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July 28, 1917


JAMA. 1917;LXIX(4):249-250. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590310001001

The influence of medical science on the conduct of war has been strikingly illustrated in all the great conflicts of the last two decades. On the other hand, the influence of war on medical science is less frequently considered; but the present conflict seems likely to exert a far-reaching effect on American medicine.

The last example of a war conducted without the aid of medical science was our own brief passage at arms with Spain. Here, pestilential disease broke out in violent epidemic form in all the camps; malaria and dysentery more than decimated the troops in Cuba, who were saved from annihilation by these diseases and yellow fever only by prompt removal from the danger zone. I saw whole shiploads of acutely ill soldiers landed at Camp Wickoff in 1898 without any evidence of having received medical care during their voyage from Cuba. The army ration in those days

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