It’s the height of the Vietnam war when a new generation of doctors, including a young Dr. Anthony Fauci, arrive at the National Institutes of Health as part of the doctor’s draft.
What happens next is a hidden history of American medicine that could not be more revelatory or prescient.
Alan Alda reveals how one of the darkest and divisive moments in the nation’s history also paved the way the for some of the greatest medical breakthroughs our country has ever seen. This one public health program would not only launch the careers of our top physician scientists, but build the country’s medical research system and also lead to nine Nobel-prize winning discoveries. So far.
This is a story of faith in government and a belief in science. We meet patients who sacrifice everything, and doctors who still can’t believe their luck at being allowed to serve the country in this unique way. It reminds us of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s mission for the NIH in 1940 when he declared “to be a strong nation we must be a healthy nation.” As well as President John F. Kennedy’s hope-filled call to service.
One can’t help but wonder how the story of the Soldiers of Science might help us shape a better and healthier future.