The Selective Service has updated its contingency plans for drafting
health care personnel in a crisis, but the Department of Defense, in news
reports, said no such conscription is foreseen.
In 1987, Congress passed a law requiring the Selective Service to develop
a draft plan for health care professionals essential to the armed forces.
Called the Health Care Personnel Delivery System, it is designed to be implemented
only in cases of emergency needing national mobilization. To occur, the Congress
must pass and the President must sign legislation to enact it. According to
reports published in October, the plan calls for around 3.4 million health
care workers between the ages of 18 and 44 years to register with the Selective
Service. From this pool, around 36 000 medical personnel in 62 health
care specialties could be drafted.
Mitka M. No Draft for Physicians. JAMA. 2004;292(22):2714. doi:10.1001/jama.292.22.2714-c