Rear Adm. Alton L. Stocks, commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), recently saluted the Army Medical Corps and Army Medical Department (AMEDD) for 237 years of service to the nation.
Since the Continental Congress established the “Director General and Chief Physician” of the Army hospital on July 27, 1775, “Army physicians have led the world in combat trauma care, infectious disease management, public health and many other arenas of medicine and surgery,” Stocks stated in an email to the Walter Reed Bethesda staff on July 26.
“Most recently, in the current conflict, Army physicians have been instrumental in achieving the highest survival rates for service members with devastating injuries,” Stocks continued.
“As we serve at the Nation’s Medical Center, you see evidence of Army medicine’s successes here in the recovery and rehabilitation of our wounded warriors,” he added. “I am honored to serve with such a distinguished group of physicians.”
In establishing the Army Medical Corps and AMEDD in 1775, the language of the Continental Congressional resolution spoke of "a Hospital," which at the time meant a hospital system or medical department, explained Kirk Frady of the AMEDD.
In 1789, the Department of the Hospital was disbanded and a system of “Regimental Surgeons” was established in its place, Frady continued. In 1908, Congress made official the designation “Medical Corps,” which had been used informally among the Medical Department’s regular physicians, he added.
Internationally recognized contributions of Medical Corps officers include: William Beaumont, known as “Father of Gastric Physiology”; Maj. Jonathan Letterman, known as the “Father of Battlefield Medicine, whose system enabled thousands of wounded Soldiers to be recovered and treated during the Civil War; Brig. Gen. George Miller Sternberg, considered the first U.S. bacteriologist, having written “Manual of Bacteriology (1892); Maj. Gen. William Gorgas, known as “Father of Modern Day Preventive Medicine”; Col. Albert Glass, “Father of modern military Psychiatry” (World War II to Viet Nam); and Maj. Walter Reed, whose work to control yellow fever game impetus to the then new fields of epidemiology and biomedicine during the early 1900s.
“For more than two centuries, the Army Medical Corps team has been saving lives, spearheading research and caring for [service members] and families from battlefields across the globe, to our hospitals and clinics here at home,” said Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, Army surgeon general and commander of the Army Medical Command.
“Currently, the Army Medical Corps consists of more than 4,400 active duty physicians representing all the specialties and sub-specialties of medicine, according to AMEDD officials, who add that Medical Corps officers may be assigned to fixed military medical facilities, to deployable combat units or to military medical research and development duties.
U.S. Army physicians serve in one of several general career fields:
Ÿ Operational Medicine -- provides medical support to the Soldier and his/her Chain of Command in the field setting to include pre-and post-deployment readiness.
Ÿ Clinical Medicine -- is the field of Army Medicine that provides medical care in the garrison setting.
Ÿ Academic Medicine and Research Medicine -- focuses on education, training and research in Army Medical Centers and laboratories.
For more information on the Army Medical Corps and Army Medical Department, visit the following websites:
Builder of Trust book (Borden Institute) http://www.bordeninstitute.ar my.mil/other_pub/BuildersofTrust_web.pdf
The Office of Medical History: http://history.amedd.army.mil/
Army Medical Department Regiment: http://ameddregiment.amedd.army.mil/
Army Medical Department Museum: http://ameddregiment.amedd.army.mil/museum2/index.htm