war in iraq


Smaller role for MD-Reservists in an Iraq war

Modern Physician reports Pentagon plotting smaller role for MD-Reservists in an Iraq war

January 31, 2003

CHICAGO, Jan. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Modern Physician is reporting that Pentagon officials say fewer reserve physicians would be assigned to the front lines than in the Gulf War 12 years ago, when there were about twice as many physicians in the Army and Navy reserves as there are now.

Pentagon planners have had to cope with a large reduction in numbers of physician reservists after the Gulf War, the magazine reported Friday on its web site, ModernPhysician.com, and its new email newsletter, MP Stat.

The Army Reserve, which has the most physicians, reports a reduction from about 3,000 physicians in 1991 to 1,550 now. The Navy Reserve reports a reduction from 2,191 in 1990 to 1,000 physicians now. The Air Force Reserve reports 761 physicians now but could not say how many they had 12 years ago.

Modern Physician is reporting that many of those doctors resigned after the war because in the 1991 war they had to spend months in desert tent hospitals without much to do, while their practices back home disintegrated. In a war with Iraq, however, "the medical footprint would be different," Pentagon officials told Modern Physician. Few doctors would serve at the front and the wounded would be transported out of the war zone whenever possible.

Would there be enough doctors -- primarily surgeons -- to tend the wounded if the United States got bogged down in a deadly and protracted war with Iraq? "That's in the realm of speculation and we don't speculate," a Pentagon official replied.

For the complete story or to learn more about MP Stat visit www.modernphysician.com.


war in iraq