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Military Medical History

Military medicine has a long and celebrated history. We apply lessons from our past to improve the care of military personnel and their families today and in the future. New surgical techniques, powerful painkillers, antibiotic drugs, and triage and evacuation procedures have revolutionized military medicine.

In this section, you'll find featured stories and information about the history of military medicine.

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30 Years after Desert Storm, Military Medicine Evolving ‘Phenomenally’

Article
6/9/2021
Military health personnel surrounding an operating table

Thirty years after the Persian Gulf War, technical advances in military medicine are saving lives and improving post-trauma quality of life.

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Military Medical History

Paving the way for women in military medicine: Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

Article
3/26/2021
Old picture of Dr. Mary Edwards wearing her Medal of Honor

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker’s persistence and disregard for societal norms was central to the role that women can play in the DOD and MHS today.

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Military Medical History | Military Health Medal of Honor Recipients | Women's Health

National Army museum honors America’s Soldiers

Article
11/13/2020
Wall in the museum with pictures and interactive displays

The museum is a joint U.S. Army-Army Historical Foundation construction effort.

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Military Medical History

NMHM documents military medicine advancements during the Civil War

Article
10/5/2020
Old-time photo of soldiers with crutches, canes, and missing limbs.

Initial challenges to military medicine stemmed from limited medical knowledge and lack of organization in the medical corps.

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Combat Support | Military Medical History

Moments in Military Medicine: Blood Donations on the Battlefield

Video
2/4/2020
Moments in Military History

Since January was National Blood Donor Month, learn more about the history of blood donations on the battlefield and the incredible work of the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP).

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Combat Support | Armed Services Blood Program | Military Medical History

Physician-astronaut Col. Drew Morgan holds live Q&A from space

Article
10/25/2019
Army Col. Drew Morgan held up a floating USU pennant and grinned live from the International Space Station. He said there were tears in his eyes because "I am so proud. I am so proud to be a part of your team," talking to medical students at his alma mater, at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. (DHA photo)

Event connects International Space Station with USU, global audience

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Military Medical History

Space Medicine: Military docs help to explore the final frontier

Article
10/23/2019
Army Col. Drew Morgan, a graduate of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, was selected by NASA as an astronaut candidate in 2013. Drew Morgan is also an alumnus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Astronauts need health experts on the ground; it helps when they’re military

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Military Medical History

Live, from the International Space Station, it's Col. Drew Morgan

Article
10/16/2019
Drew Morgan of NASA waves as he boards his Soyuz spacecraft for pre-launch preparations. Morgan, a graduate of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, will participate in a live Q&A from the International Space Station. NASA photo; Editor: Mark Garcia

USU alumnus-astronaut will answer questions via live feed

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Military Medical History

Moments in Military Medicine: The Genesis of MHS GENESIS

Video
10/3/2019
Moments in Military Medicine: The Genesis of MHS GENESIS

Electronic records are so common, it's hard to remember a time they weren't around. Learn about the #genesisofGENESIS and how electronic health records evolved in the Military Health System over the decades.

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MHS GENESIS | Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Program Office | Military Medical History | MHS GENESIS Toolkit

Military doctors and the president

Video
9/4/2018
Military doctors and the president

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln's first responder was a military doctor? Military medicine has come a long way since Lincoln's assassination. Watch this video to learn more.

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Military Medical History

Paul Revere

Video
7/3/2018
Paul Revere

Before his midnight ride, Paul Revere was an amateur dentist. See how his work during the Revolutionary War inspired the use of dental identification on the battlefield and beyond.

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Military Medical History

Vietnam Vascular Registry helps veteran reunite with doctors

Article
3/13/2018
The Vietnam Vascular Registry, developed by Dr. Norman Rich at Walter Reed General Hospital, documented and analyzed blood vessel injuries in Vietnam. Each patient entered into the registry was assigned a consecutive number and given a vascular registry card, such as this one. (Courtesy photo by Dr. Norm Rich)

The Vietnam Vascular Registry, developed by Dr. Norman Rich at Walter Reed General Hospital, documented and analyzed blood vessel injuries in Vietnam

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Military Medical History | Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Dr. Charles Drew: The Man Who Saved a Million Soldiers' Lives

Video
2/9/2017
Drew, an African American researcher, revolutionized the way the medical community stored blood products during World War II

During African American History Month we celebrate Charles Drew, who revolutionized the blood collection and distribution process and developed large-scale blood banks, allowing medics to save untold numbers of lives during World War II. Drew’s methods are still used to save lives in the armed forces today.

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Military Medical History

Defense Health Agency Overview

Presentation
2/9/2017

Defense Health Agency Overview

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Military Medical History | Research and Innovation

Overview of Air Force Medical Service

Presentation
2/9/2017

Overview of Air Force Medical Service

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Research and Innovation | Military Medical History
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