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Greenson, R.R. (1943). The Military Psychiatrist at Work: William C. Porter. Amer. J. of Psychiatry, XCVIII, 1941, p. 317.. Psychoanal Q., 12:298-299.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Military Psychiatrist at Work: William C. Porter. Amer. J. of Psychiatry, XCVIII, 1941, p. 317.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:298-299

The Military Psychiatrist at Work: William C. Porter. Amer. J. of Psychiatry, XCVIII, 1941, p. 317.

Ralph R. Greenson

William C. Porter holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Medical Corps, United States Army, Chief of Neuropsychiatric Section. The topic and the rank of the author make this paper particularly significant for the psychiatrist.

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On the basis of past military experience, he presents criteria for the selection of military candidates.

The emotionally and mentally unfit soldier should be excluded since he is a focal point for dissatisfaction, requires prolonged medical care, endangers fellow soldiers and equipment, and is a burden to the taxpayer. In the last war General Pershing sent the following telegram to the war department: 'Prevalence of mental disorders in replacement troops suggests urgent importance of intensive efforts of eliminating mentally unfit … prior to their departure from the United States.' Since that time this policy has been followed by the United States Armed Forces.

There is an interesting chapter on the war neuroses which points out the childhood predisposition in these illnesses and discusses the fact that conditions which promote the building up of tension without the possibility of adequate discharge are also predisposing factors, though of a more immediate nature. The experience at Dunkirk is examined with regard to what forms of war neurosis we may expect today.

The paper is important for all psychiatrists since it presents the responsibilities of the physician in the initial psychiatric examination and stresses the importance of an early detection of psychiatric problems.

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Article Citation

Greenson, R.R. (1943). The Military Psychiatrist at Work. Psychoanal. Q., 12:298-299

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