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ARLINGTON, Va. — The Navy is offering extra money to retain doctors and dentists.

Medical officers can receive up to $50,000 to continue with the Navy for four years, said Capt. Jeff Macdonald, of Manpower Personnel Training and Education Command.

Eligible medical officers must be below the grade of O-7, have at least eight years of experience on active duty and in medical training, and have a current, valid and unrestricted medical license, Macdonald said in a Friday phone interview.

For fiscal 2007, the Navy is offering more money for physicians in certain wartime specialties, some of which are undermanned, Macdonald said.

He said the increases in four-year bonuses include:

Anesthesia: from $41,000 to $50,000.General surgery: from $33,000 to $45,000.Family practice: from $25,000 to $33,000.Psychiatry: from $17,000 to $25,000.Dermatology: from $17,000 to $25,000.Preventive and occupational medicine: from $17,000 to $25,000.Emergency medicine: from $25,000 to $33,000.Medical officers receive proportionally less money if they opt to continue for less than four years, Macdonald said.

He said the special pay is also intended to keep Navy physicians from being lured to the higher salaries of private practice: For example, the four-year bonus to retain radiologists increased from $33,000 to $50,000.

The Navy has had a difficult time retaining dentists recently because they can make so much more money in the civilian world, Macdonald said.

For fiscal 2006, the Navy had 1,060 dentists, or 88 percent of its authorized billets, he said.

The Navy increased special pay for many dentists last fiscal year, and for fiscal 2007, bonuses for dentists in advanced clinical practice went up from $15,000 to $25,000 for four years, Macdonald said.

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