Medical Manpower

February 14, 1951

Report Outline
Mobilization and National Health Needs
Peacetime Resources of Health Personnel
Balancing Military and Civilian Needs
Expanding the Supply of Medical Manpower
Special Focus

Mobilization and National Health Needs

Strength of the United States armed services is scheduled to rise to 3,500,000 by mid-1951. A military force of that size will require 13,000 doctors, 6,500 dentists, 16,000 nurses. These are the estimates of the Department of Defense which has authority to call on Selective Service for doctors, dentists and allied specialists if its requirements are not filled through volunteering.

The number of medical men needed for the armed force in immediate projection represents something over eight per cent of all doctors and dentists now in active practice in the United States. The very much larger number that will be needed if the country goes into full mobilization raises the problem of how military requirements can best be met without creating health hazards for the civilian population.

Expanding military calls come at a time when resources of health personnel are already inadequate in some sections and may be inadequate for the country as a whole. At the turn of the century there was one physician for each 690 inhabitants; in 1949, one for each 740 inhabitants. The U. S. Public Health Service estimated two years ago that at the current rate of graduation from medical schools, the country would be short 15,000 doctors by 1960. This estimate was based only on peacetime needs of a growing population. Expansion of the armed forces and civil defense needs make it probable that the nation faces a much greater shortage of doctors in a much shorter period.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Aug. 28, 2015  Doctor Shortage
May 05, 2000  Rating Doctors
Jan. 27, 1989  Too Many Doctors?
Nov. 25, 1977  Medical Education
Mar. 13, 1968  Medical Education
Nov. 09, 1960  Doctor Supply and Medical Education
Feb. 14, 1951  Medical Manpower
Mar. 23, 1943  Shortage of Doctors
Medical Profession and Personnel