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Zischek, Christoph; Grunwald, Erhard; Engelhardt, Michael (2018): Organization of the German Army Medical Service 1914-1918 and the role of academic surgeons. In: Canadian Journal of Surgery, Vol. 61, No. 4: pp. 223-225
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The First World War, mankind's first high-technology conflict, resulted in unprecedented mass mortality. Medical services were confronted with overwhelming challenges in treating casualties from mobile warfare, trench warfare, battles on different fronts and infectious diseases. In this article, we give an overview of the organization of the German army medical service using contemporary reports in order to describe surgical and medical developments that originated from the experience. Consulting physicians (beratende arzte), many of whom were internationally known specialists, had a great impact;some of their innovations remain in use today, including the scientific evaluation of contemporary conflicts, the implementation of different echelons of care with a fast movement of patients, and the treatment of penetrating wounds. This article includes an appendix, available at canjsurg.ca/005118-al, with more information.