Chief Medical Officer

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Duty Uniforms worn by those in medical billet as a Chief Medical Officer
Duty-teal.png Lab coat.png Doctor alt.png
Standard Duty Uniform Uniform with Lab Coat Alternate Duty Uniform

The chief medical officer is a senior staff-level position, typically held by a lieutenant commander or commander who is a doctor of medicine with surgical skills.


Chief medical officers have held a variety of ranks. They could hold any rank in the lieutenant grades, but are quite often seen as lieutenant commanders. Chief medical officers are eligible to take the Bridge Officer's Test for promotion to full commander. At this point, they are considered capable of assuming command of a starship. In light of that, their primary duties remain the crew's physical well-being. Several chief medical officers have been civilians with no clear role in the ship's chain of command outside of their medical duties.


CMOs aboard a starship or starbase are directly in charge of the sickbay or infirmary, commanding medical department personnel and activities. The CMOs' primary duties are the oversight and maintenance of the overall health and physical fitness of crew and passengers. Furthermore as standard medical procedure, the CMO has full medical authority over any patient officially admitted into their care in their facility, including superior officers, until they are formally released from care. Officers likely to be assigned as the CMO over long-duration missions of exploration have scientific training in disciplines outside of medicine, allowing them to take on major, extended research projects, or to better participate in a wider variety of encounters.

Medical Authority

In addition to the normal duties of an officer, Starfleet Order 104 Section C gives CMOs the power to relieve an officer or crewman, including a superior one, of their duties if in the CMO's professional judgment, the officer in question is medically unfit. Typically, the CMO is expected to have the support of a senior command officer or detailed medical documentation to justify this course of action. The chief medical officer is able to impose upon crew members medical physicals if a mission lasts more than two weeks. The CMO also has the authority to order officers to do things that would be beneficial to their health, like sleeping.