The ESA is a training institute that is part of the Army Health Service. It plays a role in the initial training, from both an academic and a military perspective, of engaged and motivated service men and women who wish to train as doctors or pharmacists within the French army.

It is fully integrated into the SSA training system and hence provides University follow-up and support for students, recruited at baccalaureate level, for the first two cycles of their Medical and Pharmaceutical studies in the Universities of Lyon1 and also provides them with officer training. These actions contribute to the training of army hospital residents who serve in the army teaching hospitals (HIA) and permit the full initial training programme for the Pharmacists who graduate from the ESA in order to take up their first job.

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