THE CALL FOR DOCTORS
The creation of an army calls for the services of more men than the soldiers themselves. Among the most important of those whose duty it is to keep a fighter at the front are the physicians and surgeons. Unlike recruits for the infantry, the engineers, or the more essentially military branches doctors must be very thoroughly trained before entering the service. Medical schools have been obliged to hurry the courses for their students in order to furnish as soon as possible a large number of graduates for service in the Army or Navy. By eliminating the usual summer vacation, Tufts has already been able to complete the instruction of the class which would normally receive its diplomas in June. In the University, also, the same intensified schedule will soon result in an early graduation. The call for doctors to maintain the health of men in this country and heal the wounds of those at the front necessitates rapid but always thorough training.
As American forces occupy more trenches, and as their losses constantly increase, the demand for surgeons will grow. At present a large force is needed to prevent sickness, but an even larger one will be necessary in a few months to repair the injuries caused by the Boches. These men must come from special institutions with special training, for doctors do not rise from the ranks. Just as some students are given particular instruction that they may become line officers, so others must learn the medical profession. The duty of anyone who has intended to study medicine is to follow out his schedule. Though he may erroneously believe that the country demands he train in a divisional R. O. T. C., yet his place in our war organization is the medical corps. A personal opinion that the strife will end before one's services are required reflects a short-sighted attitude. If we learn anything from the experience of England, we must prepare now for a long, difficult task.
In times of peace, many University graduates enter the Medical School. The present conditions summon all who would normally follow that course and all others who have any inclination to do so. In spite of the seeming avoidance of active participation, it is absolutely essential that some students enter the training corps of physicians. When undergraduates, especially Freshmen, plan their future schedule, let them not forget the needs of the medical corps.