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Annual Report of the Surgeon General United States Army Fiscal Year 1958


The Surgeon General initiated an economy program to stop the rising Costs of patient care in the Army Medical Service without lowering professional standards (p. 4).

Efforts were intensified to establish closer personal physician-patient relationships, with special emphasis on the need for lengthening the duration of these relationships (p. 5).

Professional consultants devoted special attention to the assignment of key personnel, stabilization of tours of duty, and other actions designed to improve the standards of patient care (p. 6).

Hospital admission rates for psychiatric reasons reached the lowest level yet achieved by the Army (p. 9).

Despite the high rates of admission for Asian influenza and other acute upper respiratory infections, the hospitalization ratio for active-duty personnel increased only slightly (p. 13). Moreover, there were remarkably few deaths (p. 29).

The downward trend in the number of dependents of military personnel occupying beds in Army medical treatment facilities in the continental United States was halted at least temporarily during the last half of the fiscal year. Most of the decline has been due to the decrease in obstetrical-gynecological patients (p. 16).

The House Appropriations Committee cut the budget for the Dependents' Medical Care Program and recommended more extensive use of existing military medical facilities (p. 17).

The policy of more rigid interpretation of standards in processing Selective Service registrants for military service, initiated in fiscal year 1957, was continued. Increased emphasis was placed on the indoctrination and training of medical examiners (p. 26).

Occupational medicine activities in the Army were expanded to provide for a safer and more healthful working environment (p. 32).

The radiation health protection program of the Army Medical Service has kept pace with the growing utilization of sources of ionizing radiation and is one of the most dramatically effective in the Army (p. 33).

After years of study and planning, the Army Medical Service completely revised its field medical support organization and operations


patterns to provide a more mobile and flexible support to military operations in either a nuclear or conventional type of war. This represented the first major modification in the chain of evacuation since its conception during the Civil War (p. 42).

A number of changes were made in the Office of the Surgeon General to simplify the organizational structure and provide more centralized control, attain greater flexibility, and increase operational effectiveness (p. 43).

Considerable progress was made in the Army's long-range hospital construction program to replace outmoded permanent structures and temporary mobilization facilities. Three more hospitals were completed, another was nearing completion, and several others were under construction or in the planning stage (p. 45).

The Army Nurse and Medical Specialist Act of 1957 contains a number of important provisions which make a military career more attractive for Regular ANC (Army Nurse Corps) and AMSC (Army Medical Service Corps) officers (p. 53).

Requirements for medical and dental officers were met entirely from participants in voluntary procurement programs, and for the first time since 1951 no special draft call was necessary (p. 55).

The status of Regular Army Medical Corps procurement and retention is better than it has been in years (p. 55).

The Regular Army strength of the Dental Corps reached a new all-time high of 505 (p. 56).

Legislation recommending the abolition of the Veterinary Corps was withdrawn, and the procurement of 74 veterinarians was authorized (p. 57).

Revisions in Army Regulations provide opportunities for appointment in the Regular Army of Reserve Medical Service Corps officers on active duty. The former restrictions of a specified period of active duty and special dates for the submission of applications have been removed, and the age limit has been modified (p. 58).

A program was implemented to release from active duty enlisted personnel who lack job performance potential (p. 62). The Army Medical Service leads the other technical services in the rate of reenlistment (p. 63).

The Residency Training Program was again expanded and has begun to pay good dividends by producing urgently needed specialists and by increasing the Regular Army strength of the Medical Corps. Of the 1,555 Medical Corps Regulars at the end of the fiscal year, 509 were board certified and 457 were board eligible (p. 66).


The training in emergency survival self-care and buddy care which is given to all recruits has been improved and expanded (p. 71).

The number of medical schools participating in the program of Medical Education for National Defense was increased to 45 (p. 72).

Representatives of the Army Medical Service have been engaged in developing policies for planning, budgeting, and storing at all stations and bases such items of medical material as are considered essential for treatment of military casualties resulting from a nuclear attack (p. 74).

A program to rehabilitate major medical assemblies in the hands of field units was inaugurated. In addition to replacing deteriorated, obsolescent, and obsolete items and equipping assemblies with the latest approved components, a new packaging concept is being employed which reduces substantially the weight and size of packaged assemblies (p. 75).

Efforts are being made to simplify and reduce the number of medical supply items in Army use (p. 77).

A composite inpatient and outpatient work unit, known as the medical care work unit, was developed and adopted of the purpose of evaluating personnel utilization and operating costs in CONUS (con?tinental United States) Army hospitals (p. 78).

The Hospital Command Management System was modified and extended to the Brooke and Walter Reed Army Medical Centers and to four more Army hospitals (p. 79).

Productive results were obtained through the research and development program in preventing disease and injury and in improving medical therapy and the medical screening methods of selecting personnel (p. 81).

The most notable advance in dental research was the development of a new method of local anesthetizing (jet injection) that represents the first basic change in injection technique in the history of dentistry (p. 81).

A technique for administering mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration was developed by researchers working under Army Medical Service contract (p. 83).

The number of medical and dental officers in Reserve components increased for the first time since World War II, except for the period of the Korean War (p. 88).

Two more volumes dealing with the professional activities of the U. S. Army Medical Department in World War II were published (p. 92).

The U. S. issue of the NATO Emergency War Surgery Handbook was prepared for publication by the Department of Defense for dis-


tribution to every medical, dental, and veterinary officer on active duty with the Army, Navy, and Air Force (p. 93).