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Surgeon General, U.S.

  • In: Encyclopedia of Epidemiology
  • Edited by: Sarah Boslaugh
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Health Research Methods , Epidemiology & Biostatistics

The term Surgeon General is used in the United States to denote the supervising medical officer of the Public Health Commissioned Corps within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The term is also applicable when referring to the senior medical officer within the U.S. Army and Air Force. Foreign governments also have equivalent positions but do not make use of this particular title.

The position of U.S. Surgeon General was created as a result of the reorganization and recognition of the Marine Hospital Service, a group of hospitals originally constructed to provide health services at key sea and river ports to merchant marines. Expansion of the military and growth in the science of public health led to the need for a national hospital system ...

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