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Prologue

Activities of Medical Consultants

The initial assignment of consultants in medicine, surgery, and neuropsychiatry in the U.S. Army during World War II was to the Office of the Surgeon General. Here, each functioned as Chief Consultant and Coordinator in matters pertaining to his field of medicine throughout the Army. After considerable deliberation on the part of a few, the commanding generals of the nine corps areas (later service commands) in the Zone of Interior accepted the recommendation that professional consultants be assigned to the offices of their chief surgeons. As oversea commands came into being, consultants were designated for them. The conspicuously successful performance of these early consultant appointees provided conclusive proof of their value to the Medical Department at home and overseas. By the end of the war, fairly complete coverage by consultants had become established throughout the Medical Department, extending from the Zone of Interior to the armies in the field.

The mission of the Medical Department of the Army in time of war is to prevent disease and injury and to provide optimum treatment for them when they occur, to the end of maintaining the lowest noneffective rate possible. The consultants, most of whom entered active service directly from civilian life and possessed little personal experience with military medicine, either clinical or administrative, related themselves to this mission in an extraordinarily effective fashion. Of necessity, their successful performances depended less upon authoritative directives and commands than upon reason and persuasion. This volume provides a review of some of their activities. It is not designed to record all of their contributions and accomplishments. Nor will it more than suggest, and this indirectly, the completeness of their loyalty to country and profession and the thoroughness of their dedication to the important medical officer assignment in which they served.

HUGH J. MORGAN,

Brigadier General, AUS (Ret.).