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Military Medic Training vs Civilian Paramedic Training

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Hello Everyone,

I am a civilian Critical Care Paramedic with a question for our Military Medic brothers and sisters. Do you feel your military medical training is aqueduct to operate as a Paramedic in the civilian population? 

This has been a long standing question I have had. I have worked with many military medics who are frustrated by the limited role they are given when transitioning to civilian EMS. I do share the thought that military medic are underutilized in the civilian setting when only being given an EMT level certification. That being said, it has always been my belief that military medical training if not sufficient to prepare someone to care for the vastly different and more diverse medical issues, situations and populations in the civilian world. I have never been through a military medic training course, so what I am seeking is insight to what is covered in the course. I am hoping to either confirm my beliefs or to learn new information that would give me a different point of view and a better perspective on the depth of military medical training. 

Lastly, I do believe a bridge program should be set up for military medics to help them quickly obtain paramedic status in the civilian world. The program should take the knowledge and skills learned from the military training and add in training on pediatrics, geriatrics, OB and any other areas not covered. 

All I ask is some insight from those that have gone through military medic training and especially those that have made the transition to civilian Paramedic.


Thank you for your selfless service to our country.

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  • 2 years later...

Howdy texasmedic, 

I served in the Army National Guard for 6 years, starting off as a combat medic, eventually working my way up to a flight medic. I was never an EMT on the civilian side, as I joined the military to specifically become a medic. Recognizing that I very much enjoyed being a medic in the military, I decided to go back to school and get a paramedic degree. I have since held the title of paramedic in almost every capacity that you can think of, excluding fire. In regard to the contrast of military vs civilian training, as one could imagine, military training is more trauma and tactically focused than it is medically or low acuity. As we all know, trauma is easy. Furthermore, the initial training that is received follows NREMT-B standards and soldiers take the NREMT test. Then, follows the military portion/application (at least in the Army). By the time it's all completed, a normal 68W (aka combat medic) is about the level of an EMT-I. They are nowhere near the knowledge or skill set of a paramedic. Caveats to the aforementioned can include that if a medic was deployed, it is completely dependent on what their deployment was like in combination with what their providers would allow them to do in concerns to their obtained experience level. Additionally, depending on the provider once again, some medics may have gotten a little more knowledge and experience based upon their duty station. Also, if a soldier is to pursue further training and progress, such as aviation or special forces, that completely changes their experience level, as it is a requirement for those positions to obtain their paramedic. All of that make dollars? Feel free to ask further questions. 

Edited by e_campbell
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