This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
EVEN IF a shore-based physician wanted to make one, house calls to a submarine are not permitted during its tour of duty. And even on surface ships, "although we're not hidden from anybody, we may not want to advertise our exact position [by calling on a physician]," says CDR Steve Warlick of the Naval Undersea Medical Institute (NUMI), Groton, Conn.
Nonetheless, even the hardiest sailor can fall ill or be injured. Enter the independent duty corpsman. He tackles one of the most demanding medical assignments in the military, steering a course between the unrelenting medical and health care responsibilities to fellow crew members aboard ship and the dictates of a consulting physician based on land.
Independent Duty Corpsmen
The Groton institute is the training site for independent duty corpsmen. About 75 men receive instruction each year to assume duties on ballistic missile and attack submarines.The exacting training includes qualifying
Raymond C. Physician Must Rely on Remote-Duty Corpsman When Patient Is Deep in, or Far Across, Sea. JAMA. 1989;261(19):2793. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420190063011
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: