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May 19, 1989

Ocean's Bottom More Distant (in a Sense) Than Moon's Behind, Say Some Researchers

JAMA. 1989;261(19):2814-2821. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420190084020

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"HAT THE DIVER. Okay, diver on gas. Give rig final check. Diver ready. Put diver in the water."

These are the sounds of researchers at work in the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit, Panama City, Fla.

Under water is just one of a variety of environments in which men and women of the nation's armed services do their work. As a result, the military physicians who care for them are involved in some unusual forms of environmental medicine.

Particularly fascinating is the medical care associated with the US Navy's underwater mission. To prepare its physicians for one aspect of this mission— diving—the Navy conducts two 9-week courses annually in diving medicine at the Panama City facility. The course is conducted in cooperation with the Naval Undersea Medical Institute, New London, Conn.

And Back With the Diver...  Over the loudspeaker at the Experimental Diving Unit comes the bubbling sound of gases