B-131099, MAY 8, 1957

B-131099: May 8, 1957

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THE QUESTION FOLLOWS: "IS AN ENSIGN IN THE NAVY. WHERE THE LATTER ARE GIVEN AS PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED VOLUNTARILY AND SAID SERVICES ARE NOT PART OF THE REQUIRED CURRICULA PURSUED BY SAID STUDENT OFFICER? WHILE THE QUESTION IS STATED BROADLY AS TO ANY SERVICES "NOT PART OF THE REQUIRED CURRICULA. WHO IS A SENIOR MEDICAL STUDENT AT THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. IS INDICATED THAT HE IS ON ACTIVE DUTY AND DRAWING FULL PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS AN OFFICER OF THE NAVAL RESERVE WHILE PURSUING HIS COURSE OF STUDY AS A SENIOR MEDICAL STUDENT. IT IS DISCLOSED THAT ENSIGN BERGEE IS RECEIVING ADDITIONAL "INSTRUCTION AND EXPERIENCE IN ANESTHESIA" AT THE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL. THE NATURE OF ENSIGN BERGEE'S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOSPITAL AND THE MONETARY AND EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS RECEIVED BY HIM ARE EXPLAINED BY DR.

B-131099, MAY 8, 1957

TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:

IN A LETTER DATED MARCH 14, 1957, THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (COMPTROLLER) REQUESTS OUR DECISION ON A QUESTION PRESENTED IN AN ENCLOSED COPY OF COMMITTEE ACTION NO. 173, MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE. THE QUESTION FOLLOWS:

"IS AN ENSIGN IN THE NAVY, OR A SECOND LIEUTENANT OF THE ARMY OR AIR FORCE, ON ACTIVE DUTY AS A RESERVE OFFICER WHILE IN HIS SENIOR YEAR AS A MEDICAL STUDENT ENTITLED TO BOTH THE QUARTERS AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE PROVIDED FOR AN OFFICER OF HIS GRADE, AND BOARD, ROOM AND LAUNDRY PRIVILEGES OR THEIR EQUIVALENT IN CASH, OR ANY OTHER STIPEND, WHERE THE LATTER ARE GIVEN AS PAYMENT FOR SERVICES RENDERED VOLUNTARILY AND SAID SERVICES ARE NOT PART OF THE REQUIRED CURRICULA PURSUED BY SAID STUDENT OFFICER?

WHILE THE QUESTION IS STATED BROADLY AS TO ANY SERVICES "NOT PART OF THE REQUIRED CURRICULA," THE FACTS STATED PERTAIN TO ENSIGN HAROLD E. BERGEE, USNR, WHO IS A SENIOR MEDICAL STUDENT AT THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA. IS INDICATED THAT HE IS ON ACTIVE DUTY AND DRAWING FULL PAY AND ALLOWANCES AS AN OFFICER OF THE NAVAL RESERVE WHILE PURSUING HIS COURSE OF STUDY AS A SENIOR MEDICAL STUDENT. ALSO, IT IS DISCLOSED THAT ENSIGN BERGEE IS RECEIVING ADDITIONAL "INSTRUCTION AND EXPERIENCE IN ANESTHESIA" AT THE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL. THE NATURE OF ENSIGN BERGEE'S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOSPITAL AND THE MONETARY AND EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS RECEIVED BY HIM ARE EXPLAINED BY DR. STUART C. CULLAN, CHAIRMAN, DIVISION OF ANESTHESIOLOGY, IN A LETTER TO THE COMMANDANT, NINTH NAVAL DISTRICT, AS FOLLOWS:

"FOR MANY YEARS WE HAVE HAD AS EXTERNS IN THE DIVISION OF ANESTHESIA, THREE SENIOR MEDICAL STUDENTS. THESE STUDENTS ARE GIVEN INSTRUCTION AND EXPERIENCE IN ANESTHESIA. THEY ARE ON CALL VOLUNTARILY AND HAVE NO RESPONSIBILITIES. THEY ARE UNDER DIRECT SUPERVISION. THE HOSPITAL HAS SEEN FIT TO LET THESE STUDENTS HAVE BOARD, ROOM, AND LAUNDRY PRIVILEGES, OR ITS EQUIVALENT IN CASH.

