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Medical & Dental Special Pay Rates

Medical and dental officers on active duty for more than one year are entitled to monthly variable special pay at the annual rates indicated. They are entitled to annual additional special pay if they complete their internship or initial residency training and agree to serve on active duty at least one year. Officers who are board certified in their particular specialty are entitled to board-certified pay.

Medical officers (annual)
Years of Service Variable special payAdditional special payBoard-certified pay
Undergoing internship$1,200 N/AN/A
0 to 5 years5,000$15,000 $2,500
6 to 7 years12,00015,0002,500
8 to 9 years11,50015,0002,500
10 to 11 years11,00015,0003,500
12 to 13 years10,00015,0004,000
14 to 17 years9,00015,0005,000
18 to 21 years8,00015,0006,000
22 or more years7,00015,0006,000
Paygrade O-7 and above7,00015,0006,000

Multiyear special pay (MSP) varies by specialty and length of service commitment. Medical officers below pay grade O-7, qualified in critical specialties and with eight or more years of creditable service and who have met their active-duty obligation for education may receive the MSP bonus if they agree to serve for an additional 2-, 3- or 4-year period. Incentive special pay (ISP) is paid to specialists not in internship or residency. Officers below grade O-7 who are qualified in a particular medical specialty may receive the ISP bonus if they agree to remain on active duty at least one more year. Dental officers in certain specialties are eligible for the dental officer multiyear retention bonus.

Medical officer annual multiyear special pay and incentive special pay (MSP & ISP)
*** Medical Special Pay ***
Specialty2-year contract3-year contract4-year contractISP only or w/oblig.ISP w/ MSPECISP 4 years
Aerospace Medicine$13,000 $19,000 $25,000 $20,000 $20,000 $25,000
Emergency medicine17,00026,00040,00026,00030,00044,000
Family practice17,00025,00038,00020,00020,00036,000
General surgery25,00040,00060,00029,00050,00069,000
Internal medicine13,00023,00035,00020,00020,00034,000
Physical Medicine12,00013,00020,00020,00020,00025,000
Preventive/Occupational Medicine13,00020,00030,00020,00020,00031,000
Pulmonary/IM-Critical Care21,00031,00045,00023,00026,00044,000
Subspecialty Cat. I(1)23,00036,00055,00036,00057,00070,000
Subspecialty Cat. II(2)12,00018,00027,00028,00028,00034,000
Subspecialty Cat. III(3)12,00017,00025,00023,00026,00032,000
Subspecialty Cat. IV(4)13,00019,00025,00020,00020,00028,000
Subspecialty Cat. V(5)21,00031,00045,00036,00041,00054,000
(1) Cardio-thoracic, colon/rectal, oncology, pediatric, plastic, vascular, and trauma/critical care surgery; organ transplant; fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons (2) Nuclear medicine; (3) Residency training in allergy/immunology; nephrology; hematology/oncology; neonatology (4) All internal medicine/pediatric subspecialties not listed in Subspecialty Categories I or III. (5) Physicians fellowship trained in ophthalmology, otolaryngology, OB/GYN and urology.


 Variable special payAdditional special payBoard certified pay
Undergoing internship$3,000 N/AN/A
0 to 2 years3,000$10,000 $2,500
3 to 5 years7,00012,0002,500
6 to 7 years7,00012,0002,500
8 to 9 years12,00012,0002,500
10 to 11 years12,00015,0003,500
12 to 13 years10,00015,0004,000
14 to 17 years9,00015,0005,000
18 or more years8,00015,0006,000
Paygrade O-7 and above7,00015,0006,000


Dental officer annual multiyear retention bonus
2-year contract
3-year contract
4-year contract
Oral-maxillofacial surgeons*$25,000 $38,000 $50,000
Comprehensive/operative dentistry25,00038,00050,000
Oral pathology/diagnosis/medicine25,00038,00050,000
Pediatric dentistry25,00038,00050,000
Public health dentistry25,00038,00050,000
Temporomandibular dysfunction/orofacial pain25,00038,00050,000
Dental research25,00038,00050,000
Endodontics (Advanced Clinical Practice)18,00027,00035,000
Exodontia (ACP)18,00027,00035,000
General dentistry (ACP)18,00027,00035,000
Periodontics (ACP)18,00027,00035,000
Prosthodontics (ACP)18,00027,00035,000
*Oral-maxillofacial surgeons below the paygrade of O-7 with a current, valid, unrestricted license or approved waiver also are eligible for Incentive Special Pay at a rate of $30,000 per year for 1-year contracts and $50,000 per year for 2-, 3- and 4-year contracts.


  • Registered nurse accession bonus: A qualified RN who agrees to accept a commission and be assigned nurse duties may receive an accession bonus of up to $20,000 for a three-year contract and up to $30,000 for a four-year contract.
  • Registered nurse incentive special pay: A qualified RN may receive annual incentive special pay at a rate of up to $5,000 for a one-year contract, up to $10,000 per year for a two-year contract, up to $15,000 per year for a three-year contract, and up to $20,000 per year for a four-year contract.
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist: A qualified CRNA who agrees to remain on active duty may receive incentive special pay of up to $20,000 for a one-year contract; up to $25,000 per year for a two-year contract; up to $35,000 per year for a three-year contract; and up to $50,000 per year for a four-year contract.
  • Dental officer accession bonus: A qualified dentist who agrees to accept a commission, be assigned dentist duties and remain on active duty for four years may receive an accession bonus of up to $75,000.
  • Pharmacy officer retention special pay: Pharmacists in pay grades O-6 and below who have completed their active-duty obligation for education/training and agree to remain for two years qualify for $15,000 per year in retention special pay.
  • Psychologists, non-physician health care providers and veterinarians: Qualified psychologists, clinical social workers, physician assistants, veterinary officers and public health officers who are board certified in their specialty may receive board-certified pay at the rate of $6,000 per year, paid in monthly installments. They are also eligible for varying amounts of accession and retention bonues and incentive pay, depending on the length of the contract signed.

Critical Skills Wartime Accession Bonus

The military services may pay wartime accession bonuses to medical and dental officers who agree to serve at least four years. During the active-duty service obligation for which they qualify for the critical wartime skills accession bonus, officers are not eligible for multiyear special or incentive pay. Bonus rates vary by medical or dental specialty; for medical specialties in 2012, the lowest bonus amount is $180,000 for aerospace medicine specialists, and the highest is $400,000 for neurosurgeons, general surgeons and vascular surgeons. For dental specialties, the bonus is $300,000 for oral and maxillofacial surgeons and specialists in comprehensive dentistry, endodontics and prosthodontics.

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