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Medical Reserve Corps

About the Medical Reserve Corps

The idea for a national volunteer corps emerged out of the tragic events of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Thousands of medical and public health professionals, eager to volunteer in support of emergency

relief activities, found that there was no organized approach to channel their efforts. Local

responders were overwhelmed and did not have a way to identify or manage these spontaneous

volunteers. Many highly skilled people were turned away. Americans’ desire to lend a hand that day

and in the months that followed revealed the need for a network to provide the infrastructure to

organize and train individuals who wanted to volunteer their time and skills to benefit their



The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) came directly out of this need. In the 2002 State of the Union

Address, President Bush asked all Americans to volunteer for their community, and by July 2002,

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson officially had launched the MRC.

The MRC offered a way to train and track medical professionals to serve in the event of another

man-made or natural disaster and strengthen local public health. Congress allocated funds to

establish the MRC Program Office (now DCVMRC) in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General to

initiate an MRC demonstration project and to provide national technical assistance to MRC units

around the country. Since the MRC began, units have formed in every state, and tens of thousands

of individuals have signed up to volunteer. Local leaders nationwide also have worked diligently and

creatively to establish the foundation of community support and planning necessary for their units

to function effectively.


Becoming a volunteer can be a fulfilling experience regardless of why you want to be involved,

whether it is simply to meet new people, develop new skills, share your talents and your knowledge,

support a cause, or give back to the community.Some of the duties and activities that are performed

as a volunteer can be seen in these photos below.

To become a Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer please fill out the Volunteer Form.