Ghastly war is frequently very bad for practicing medical personnel. Not only are doctors and other medical professionals killed in the line of duty, but many medical professionals also cannot stand by this killing, when they take an oath to help others regardless of what side they are on. Even though doctors are suppose to remain neutral about a war, they're forced to take sides from a physical standpoint and are always in danger.
If there is ever a war on American soil, the demand for physicians will become incredibly greater because so many more will become sick and injured, and there will be a need for more organization. There would also be far reaching effects in the United States as well. Most of the local physicians' groups would find younger members recruited for war service. Even retired military or reservists may go back to active duty. More physicians will join clinics, and more clinics will become like group practices. The focus of many resources may move from everyday medicine to epidemic prevention. If there is anything that we have learned from past conflicts, it is that the thing of paramount importance is preventing a pandemic.
There will be Army Service Units that seem to come out of no where. There is already a listing of all of the medical schools in America. There is also a skeletal structure in place under the National Guard, directed by the war department, that could begin operating quickly. The sanitary corps will be in cooperation with the medical professionals. The concern of both groups is maintaining the potability of water and keeping food stores safe.
There are plenty of physicians who focus on prepping and enhancing special medications, toxins, anti-toxins, blood transfusion storage allocations and sera. This can be an area that science will help the war effort. Another result will be the ability of doctors and shock divisions, as well as research people in labs at home, to study particular problems directly related to war environments such as wound shock - where soldiers collapse with minor injuries.
There will have to be a renewed commitment to medical teaching, not a decreased one. After all, this situation will be when doctors will be needed, much more so than usual. We are assuming here that the U.S. goes into a war. Even more significant will be the study of war shock and other such issues lest the United States should choose to hold back from active participation in the war.
If scientists were able to work without undue pressure, results would be achieved faster. After all, new medical breakthroughs don't happen overnight and many times results cannot be rushed. Also, it would be so much sweeter if new medical discoveries were not overshadowed by the evils of war. Of course, a person who survives a previous war can't help but to dread the risk that a current war could pose identically demeaning ethical and intellectual results. After all, our country went into it with all the best intentions. In the beginning our leaders tried to be rationale, making well-measured judgments.
But as with any stressful situation, the longer this was endured, the less rational we became a emotions started building up inside. We found that not only did we lose our interest in facts or truth, but for any concerns about right and wrong as well. It almost seemed treacherous to be reasonable. The vice lay in being too humane, while the virtue was deemed to be toughness. No one can be sure at this point if we will go down this road, or how far down it we could get. There is something that we can say with certainty, though, which was taught to us in previous conflicts. Should conflict break out again, nobody will emerge as a true victor.
At the end of the war, economies will need resuscitation, our souls will require cleansing, and a return to values and academic integrity will be essential. The only saving grace will be if, during these trying times, we can all hold onto the hope and collective spirit that us Americans are famous for -- especially in times of personal and national trials.
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