Monday, October 18, 2004

Draft Looms for Doctors

U.S. Has Contingency Plans for a Draft of Medical Workers
October 19, 2004


NY TIMES - In a confidential report this summer, a contractor hired by the Selective Service described how such a draft might work, how to secure compliance and how to mold public opinion and communicate with health care professionals, whose lives could be disrupted...

Under the plan, Mr. Flahavan said, about 3.4 million male and female health care workers ages 18 to 44 would be expected to register with the Selective Service. From this pool, he said, the agency could select tens of thousands of health care professionals practicing in 62 health care specialties.

"The Selective Service System plans on delivering about 36,000 health care specialists to the Defense Department if and when a special skills draft were activated," Mr. Flahavan said...

In a recent article in The Wisconsin Medical Journal, published by the state medical society, Col. Roger A. Lalich, a senior physician in the Army National Guard, said: "It appears that a general draft is not likely to occur. A physician draft is the most likely conscription into the military in the near future."

Since 2003, the Selective Service has said it is shifting its preparations for a draft in a national crisis toward narrow sectors of specialists, including medical personnel...

The Selective Service and Widmeyer held focus groups this summer to sample public opinion toward registration and a possible draft including medical personnel. People from a variety of professions, including doctors and nurses, were questioned.

But M.A.S.H. makes it look like so much fun!

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