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March 18, 1950


JAMA. 1950;142(11):818-820. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910290046012

In his presidential address before the American Surgical Association, Dr. Fred W. Rankin1 presented an extensive review of the immediate care and rehabilitation of battle casualties in World War II. Since he served in both World Wars and was chief of the Surgical Consultants Division of the Surgeon General's Office in the recent war, Dr. Rankin was in an excellent position to observe the development of the surgical program. Within a few weeks after this country declared war a professional services division was established. The consultants served continuously and in uniform, on the concept that medicine should be practiced on a parallel to that in civilian life, namely, by specialization. In World War I the consultants division consisted of a casual group of medical men serving only part time, and many of them were not in uniform. The consultant system was the keystone of the arch of the laudable