Trauma Care in War and Peace: The Army/AAST Synergism: 1992 Fitts Lecture,
ARMY INST OF SURGICAL RESEARCH FORT SAMHOUSTON TX
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WILLIAm T. FITTS, JR., MD, who is memorialized by this lecture, became a citizen soldier in 1942 when he was assigned to the newly organized 20th General Hospital. In preparation for field duty, Dr. Fitts trained with other hospital personnel at Fort Polk, Louisiana, before moving to the China- Burma-India Theater Fig. 1. The hospital, affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania and commanded by Dr. Isidore Ravdin, was established at Margherita near Lido close to the Burmese border in northeast India. The hospital first received patients on April 27, 1943 and expanded progressively until, by June 1944, it operated 2000 beds to accommodate the American and Chinese casualties from the second Burma campaign. The experience that Dr. Fitts gained while on active duty provided him with an expertise in fracture management which he maintained when he returned to the Department of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, and formed the basis of his authorship of the fractures and dislocations chapters in Surgery, Principles and Practice by Harkins, Moyer, Rhoads, and allen, a standard surgical text of the 1950s and early 1960s.
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