Medicine: Purser Doctors

U.S. merchant seamen, whose casualty rate has been five times that of the armed forces, have had to depend for medical care on the captain (or first mate) and his medicine kit. Last week the Maritime Service announced that the purser* will henceforth be the "ship's doctor."

The U.S. Maritime Service Training Station at Sheepshead Bay, L.I. is giving pursers 16 weeks' training in the hospital corps school, and sending them back to sea with "black bags" as big as washtubs, full of drugs and instruments the skipper never heard of. Some 400 pursers have already been trained. Soon all vessels of...

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