Medical direction in the United States Army: Comparison of U.S. Army Doctrine regarding medical direction of emergency medical services with national policy and position statements

Stephen Harper, The University of Texas School of Public Health

Abstract

The US Army runs two very robust prehospital emergency medical services (EMS) systems, deployable operational medicine assigned to maneuver units and in garrison civilian style EMS usually via contract services. While physicians are involved in both of those services providing medical direction, the actual “medical direction” very rarely appears in United States Army Doctrine. Army Doctrine governs how the Army supervises these two very different services. Several national organizations have policy and position statements on physician medical direction of EMS. The objective of this study was to determine if US Army Doctrine is in line with those national policy and position statements. First the national statements were reviewed for crucial aspects where they were consistent with regards to the importance of certain aspects of physician medical direction. Seven crucial aspects were elucidated. Next these seven crucial aspects were compared to US Army Doctrine applied to both in garrison and operational medicine. For the majority of the crucial aspects, US Army Doctrine was either inconsistent or only partially consistent with national policy and position statements. As the US Army reviews and rewrites their doctrinal documents, it would be worthwhile to review national policy and position statements to ensure that US Army Doctrine is in-line with the civilian EMS agencies as appropriate. This will be especially true for the in garrison environment which is very much analogous to civilian EMS care.^

Subject Area

Medicine|Public health|Military studies

Recommended Citation

Harper, Stephen, "Medical direction in the United States Army: Comparison of U.S. Army Doctrine regarding medical direction of emergency medical services with national policy and position statements" (2016). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI10126232.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI10126232

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