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March 6, 1967


JAMA. 1967;199(10):754. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120100116032

How are prospective military medical officers prepared to meet the unique challenge of their military service? Attention to this facet of medical responsibility and interest is focused by a recent survey of physicians entering the military as reported by Cooke et al in the Archives of Environmental Health. Their concern was with the influence of preexisting prejudices of physicians newly entering the military service. As might be expected, the investigators found some strong convictions, not necessarily based on fact, unfavorable to the practice of military medicine. Whatever their sources, the implications of these initially negative attitudes must be considered. Potentially they lead to impaired medical care for the military community, either through a chronically high rate of turnover among physicians, or through a less-than-optimal effort on the part of some physicians responsible for furnishing medical services. Since the quality of medical care afforded American military personnel is a legitimate concern