Manual The Army Medical Department, 1775-1818

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John Morgan , Continental Doctor. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, Blanco, Richard L.

Physician of the American Revolution : Jonathan Potts. Cash, Philip. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society , Duncan, Louis C. Medical Men in the American Revolution, — Carlisle Barracks, Pa. Fenn, Elizabeth A. New York : Hill and Wang, Gibson, J. Springfield, Mass. Thomas, Gillett, Mary C. The Army Medical Department, — Washington, D. Government Printing Office, Saffron, Morris H.

Surgeon to Washington: Dr. John Cochran, — New York: Columbia University Press, The Army Medical Department of the U. It was established as the "Army Hospital" in July to coordinate the medical care required by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Army , a lieutenant general. Army's healthcare organization as opposed to an Army Command , and is present in the Active Army , the U. Army Reserve , and the Army National Guard components.

As a result of BRAC , enlisted medical training was transferred to the new Medical Education and Training Campus , consolidating the majority of military-enlisted medical training in Fort Sam Houston. The current Surgeon General of the U. Army and U. Congress provided an Army medical organization only in times of war or emergency until , at which point it created a permanent "Medical Department".

A regimental coat of arms was devised for the Medical Department, and was most likely first used in The 20 white stars on a blue background and the red and white stripes represent the U. The green staff entwined with a green serpent combined two symbols: the rod of Asclepius from classical mythology, symbolic of medicine and healing; and the color green associated with the Medical Corps during the last half of the 19th century.



The rooster is associated with the ancient Greek and Roman god of healing and medicine, Aesculapius. The Ancient Greeks believed that the rooster's crowing at dawn drove away the evil disease spreading demons from the temples so that it could be a place of healing.

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The torse twisted rope below the rooster shows alternating blue and silver colors which were the colors of the Army in The Latin motto Experientia et Progressus , Experience and Progress , is meant to convey the steady and unfailing progress of the Army Medical Department since It is one of the US Army's 14 regimental corps insignias. These insignias are worn over the right breast pocket on the Army Service Uniform ASU and signify the service member's branch of service.

HIST 3010: American Military History: Revolutionary War

In , "a caduceus embroidered in yellow silk on a half chevron of emerald green silk" was first authorized and worn by hospital stewards of the Medical Department. The caduceus in its present form was approved in With the exception of the Medical Corps, each Corps is identified by a black enamel letter or letters centered on the caduceus indicative of the specific branch. The insignia for Medical Service Corps is silver.

Emergency: From Battlefield to Barts

Rooted in classical mythology and associated with the Greek god Hermes , the US Army's long-standing use of the caduceus has made it a well known emblem of physicians and medical skill throughout the world. Purists, however, often assert that the rod of Asclepius , with its single serpent, is the more proper medical emblem. Medical officers in the United States Army were authorized uniforms only in and were accorded military rank only in Congress made the designation of "Medical Corps" official in , although the term had long been in use informally among the AMEDD's regular physicians.

Today, members of the MC work around the world at all echelons of the Army. Military physicians serve in one of several general career fields. The three main fields are operational field, clinical field, and research field.

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Many operational physicians serve as Division , Brigade and Battalion level surgeons the word "surgeon" is used to identify a physician that is assigned to a unit as a primary care provider and not necessarily as a General Surgeon. Deployments with units to combat theaters are for the duration of a deployment and the jobs are mostly filled by primary care physicians.

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  • A PROFIS provider can expect to be deployed away from their family for a total of 16 months 1 month before deployment, 12 months in theater, and 3 months for "stabilization" after return to the assigned units home station. Physicians assigned to the U. Army were finally accorded military rank in , although the old Regimental Surgeon system of additional designations "Assistant Surgeon", "Surgeon" was also retained until In , Surgeon General William Alexander Hammond proposed establishment of an "Army Medical School" in which medical cadets and others seeking admission to the MC could receive such post-graduate instruction as would better fit them for military commissions.

    It was over 30 years, however, before Surgeon General George M. Congress made official the designation "Medical Corps" in , although the term had long been in use informally among the Medical Department's regular physicians. Its purpose was to train both new medical officers and newly enlisted medics in the practice of field medicine.

    Craighill in In , Army residency programs for MC officers were introduced into the Medical Department, providing for the first time the full spectrum of graduate medical education GME to prospective MC officers. Upon assuming office one of his first acts was to propose a plan for young military physicians to follow one of three pathways after completing their internship:. This triple option program continued for 19 years until the US military draft ended in During the Vietnam era , serious physician shortfalls were experienced by the Defense Department and it was at this time that osteopathic physicians , who had previously been excluded from active military service, were first admitted to the MC.

    Completing this trend, medical school training has been provided for military students since the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences USUHS was established in , graduating its first class in Its primary mission is to prepare its graduates for service in the medical corps of all the uniformed services of the country. By the mids, the strength of the Army's MC had risen to about 5, active duty officers, but cutbacks soon ensued.

    As of mid, the number of active duty doctors serving in the MC nearly met the requirement of 4, authorized positions.

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    Primary care specialties represented the greatest shortfall in endstrength numbers. The most common source of new physicians for the Army are medical students attending civilian medical schools and participating in the Health Professions Scholarship Program HPSP. By so participating they have their expenses paid for them and incur a 4-year service obligation. Some MC officers are accessed via direct commission after completion of specialty or sub-specialty training before entry on active duty.

    Later, these physicians may continue with subspecialty training or continue in operational positions providing clinical care, conducting research, or in other positions. All Army MC officers are required to hold a state medical license in at least one U. Younger MC officers are typically not boarded as they have not yet taken specialty training, but as they advance in their careers, board-certification becomes a virtual necessity for promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel and higher.

    In addition to the basic pay and allowances available to all officers, a continuation pay program and a variety of bonuses and entitlements under the Officer Special Pay Program keep Army physician pay competitive with civilian practitioners and allow for voluntary physician retention in the active force. The continuation pay program is tied directly to the maintenance of a state license and a board-certification bonus encourages MC officers to maintain active board certification by taking a re-certification exam every 10 years.