SANITARY ENGINEERS NEEDED
GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR THEM IN RECONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC HEALTH WORK AFTER WAR.
The war is over, and reconstruction in the recovered French territory has already begun. In the way of sanitation, water supplies and sewage disposal plants are already being put in order, cities are being cleaned, and the general processes of rehabilitation are said to be under way. Naturally this burden is falling upon the Engineer Corps of the army which in peace times has been in the habit of engaging in non-military enterprises, but the officers of the Sanitary Corps have been working with the engineers. It is not likely that the personnel of the Sanitary Corps will be increased; on the contrary, it will be decreased. Consequently, the special courses in sanitary engineering which were being organized in the School of Public Health of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will not be given and the courses in War Bacteriology now being given will not be repeated. Students who have been hoping to enter the Sanitary Corps and who doubtless are disappointed at not having this opportunity should not forget that the great profession of public health administration, with its many branches, is open to them and that there is no more honorable or useful work in the world than that of promoting human health and welfare.
This profession is rapidly rising to a recognized position. As a nation we have been taught the lesson of preparedness. We must now put into practice the arts which prepare us against dissanitation. The profession has recently made notable gains. In 1917 the Sanitary Corps of the United States army was established as a branch of the Medical Department co-ordinate with the Medical Corps; and recently, by Congressional action, a sanitary reserve of the United States Public Health Service has been created. This act, known as Senate Joint Resolution 63, was approved by the President October 27, 1918. Under the new law sanitarians, sanitary engineers, chemists, bacteriologists, public health officials, may be commissioned and given equal rank and grade with medical men in the service. This will make it possible to solidify the sanitary officers of the country into an organization which can be immediately mobilized in case of any national emergency. There will be opportunity in this service for young men qualified in sanitary engineering.
The state and municipal demand for health officials, bacteriologists, and sanitary engineers is a constantly growing one, and the School of Public Health, in giving up its war work, will devote its energies to this field. Men will be needed for engineering work in Europe and Asia for many of the old industries must be rehabilitated, new ones established and natural resources developed. This will be especially the case in southern Europe, Russia, Siberia, and China. Be- cause of the conditions of living in these countries all who engage in such work should have a fundamental knowledge of the principles of hygiene and sanitation. In America our industries are sure to develop; not, it is to be hoped, on the basis of efficiency alone but on the basis of efficiency, that is efficiency combined with human welfare. Beneficiency should be a fundamental concept in the new world democracy towards which we look with hope and fear.
Desirable preparatory studies for men who wish to take up sanitary engineering or work related to public health are Mathematics and Mechanical Drawing, Chemistry, Physics, Zoology, Botany or Bacteriology, Government, Logic and Statistics. Well chosen college studies should form the foundation of one's preparation for this as for the other professions. The Harvard Medical School, the School of Public Health above mentioned, the reorganized Harvard School of Engineering and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer exceptional advantages for specialized training. Students in the University ought to know of these opportunities for study and of the broad opportunities which exist in the world for men well trained in the science of public health and the art of the sanitary engineer. As Secretary of the School of Public Health the writer will be glad to confer with any student interested in taking up this profession for his life's work.
The war is over! Now for a just peace! And after that let each one of us, with a new vision of liberty and with a new determination to lift our nation above a condition of mediocrity, settle down to his chosen work in order that he may contribute his best efforts to the new era. Unless we all do this there will be no new era. The new democracy should be an individualistic democracy. Individuals must therefore develop themselves. Supervised study does not produce students and to much government does not produce free citizens. Those who look back with regret that they were not permitted to take an active part in the great war, should not forget a lesson which this war has taught,--that it was the men who had best prepared themselves for service in times of peace who were found to be the most useful to their country in times of war