When most people think of Army medical professionals, they think of combat medics, who risk their lives in the field to treat and rescue fellow soldiers.
That military occupational specialty (MOS) is 68W, the medic who deploys with a combat unit.
The Health Care Specialist (combat medic) is primarily responsible for providing emergency medical treatment, limited primary care, and health protection and evacuation from a point of injury or illness.
Army Medical Specialists
Most people are familiar with the old television show MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital), which made Army surgical hospital units famous. However, the last real-life MASH unit was deactivated in 2006. The replacement of the MASH unit is now called the Combat Support Hospital, which pulls from a majority of the following MOS's to accomplish their mission.
Other healthcare specialists are assigned to military hospitals and clinics to assist doctors and nurses with the health care needs of patients.
Career Management Field 68 is organized to complete a functional medical system within the Army on base and when deployed abroad.
MOS in 68 Career Medical Field
68A - Biomedical Equipment Specialist: These medics are responsible for servicing and maintaining all medical equipment.
68D - Operating Room Specialist: Like their civilian counterparts, Operating Room Specialists assist nursing staff in preparing patients and operating rooms before, during and after surgical procedures.
68E - Dental Specialists: Assist Army dentists in the examination and treatment of patients and help manage dental offices.
68K - Medical Laboratory Technicians: Conduct tests on the tissue, blood, and bodily fluids of patients aiding doctors and nurses in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease and other medical disorders.
68M - Nutrition Care Specialist: Primarily responsible for assisting in the supervision of medical nutrition care operations.
68P - Radiology Specialist: These technologists operate X-ray and related equipment used in diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases.
68Q - Pharmacy Specialist: Under the direction of a pharmacist, this medic prepares and dispenses prescribed medicines and maintains pharmacy supplies and records.
68S - Preventive Medicine Specialist: Conducts preventive medicine inspections, surveys and control operations, and assists with preventive medicine laboratory procedures.
68T - Animal Care Specialist: The primary mission is to take care of government-owned animals, such as patrol dogs, ceremonial horses, sled dogs, sea mammals, and animals used in research, but these soldiers also provide basic veterinary services to military members with pets.
68V - Respiratory Specialist assists with the management of a respiratory unit or administers respiratory therapy and performs pulmonary function tests under the supervision of a physician or nurse anesthetist.
68X - Behavioral Health Specialists provide mental health treatment to patients under the direct supervision of an Army psychiatrist, social worker, psychiatric nurse or psychologist. They're part of the team that screens and interviews potential patients.
As you can see there are more medical jobs in the military than the standard combat medic. These are just a few of the options available to those who want to go into a medical job in the Army, but may not be leaning toward an active combat medic role.