The horrors of war are so very detrimental to the medical vocation. The slaughter of medical professionals with ware is deplorable, but it is equally disturbing for medicine to be detached from both sides of the conflict. Physicians have to remain neutral during a war, but there is always the possibility of physical endangerment in some shape or form.
Should the United States become entangled in armed conflict, physicians will have to redouble their commitment to safeguarding the well being of the populace and to providing immediate treatment for the ill and the injured, and to be successful in such an environment, greater centralization and help will be required. And this will definitely send shock waves throughout the U.S. Many of the local physician groups will lose young members as they are drafted away. The physicians who have retired or taken on less hours will be expected to work longer hours once more. More physicians will join clinics, and more clinics will become like group practices. There would be a lot more attention directed at stopping epidemics before they start. The lessons of history have taught us the dangers of permitting disease to advance when the medical profession is spread too thin.
This may bring about the creation of local army service units. As a matter of fact, all medical schools in the U.S. have been analyzed and recorded. Capable of operating right away, the national guard maintains a small corps group which is run by the medical division of the war department. The sanitary corps will be in cooperation with the medical professionals. Both of the organizations will make sure that all food and water supplies will be pure.
A lot of the doctors will be involved in the preparation and improvement of blood transfusion storage supplies, sera, toxins, anti-toxins, as well as special drugs. By doing so, they will be contribution to mass scientific research efforts. There are specific issues with war, such as wound shock, which entails an individual’s collapse from the smallest injuries; these will serve as the focus of research studies by lab workers and shock divisions on the battle field.
There will have to be a renewed commitment to medical teaching, not a decreased one. A greater demand for physicians will emerge, and medical professionals will be casualties of war. Of course, all of these suppositions are based on the idea of the United States entering into the war. If the United States were able to avoid active war participation, research in war shock and other areas of medical concern would be able to proceed without limit.
This would allow scientists to take their time and analyze information at their own pace, without having to worry about the pressures of war. A new cure or vitamin is not an immediate possibility, so their work ought to be of greater significance when it isn’t held under the pressure of impending injury. Those who have lived through war previously can only shudder with fear at the possibility of the present war having a detrimental effect on moral and intellectual efforts. When the research first began, it was easy to be convinced to keep a level head, and it was also easy to gather facts.
However, in these times as the war progresses emotions run along frazzled nerves and rationality always ends up slipping away slowly. Not only has our interest slipped away, but our discernment of right and wrong has, too. Reasoning amounted to near treason. Our humanity was replaced by hardness and cunning. Nobody is able to discern how far we can wander down this same path. There is one outcome we are fairly sure of, though, and it’s what we learned the last time. Everyone loses in the insanity of war.
At the end of the war, economies will need resuscitation, our souls will require cleansing, and a return to values and academic integrity will be essential. Of critical importance during that time of rebuilding is to consciously attempt to foster a sense of purposeful, collaborative initiative.