The vital civilian-military link in combat casualty care research: Impact of attendance at scientific conferences

Leopoldo C. Cancio*, Todd E. Rasmussen, Jeremy W. Cannon, Michael A. Dubick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Attendance by military medical personnel (MMP) at scientific meetings (SMs) of civilian associations has been centrally managed since 2012. We aimed to document the importance of civilian-military interaction to and the impact of this change on combat casualty care (CCC) research. METHODS: (1) We identified 25 clinically significant CCC articles published by MMP between 2005 and 2014; we determined whether these articles were preceded by presentation by MMP at an SM. (2) We examined the changing civilian-military mix of publications on "damage control resuscitation" (DCR). (3) We analyzed the number of presentations by MMP each year at the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. (4) We reviewed whether past presidents of the AAST (for 1992-2014) had military experience. RESULTS: (1) Ninety-two percent of the CCC articles were previously presented at an SM; 66% were presented at civilian association venues such as AAST. (2) DCR was first described in 2006; the civilian-military mix of publications rose steadily from 0 in 2006 to 80% in 2014. (3) The number of MMP oral presentations at AAST peaked during 2005 to 2007 and has declined to one to two per year since 2012. (4) Thirty-three percent of recent AAST presidents had military experience, versus 100% for the previous era. CONCLUSION: Recent conflicts led to intense civilian-military collaboration in CCC research and to the spread of ideas such as DCR from military to civilian care. However, long-term trends (e.g., declining rates of military service nationally) place such collaboration at risk. Vigorous efforts to foster the vital civilian-military link in CCC are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S221-S226
JournalJournal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • 2003-2011
  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq war
  • Medical
  • Military personnel
  • Societies
  • Wounds and injuries


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