Hospital (Research &Referral) New Delhi. To assess their suitability and merit for grant of Short Service Commission in the Armed Forces Medical Services.

Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) Pune

Armed Forces Medical College is a premier medical institute of India acknowledged as a centre of excellence for education and research. The college provides training to under-graduate and post-graduate medical and nursing students with assured career prospects in the defence services.
Medical students who have completed or pursuing 12th can apply for AFMC Pune if they wanted to pursue their carrier in medical department of armed forces but selection is done on the basis of AIPMT (All India pre medical test)
This is an effort to make all the medical students aware that if you have that fire in you to serve your country then Indian armed forces have many opportunities for you to fulfill your keen desire of wearing a stethoscope over that honorable uniform .