United States Air Force Academy

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Staying healthy

Medical and Dental Information

Cadets in line

Receiving primary care

Primary care is basic or general health care traditionally provided by doctors trained in family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, or gynecology.

Cadets receive primary care by calling the clinic and making an appointment to see their Primary Care Manager (PCM). If a cadet requires specialty care services for further diagnosis or treatment, they must first see their PCM who will submit a referral to access services from specialty practitioners. The referral request will be coordinated through the current military health insurer, who is the region wide Managed Care Support Contractor.

Specialty health care services

Specialty services is specialized health care provided by physicians whose training focused primarily in a specific field such as neurology, cardiology, rheumatology, dermatology, oncology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, or other specialized fields.

If a cadet requires specialty care services for further diagnosis or treatment, their PCM will submit a referral.

Urgent care

Urgent care is defined as conditions that require same-day attention but do not pose an immediate threat to your health, life, limb or eyesight. If a cadet or cadet candidate requires urgent care while away from the Academy, they need to call their PCM and obtain authorization to seek medical care from the local urgent care clinic/emergency room.

Failure to alert the PCM could result in a point of service charge where the cadet becomes responsible for the bill. Should this occur, the cadet could submit the claim through their parents’ medical insurance if they are still a covered beneficiary.

Emergency care

A medical emergency is defined as risk of loss of life, limb, or eyesight. If this occurs, cadets go to the nearest emergency room for care, or call an ambulance if the situation supports it. As soon as the medical situation has been stabilized, the cadet reports the visit to the Cadet/Flight Medicine Clinic (719-333-5180) and Benefit Support Office (719-333-5281) for insurance purposes.

Medical insurance

Proof of medical coverage is obtained through Tricare. For urgent requests, call the Beneficiary Line at 1-800-538-9552.

Beneficiary Counseling and Assistance Coordinators are available to help with medical insurance coverage and Tricare-related inquiries.


Cadets planning for a career in aviation should consider having their wisdom teeth removed at least eight weeks before arriving at the Academy.

Cadets do not need to bring their dental records as a military dental record will be maintained at the dental clinic.


Frequently Asked Questions
  • What support services are available to cadets who are struggling?

    The Academy is a challenging environment with high expectations and demands. To aid cadets and cadet candidates, we offer a comprehensive set of programs to enhance their physical, spiritual, social, and mental walks of life. We strive to provide reliable access to safe, quality care for all that we serve. Learn more about support services.

  • What should I do if I suspect a cadet is abusing alcohol?

    If you suspect your cadet may have a drinking problem, it’s important to initiate a conversation and offer your assistance, as well as inform them of resources on base. This is a complex topic, become more familiar with tools and resources.

  • Does the dining facility accommodate special diets?

    Each day, three well-balanced meals are provided to cadets by the cadet dining facility, Mitchell Hall. Mitchell Hall offers vegetarian menus to cadets for religious faith requirements or for individual convictions during Basic Cadet Training. Nutrition screening and counseling is provided to basic cadets requiring personal attention. During the academic year, Mitchell Hall offers light and vegetarian menus, and accommodates the Muslim faith during Ramadan and Jewish faith during Passover. If a cadet anticipates a faith-based dietary concern, call the Cadet Chaplains Office at 719-333-2636. For further dietary questions or concerns, call Mitchell Hall at 719-333-3663.

  • What kind of medical care will do cadets receive?

    While assigned to the Academy as an active student, cadets are entitled by law (Authority is 10.U.S.C. 1074, 6201-6203; 31 U.S.C. 1535) to the following military medical care: Direct outpatient Care, Aeromedical Evacuation, Dental Care, Emergency Care, Immunizations, and Prosthetic Devices (includes hearing aids).

  • Does Tricare cover contact lenses?

    Tricare does not cover the cost of contact lenses and cadets will have to purchase them. However, if a cadet provides a paper prescription, Tricare will load the prescription into the cadet’s medical records and the clinic will then have the ability to renew the prescription for future contact purchases.

  • Should parents/guardians keep medical coverage for their cadet even though they’re enrolled in Tricare?

    Parents/guardians are encouraged to maintain health insurance coverage for their cadet in the event that they are disenrolled or develop catastrophic illnesses (e.g., liver transplant, potential heart transplant). On average, 40 cadets are medically disqualified from the Academy annually and the Air Force has no financial obligation once the cadet is disenrolled (medically or otherwise). However, your cadet may qualify for Veterans Administration (VA) outpatient/inpatient care.

  • How do cadets seek medical care when away from the Academy?

    If after hours or a cadet is unsure if they need medical attention, call the Tricare Nurse Advice Line that’s available 24/7 at 1-800-874-2273 and choose Option 1. It is important for a cadet to receive authorization prior to being seen by any doctor off the Academy. Failure to do so could result in a Point of Service charge where the cadet is responsible for the bill. If this occurs, the cadet could submit the claim through their parent’s medical insurance if they are still a covered beneficiary. If a cadet is seen off-base for any medical treatment, a Cadet Clinic provider must see that cadet the next duty day after their return to the Academy.

  • How do cadets receive emergency dental care when away from the Academy?

    Cadets may seek emergency dental care at a civilian provider to eliminate or prevent undue pain and suffering; however, they must first call the Cadet Dental Clinic at 719-333-5190 for pre-authorization. Cadets should use the nearest military medical treatment facility for non-emergent dental care.

  • Can a cadet use a civilian dentist while home?

    A cadet is not prohibited from seeing a civilian dentist. A cadet may use a civilian dentist; however, it is the cadet’s responsibility to pay the cost of the treatment rendered by the civilian dentist. The military will not reimburse any expenses that are incurred. Cadets can receive routine and specialized dental treatment at the Academy at no cost; however, it can be difficult to align dental clinic and individual cadet’s schedules to arrange appointments. Remember your cadet is extremely busy. Frequently cadets will elect to receive care with a civilian dentist on the various scheduled breaks from school. If a cadet does opt to receive treatment by a civilian dentist, they must bring documentation of the treatment received so it can be incorporated into their military dental treatment record.

  • What happens if there is an emergency while visiting a cadet?

    If you have a medical, fire or police emergency, call 911 immediately. There are several major medical facilities in Colorado Springs: Memorial Hospital Central (719-365-5000), Memorial Hospital North (719- 364-5000), Penrose-St. Francis (719-776-5000), and St. Francis Medical Center (719-571-1000). On base, you may contact Security Forces at 719-333-2000.

  • How do families contact their cadet in cases of emergency?

    If you are unable to reach your cadet on their cell phone, you may reach out directly to their Air Officer Commanding (AOC) or Academy Military Trainer (AMT). Here is a list of cadet squadron contacts.