U.S. Army Maj. Andy Martinez, a medical doctor, assigned to the 531st Hospital Center, discusses medical information about the COVID-19 vaccine with a local citizen at the state-run, federally-supported First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens Community Vaccination Center in Somerset, New Jersey, Feb. 27, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing continued, flexible Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the whole-of-government response to COVID-19.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert O’Steen, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
U.S. Army Maj. Andy Martinez, a medical doctor, assigned to the 531st Hospital Center, discusses medical information about the COVID-19 vaccine with a local citizen at the state-run, federally-supported First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens Community Vaccination Center in Somerset, New Jersey, Feb. 27, 2021. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing continued, flexible Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of the whole-of-government response to COVID-19.  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert O’Steen, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Robert OSteen) VIEW ORIGINAL

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical first responders and health care workers have been on the front lines. The Army Public Health Center joins America in saluting Army Medical Corps officers and physicians on National Doctor's Day, March 30.

These men and women have a degree as a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine and practice Army medicine in more than 40 specialty and subspecialty areas.

Army surgeons and Army medical care activities can be traced back to the Revolutionary War through personal journals and few historical records. It was not until 1818 that the Army established a permanent Army Medical Department under its first Surgeon General, Dr. Joseph Lovell.

Medical documentary activities increased, culminating in the 1856 publication of The Statistical Report on the Sickness and Mortality in the Army of the United States, which incorporated data gathered from MC officers from 1839-1855.

During the American Civil War, the Medical Department made an effort to collect information on the medical expertise and innovation captured from the battlefield in addition to accounts of historical significance. These eventually culminated in a collection at the Army Medical Museum and six historical volumes separated into medical and surgical sections.

Through each era of U.S. wartime and peacetime operations, MC Officers have led the way to reduce the morbidity and mortality of Army personnel.

Today, MC Officers provide care to Soldiers and their families, retirees, Department of Army civilians, and deliver medical support globally during humanitarian, peacekeeping, and wartime operations. They are researchers, innovators, healers, public health guardians, trauma care pioneers, and military leaders. They serve all over the world and are influential in all mission spaces. MC Officers routinely have to relocate as assigned by the Army, sometimes away from their family.

"To all our MC Officers, we owe a debt of gratitude – the Army cannot sustain its force and operative capabilities without them," said Dr. Raul Mirza, former Army major, doctor of osteopathic medicine, and current Director of the Clinical Public Health and Epidemiology Directorate at the U.S. Army Public Health Center.

For more details on the history of military medicine go to AMEDD history or Army Medicine.

The Army Public Health Center focuses on promoting healthy people, communities, animals and workplaces through the prevention of disease, injury and disability of Soldiers, military retirees, their families, veterans, Army civilian employees, and animals through population-based monitoring, investigations, and technical consultations.