Capsule

“A surgical machine”

With World War I raging, a Yale professor looked to France and Henry Ford to systematize treatment on the battlefield.

World War I brought mechanized warfare to the battlefield, and with it carnage on a scale never seen before. To deal with the mass casualties in the trenches of Europe, a Yale professor turned to those keystones of American industrial might, the assembly line and mobility, to deliver lifesaving medical care to American troops at the front lines in a new way.The mobile medical units born during the Great War were the innovation of Joseph Marshall Flint, M.D., Yale’s first full-time professor of surgery. Flint volunteered as a surgeon on the Western Front in France in 1915, two years before the United States joined the war, both to provide care and to learn. Based on what he witnessed there, Flint proposed a...

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