care of patients, the investigation of disease, and the improvement of medical practice and education be advanced."6

Organizing a Plan of Action

This first meeting led to another when, on May 7, 1946, a temporary Committee on Veterans' Medical Problems met at the National Academy of Sciences to formulate a plan of action. Once again, Dr. Churchill chaired the meeting. Eight others joined him on the committee, six of whom worked in leading medical centers. Churchill explained the group's mission as preparing a report to the National Research Council that would serve as "a basis for action."7

To research and write the report, the committee relied on DeBakey and Gilbert W. Beebe, who had been detailed to the NRC from the Army's Office of the Surgeon General. DeBakey, who had directed the Surgeon General's Surgical Consultants Division, held the civilian job of assistant professor of surgery at

Dr. Gilbert Beebe—1996. Photo by Bill Branson, courtesy of Dr. Gilbert Beebe.

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