1
493 THE MEDICAL OFFICERS OF THE DEFENCE SERVICES IN the immediately following pages the existing terms under which medical officers join the Defence Services are set out, but it is obvious from the report of the Warren Fisher Committee (THE LANCET, August 5th, 1933) that fundamental changes are in immediate contemplation. The report refers to the Naval, Army, and Air Force medical services. Since the war the medical departments of the Defence Services, although not perhaps all with equal serious- ness, have been in the great difficulty that recruiting for them has been insufficient ; they have been compelled to carry on largely with the assistance of retired officers or doctors employed upon short term contracts. This, however, did not mitigate the position for the regular officers of the Services, inasmuch as it did not prevent their retention abroad for an unfair proportion of their time ; and this in turn deprived them of the opportunities for post- graduate study needed in order to consolidate and add to their knowledge. The Committee was set up some two years ago, but owing to the financial crisis of last year the sittings were suspended for a period. They issued their report at the end of July last, as the result of evidence furnished by the Government departments concerned, and after the reception of representations from many of the medical schools and from the British Medical Association. The Committee conclude that, while the economic position of the medical officers might to some extent deter recruiting, the more important factor here was the belief that in the Services there would be found insufficient openings for the young graduate in medicine, inspired with professional keenness. This belief’the Committee has taken great pains to remove. The question was investigated personally by two members of their body, specially fitted to decide on such a matter, and the findings of these authorities are accepted in the report as largely contradicting an unlucky impression. It is allowed that the young graduate in medicine, with ambitions to reach the top of the tree, might not select for his career one of the Services, but the view of the report is that, with the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force alike, a good field can be found for specialist work. On the economic side, the inducements put forward by the report to the young graduate comprise certain adjustments in pay and increase in emoluments, amounting to an average of nearly E150 a year throughout the period between the ages of 35 to 50, this estimate being based on a revised pattern for the R.A.M.C. officer. An increase in the higher establishments is contemplated by the Committee, a due proportion of senior to junior posts being maintained through the employment of a certain number of officers chosen in the first instance for short service. Of these some will be retained under increased opportunities for promotion, while a gratuity of 91000 is suggested for such temporary officers in all three Services who retire after five years’ employment. The Naval and Military Committee of the British Medical Association will shortly commence a detailed examination of the report of the Warren Fisher Committee in the light of such endorsement as it has received from the Representative Body of the Asso- ciation, and communications from medical men on the subject are invited and should be sent to the Medical Secretary of the Association. THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION ON Wednesday, Sept. 6th, the 102nd meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science will open at Leicester, when Sir Gowland Hopkins will deliver the presidential address, dealing with the Chemical Aspects of Life. Medical members of the meeting will find a good choice of subjects having more or less professional interest. The chemists are devoting part of their time to hormones, the zoologists will hear a presi- dential address on the mechanical view of life, the geographers are concerned with the water-supply of Leicestershire and the growth of population in the Midlands, and the engineers are giving their attention to the treatment and disposal of sewage. The proceedings of the section of physiology will open with a presidential address by Prof. E. D. Adrian on the activity of nerve-cells, and afterwards there will be discussions on disorientation and vertigo, on ossification, and on the chemical control of the circulation. The psychological section, which meets under the presidency of Prof. F. Aveling, will join the physiologists in the consideration of disorientation and vertigo, and will also consider the inheritance of acquired characteristics. The section of botany will meet the sections of zoology and physiology in a discussion on genetics, the section of agriculture gives an important place on its programme to the handling and food value of milk, and the section of education will debate among other things the cultural value of science. The Association met last at Leicester in 1907 when Sir David Gill, the astronomer, presided. The city possesses a literary and philosophical society established nearly a hundred years ago. It offers material in abundance for the study of the applications of science to industry. It possesses a university college and, although there is no medical faculty, Leicester offers for the visiting doctor the oldest and most successful example of a public medical service-and incidentally of a hospital for paying patients not run for profit. THE DOCTOR’S DAY THE following is a classified list of the articles in this series, with the issues of THE LANCET in which they appeared :- GENERAL PRACTICE Medical Officer to a Public In a City (Nov. 12th, 1932). School (March llth, 1933). On the Urban Fringe (March ’I SPECIALISTS 25th, 1933). Biochemist and Teacher Country Doctor (Dec. 17th, (Dec. 10th, 1932). 1932). In the Depths of the Country Hospital I to (. A’ a Provincial .1 22nd, (March 4th, 1933). 1933). CONSULTANTS Anesthetist (Jan. 7th, Established Consultant (Dec. 1933). 24th, 1932). SERVICES AND ABROAD Hosp ital Surgeon (Feb. 18th, 1933). With the Guards’ Brigade Obstetrician (April 15th, (March 18th, 1933). 1933). In the Royal Air Force (April Treating the Sick Mind (April 8th, 1933). 1st, 1933). Ship Surgeon (Feb. llth, PUBLIC HEALTH 1933). An Indian Day (Dec. 3rd, Metropolitan Health Officer 1932). (Feb. 25th, 1933). Near the West African Coast County Health Officer (Jan. 28th, 1933). (Nov. 19th, 1932). Tuberculosis Officer (Jan. MEDICINE AND THE LAW 21st, 1933). Coroner (Jan. 14th, 1933). Industrial Doctor (Feb. 4th, Medico - legal Consultant 1933). (Nov. 26th, 1932). Port Medical Officer (April Policeman’s Doctor (Dec. 29th, 1933). 31st, 1932).

THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION

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493

THE MEDICAL OFFICERS OF THE

DEFENCE SERVICES

IN the immediately following pages the existingterms under which medical officers join the DefenceServices are set out, but it is obvious from the reportof the Warren Fisher Committee (THE LANCET,August 5th, 1933) that fundamental changes are inimmediate contemplation. The report refers to theNaval, Army, and Air Force medical services. Sincethe war the medical departments of the DefenceServices, although not perhaps all with equal serious-ness, have been in the great difficulty that recruitingfor them has been insufficient ; they have been

compelled to carry on largely with the assistance ofretired officers or doctors employed upon short termcontracts. This, however, did not mitigate the

position for the regular officers of the Services,inasmuch as it did not prevent their retention abroadfor an unfair proportion of their time ; and this inturn deprived them of the opportunities for post-graduate study needed in order to consolidate andadd to their knowledge. The Committee was set upsome two years ago, but owing to the financial crisisof last year the sittings were suspended for a period.They issued their report at the end of July last, asthe result of evidence furnished by the Governmentdepartments concerned, and after the reception ofrepresentations from many of the medical schoolsand from the British Medical Association. TheCommittee conclude that, while the economicposition of the medical officers might to some extentdeter recruiting, the more important factor here wasthe belief that in the Services there would be foundinsufficient openings for the young graduate inmedicine, inspired with professional keenness. Thisbelief’the Committee has taken great pains to remove.The question was investigated personally by twomembers of their body, specially fitted to decide onsuch a matter, and the findings of these authoritiesare accepted in the report as largely contradictingan unlucky impression. It is allowed that the younggraduate in medicine, with ambitions to reach thetop of the tree, might not select for his career one ofthe Services, but the view of the report is that, withthe Navy, the Army, and the Air Force alike, a goodfield can be found for specialist work. On theeconomic side, the inducements put forward by thereport to the young graduate comprise certain

adjustments in pay and increase in emoluments,amounting to an average of nearly E150 a yearthroughout the period between the ages of 35 to 50,this estimate being based on a revised pattern forthe R.A.M.C. officer. An increase in the higherestablishments is contemplated by the Committee,a due proportion of senior to junior posts beingmaintained through the employment of a certainnumber of officers chosen in the first instance forshort service. Of these some will be retained underincreased opportunities for promotion, while a

gratuity of 91000 is suggested for such temporaryofficers in all three Services who retire after fiveyears’ employment.The Naval and Military Committee of the British

Medical Association will shortly commence a detailedexamination of the report of the Warren FisherCommittee in the light of such endorsement as it hasreceived from the Representative Body of the Asso-ciation, and communications from medical men onthe subject are invited and should be sent to theMedical Secretary of the Association.

THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION

ON Wednesday, Sept. 6th, the 102nd meetingof the British Association for the Advancement ofScience will open at Leicester, when Sir GowlandHopkins will deliver the presidential address,dealing with the Chemical Aspects of Life. Medicalmembers of the meeting will find a good choiceof subjects having more or less professional interest.The chemists are devoting part of their timeto hormones, the zoologists will hear a presi-dential address on the mechanical view of life, thegeographers are concerned with the water-supplyof Leicestershire and the growth of populationin the Midlands, and the engineers are giving theirattention to the treatment and disposal of sewage.The proceedings of the section of physiology willopen with a presidential address by Prof. E. D. Adrianon the activity of nerve-cells, and afterwards therewill be discussions on disorientation and vertigo, onossification, and on the chemical control of thecirculation. The psychological section, which meetsunder the presidency of Prof. F. Aveling, will jointhe physiologists in the consideration of disorientationand vertigo, and will also consider the inheritance ofacquired characteristics. The section of botanywill meet the sections of zoology and physiology ina discussion on genetics, the section of agriculturegives an important place on its programme to thehandling and food value of milk, and the sectionof education will debate among other things thecultural value of science. The Association metlast at Leicester in 1907 when Sir David Gill, theastronomer, presided. The city possesses a literaryand philosophical society established nearly a hundredyears ago. It offers material in abundance for thestudy of the applications of science to industry.It possesses a university college and, although thereis no medical faculty, Leicester offers for the visitingdoctor the oldest and most successful example of apublic medical service-and incidentally of a hospitalfor paying patients not run for profit.

THE DOCTOR’S DAYTHE following is a classified list of the articles in

this series, with the issues of THE LANCET in whichthey appeared :-

GENERAL PRACTICE Medical Officer to a PublicIn a City (Nov. 12th, 1932). School (March llth, 1933).On the Urban Fringe (March ’I SPECIALISTS

25th, 1933). Biochemist and Teacher

Country Doctor (Dec. 17th, (Dec. 10th, 1932).1932).In the Depths of the Country Hospital I to (. A’ a Provincial .1 22nd,

(March 4th, 1933). 1933).CONSULTANTS Anesthetist (Jan. 7th,

Established Consultant (Dec. 1933).24th, 1932).

SERVICES AND ABROADHosp ital Surgeon (Feb. 18th,1933). With the Guards’ BrigadeObstetrician (April 15th, (March 18th, 1933).

1933). In the Royal Air Force (AprilTreating the Sick Mind (April 8th, 1933).

1st, 1933). Ship Surgeon (Feb. llth,PUBLIC HEALTH 1933).

An Indian Day (Dec. 3rd,Metropolitan Health Officer 1932).(Feb. 25th, 1933). Near the West African CoastCounty Health Officer (Jan. 28th, 1933).(Nov. 19th, 1932).Tuberculosis Officer (Jan. MEDICINE AND THE LAW

21st, 1933). Coroner (Jan. 14th, 1933).Industrial Doctor (Feb. 4th, Medico - legal Consultant

1933). (Nov. 26th, 1932).Port Medical Officer (April Policeman’s Doctor (Dec.

29th, 1933). 31st, 1932).