Regimental Surgeon: Preventive Medicine in the Combat Theatre -- Manual

Program Overview

Regimental Surgeon is an interactive multimedia program that strives to promote the development of new knowledge and attitudes through an exercise of reflective thinking and practice in a multimedia "virtual world." It teaches through experience by putting the learner "on the job," in this case as Regimental Surgeon responsible for the health of 3,000+ men in a combat zone. The user can explore, discover facts, and formulate rules and principles for professional actions, much as one would in real life. The program places the learner within the context of an operational situation with global consequences, whose evolution and outcome depend on the decisions made by the learner. Numerous themes are developed simultaneously, any of which can be developed and emphasized in discussions outside the context of the program itself.

The program has the following objective: given a hypothetical combat scenario involving U.S. military forces, to provide, through simulation, experiences which will allow the learner to develop knowledge and skills needed to function as a staff medical officer. In the process, the learner is challenged to

  1. Evaluate and define the medical threat confronting personnel in his unit.
  2. Identify, plan, and implement the preventive medicine countermeasures which can reduce risk.
  3. Communicate the urgency of those countermeasures to key commanders.

There are ten other facilitating objectives dealing with basic organizational, interpersonal, and medical aspects of functioning as a staff officer.

The program is organized somewhat as an 'Adventure' computer game, where various locations can be visited. In such a game, the locations can contain objects and/or characters with which limited interactions can occur. In "Regimental Surgeon" the locations are various elements and units of the Regiment (Headquarters and the three Battalions), Division Headquarters, and medical support units (hospitals); the "treasures" are facts which can be obtained from a variety of sources in a variety of ways: epidemiologic surveys, reading documents, questioning individuals, looking at blood smears. The learner is required to assemble the facts he's acquired, draw conclusions, and, based on these, inform and make recommendations. Characters can facilitate or obstruct this process, or act as mentors, depending on the learner's actions as he transverses the program.

Installing Regimental Surgeon

(from the Regimental Surgeon README file, last updated March 9, 2001)

Minimum System Requirements

Installing from CD-ROM:

If you have a Regimental Surgeon CD, insert it into your CDROM drive, select "Run..." under your Windows Start Menu, then type "D:\setup.exe", substituting the drive letter for your CDROM drive.

Running Regimental Surgeon

Begin Regimental Surgeon by selecting the "Regimental Surgeon" shortcut from the "Regimental Surgeon" folder of your Windows Start Menu. Soon, you will be able to download and run this program through our DLS (Distance Learning System) website, but for now, the only way to run it is with a CD-ROM.


This setting is available in the "Settings" tab of the Windows Desktop Control Panel. Running in less than 24-bit color can cause serious display problems. Also, the program will run full-screen only when your Desktop size is 640x480 pixels, which you can change in the same place as the color depth.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Here's a list of some key-commands available while you are using the program:

Keystroke Command
q or ESC Terminates an audio sequence
+ Advances the clock one hour
CTRL + . Terminates the program without saving
Mouse-click in the upper-left quadrant of the screen Skips a video sequence