While many are aware that a rapid advance in medical specialism occurred as a result of the introduction in 1965 of Medicare, with its liberal funding for graduate medical education, not many realize that a perhaps more significant rise in the number of specialists began right after World War II. Specialists were in great demand as the army planned for the treatment of several hundred thousand battle casualties who were returned to the United States at the end of the war, and many recently discharged medical officers took advantage of the G.I. Bill to train in specialty and subspecialty medicine. The author describes his experiences as director of the Resources Analysis Division, which was charged with developing and implementing a plan for treating the battle casualties of World War II. In his role, the author was to ensure a military hospital system was in place to provide high-quality specialty care to returning soldiers. He discusses how he and others accomplished this goal and what happened in this specialty hospital system after the wounded returned and peace was declared.
(C) 1999 Association of American Medical Colleges