"ENSIGN BERGEE IS ONE OF THESE STUDENTS FOR THE CURRENT YEAR. I HAVE ALREADY HAD AN APPLICATION FOR ONE OF THESE EXTERNSHIPS FOR NEXT YEAR BY A STUDENT UNDER AIR CORPS ASSIGNMENT WHERE THE SAME RULE APPLIES REGARDING COMPENSATION. SINCE THE EXTERNSHIP IS ESSENTIALLY AN EDUCATIONAL VENTURE IN WHICH THE HOSPITAL IS PARTICIPATING, AND NOT A SERVICE FUNCTION, I WOULD APPRECIATE AN OPINION REGARDING THE STATUS OF ENSIGN BERGEE IN RELATION TO THE POSITION. THIS WILL HELP ME NOT ONLY IN REGARD TO HIM, BUT ALSO IN REGARD TO FUTURE APPLICANTS FOR THE EXTERNSHIP.'

SINCE OUR DECISION OF APRIL 16, 1953, 32 COMP. GEN. 454 HOLDS THAT AN OFFICER ON ACTIVE DUTY WHO SERVES AS AN INTERN IS NOT ENTITLED TO RETAIN COMPENSATION ALSO PAID HIM BY THE HOSPITAL IN WHICH HE SO SERVES, ENSIGN BERGEE'S RIGHT TO PAYMENTS FROM BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA IS QUESTIONED.

BRIEFLY, THE DECISION OF APRIL 16, 1953, CONCLUDES THAT A NAVAL RESERVE OFFICER ON ACTIVE DUTY WHO SERVES AS AN INTERN IN A HOSPITAL AND RECEIVES COMPENSATION FROM THAT HOSPITAL FOR SUCH SERVICES RECEIVES THAT COMPENSATION FOR THE GOVERNMENT. THAT CONCLUSION IS BASED ON THE PROPOSITION THAT EARNINGS OF AN OFFICER IN EXCESS OF HIS REGULAR PAY AND ALLOWANCES, WHEN SUCH EARNINGS ARE GAINED IN THE COURSE OF, OR IN CONNECTION WITH, HIS SERVICES AS AN OFFICER BELONG TO THE GOVERNMENT. IS APPARENT, OF COURSE, THAT ALL EARNINGS IN ADDITION TO REGULAR PAY AND ALLOWANCES THAT MIGHT BE RECEIVED BY AN OFFICER ON ACTIVE DUTY WOULD NOT BE RECEIVED IN THE COURSE OF, OR IN CONNECTION WITH, HIS SERVICES AS AN OFFICER. HOWEVER, THE DESCRIPTION OF THE ADDITIONAL "INSTRUCTION AND EXPERIENCE" RECEIVED AT THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITAL BY ENSIGN BERGEE SHOWS THAT HIS ACTIVITIES AT THE HOSPITAL ARE SO RELATED TO THE SERVICES APPARENTLY EXPECTED OF HIM WHEN HE WAS PLACED IN AN ACTIVE-DUTY STATUS--- TO PURSUE HIS EDUCATION TO BE A MEDICAL OFFICER IN THE NAVAL RESERVE--- THAT WE ARE OF THE OPINION THAT HIS SITUATION COMES WITHIN THE RULE STATED FOR INTERNS IN 32 COMP. GEN. 454. IN OTHER WORDS, ANY MONETARY ALLOWANCE IN ADDITION TO HIS REGULAR PAY AND ALLOWANCES RECEIVED BY ENSIGN BERGEE FOR SUCH ACTIVITIES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND ANY SUBSISTENCE OR QUARTERS FURNISHED IN KIND SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE BEEN FURNISHED BY THE GOVERNMENT.