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Should this country become involved in a naval war, even with better war vessels than it now has, the service would be in an embarrassing position on account of the condition of the medical corps of the Navy. A few months ago we called attention to the following paragraph in the "Report of the Surgeon-General of the Navy: "Its vacancies have not been filled for several years; resignations, deaths, and retirements having depleted it more rapidly than candidates have been obtained.... It is impossible, with the present inducements offered, to find young men possessing the necessary qualifications who are disposed to become medical officers of the Navy.
The Army Medical Department has qualified applicants far in excess of its needs, attracted by better pay, well-defined rank, and more satisfactory professional position. Since 1870 more than thirty young medical officers have resigned (three of them to enter the Army Corps)."
MEDICAL RANK IN THE NAVY.. JAMA. 1887;IX(4):118-119. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400030022006