What’s So Special About War Doctors?

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A Special ME-P Christmas Holiday Tribute

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA


Back in the day, I did some trauma training at Martin Army Hospital in Columbus, GA. This 250-bed facility is the center for medical services at Fort Benning. Opened in 1958, it is one of the largest and most comprehensive community hospitals in the Army. The hospital is recognized as one of the best in the nation for quality of care as certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and service to the community by the Army and TRADOC Communities of Excellence Evaluations.


Fort Benning’s MEDDAC, a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Command, furnishes medical care to an eligible patient population in excess of 72,000 beneficiaries. Since the establishment of Fort Benning in 1918, medical services have always been available. In the early days, medical care was dispensed from tents, temporary wooden buildings, and leased space in the Columbus Hospital. In 1924, services were moved into what is now the National Infantry Museum, and in 1958 Martin Army Community Hospital was opened.

Martin Army Hospital 

Martin Army Community Hospital is named in honor of the late Major General Joseph I. Martin, Medical Corps. The hospital was opened in 1958 at a cost of slightly over $6 million. As the demand for outpatient health care grew, a 59,000 square foot ambulatory care wing was added in 1975 at a cost of $3.8 million.

To support the purchase of modern medical equipment and to ensure the compliance with the JCAHO standards, an extensive electromechanical upgrade project was completed in 1980. This was my era. The latest major construction occurred in 1990 when the Emergency Room underwent renovation at a cost of $835,000. The ER now contains the latest technology available to preserve life, and can provide these services more efficiently than in the past.

Professional Training Programs

In addition to its medical mission, the MEDDAC has an extensive professional teaching and training mission, and in 1972 established the Army’s first Family Practice Residency Program. This 3-year program maintains approximately 30 residents who provide medical services throughout the hospital.

Other specialty training programs include the clinical portion of the Army’s Physician Assistant Program, a residency in Health Care Administration, Podiatric Surgery internship, training in several enlisted specialties, and numerous clinical rotations or externships conducted in cooperation with local colleges and universities. Located near the Infantry Museum is the Army Substance Abuse Program, Exceptional Family Member Program, and the Early Intervention Program. In addition to these facilities, the MEDDAC operates four Family Practice Clinics, five on-post Troop Medical Clinics (TMCs), a Reception Station, and two satellite TMCs in support of Ranger School training in Georgia and Florida.

A New York Times Re-Post

As so, it is with some degree of pride that we reprint this story from the NYTs.



By Paulinwe W. Chen; MD

One morning as a medical student on the surgery service, I learned about a patient who had been hemorrhaging on the operating table the night before. The intern who had assisted during the operation took great pains to describe every detail of the failed efforts of several senior surgeons and the final, ultimately lifesaving, maneuvers of the department chairman. “He came in and just got control of the bleeding,” the intern concluded, waving his hands as if the chairman’s work had involved magic.


“How did he manage that?” one of my classmates asked. “He’s one of the best,” the intern answered matter-of-factly. “He was a surgeon in Vietnam.” 

More Lesson from the War Zone: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/health/11chen.html?ref=health

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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6 Responses

  1. Dr. Marcinko,
    Many thanks again for this patriotic post.


  2. I’m humbled in so many ways.


  3. Dear ME-P

    Thanks for all the military medicine posts.

    My name is 2nd LT. Helen White, a member of the US Army medical team, which was deployed to Iraq at the beginning of the war in Iraq. I will also share some personal experiences, going forward, in the pursuit of my career serving under the U.S 1st Armored which was at the fore-front of the war in Iraq.

    Until then.
    Best Regards.

    2nd Lt. Helen White


  4. A Military Doc Is Sentenced For Taking Goodies

    To answer your question: perhaps there is not much difference!

    Military Cardiologist Sentenced For Illegally Accepting Benefits From Medical Device Company.


    This is one of the first cases in the country where both the company and the doctor who accepted illegal goodies were sanctioned, according to the feds.



    [CA Podiatrist Became WW-II Pilot After Pearl Harbor]

    Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor that will be remembered Wednesday on the 70th anniversary, young men in small towns across America united and lined up at the enlistment offices to serve their country at war – and a few courageous women like Dr. Mary Burchard.

    At age 28, Burchard peered out the window of her medical practice at the young enlistees marching off to war on the street below in York, PA and she joined them.

    She flew airplanes as a hobby, but felt the call to serve her country. Mary was nicknamed “Doc” by the other fly girls. Last year, Mary received the Congressional Gold Medal along with the other 300 remaining WASPs.

    Source: Denise Carson, The Orange County Register [12/5/12]


  6. Fort Benning – GA

    I did surgical trauma training at Fort Benning GA. Today we learned that they will reduce their capacity by 29% because of budgetary cuts.

    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA


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