Author Topic: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships  (Read 1026 times)

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Offline Arrun Dihsar

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Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« on: March 07, 2019, 08:47:32 pm »
Running a star trek rpg and a player asked about the viability of a civilian doctor or scientist on a Starfleet starship.

In the context of Star Trek canon or indeed Shadowfleet canon, what are the thoughts of the Fleet and its civilian members?

In the end, I know I could just allow it: handwave it in...but I'm trying to frame it in a Star Trek fashion.

My two latinum:

-A Starfleet CMO would, I think, be hesitant to have a non-Starfleet trained person in thier medbay: unless they were well versed in starship medicine and were willing to obey thier orders at least (if not the ship officers)

Offline Tekin Nevir

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2019, 12:18:39 pm »
I think you need to ask yourself - is there a place for civilian doctors within the US military?  And is there a difference between a civilian doctor and a Starfleet doctor? 

The biggest difference I can think of is that Starfleet doctors are trained for more than just medicine, and have to be able to remain calm under pressure or attack.

Offline Kirok

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2019, 07:27:46 pm »
I think you need to ask yourself - is there a place for civilian doctors within the US military?  And is there a difference between a civilian doctor and a Starfleet doctor? 

The biggest difference I can think of is that Starfleet doctors are trained for more than just medicine, and have to be able to remain calm under pressure or attack.

Also the CMO is often, but not always, the go to for 2nd officer positions.  As such, they need to be able to take command of the ship.  So a civilian may not work out so good.

However, Voyager taught us that people can be recruited as needed - kinda.  So, in a pinch, a civilian doctor could work.  S/he would simply not be able to take command of the ship.

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Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2019, 07:31:56 pm »
Also the CMO is often, but not always, the go to for 2nd officer positions.  As such, they need to be able to take command of the ship.  So a civilian may not work out so good.

However, Voyager taught us that people can be recruited as needed - kinda.  So, in a pinch, a civilian doctor could work.  S/he would simply not be able to take command of the ship.
I don't think Arrun was suggesting that the CMO would be a civilian. He was only asking what a CMO would make of having civilian doctors practice in his/her sickbay.

Oh, and the CMO is far from a shoo-in for the Second Officer position. In TOS, that was Scotty (Chief Engineer). In TNG, it was Data (Ops). In DS9, Worf (Strategic Operations), with Dax (Science) as 2O of the Defiant. In VOY, it was Tuvok (security). None of these are CMOs.
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Offline Arrun Dihsar

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 08:59:38 pm »
I'm wary of using Voyager as template for normal ship's operations since they were in such unique circumstances; though I'll admit precedence canonically of a civilian medical practitioner on a Starfleet ship

Offline Kirok

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 10:25:39 pm »
I'm wary of using Voyager as template for normal ship's operations since they were in such unique circumstances; though I'll admit precedence canonically of a civilian medical practitioner on a Starfleet ship


The EMH was not technically Commissioned.  And If I had to chose a category for him, I would say he was more civilinan (holograms at that point had no rights as I recall)

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Offline Tekin Nevir

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2019, 12:55:29 pm »

The EMH was not technically Commissioned.  And If I had to chose a category for him, I would say he was more civilinan (holograms at that point had no rights as I recall)

Just based on the lack of rights, civilian isn't a good label.  Honestly, the Doctor was frankly equipment.  Part of the main computer.  The only reason why rights became a thing with him in particular is because the need to have medical officers forced his program to be activated  full time-ish.  He was technically getting smarter because of the program being on, and without a purge from a station stop, he was forced to literally evolve his artificial brain to store that information.  The Doctor became sentient purely because he started to develop a network very similar if not designed after the humanoid brain. 

Stock EMHs, like the one that was on the Enterprise, are just tools and aids.  They are the surgical robotic aids being developed today.

Offline Pierce McCloude

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2019, 05:23:03 pm »
Running a star trek rpg and a player asked about the viability of a civilian doctor or scientist on a Starfleet starship.

In the context of Star Trek canon or indeed Shadowfleet canon, what are the thoughts of the Fleet and its civilian members?

In the end, I know I could just allow it: handwave it in...but I'm trying to frame it in a Star Trek fashion.

My two latinum:

-A Starfleet CMO would, I think, be hesitant to have a non-Starfleet trained person in thier medbay: unless they were well versed in starship medicine and were willing to obey thier orders at least (if not the ship officers)

I'm sorry but I have to add my two cents (or latinum as you put it). Your statement about a CMO is not completely correct. Now granted I have not finished reading the rest of what others may or may not have put down towards this if, in fact, they caught this.

I am going to debate the fact that on Star Trek Voyager. In the episode (Eye of the Needle) I believe the EMH taught Kes an Ocampa how to become a Nurse for the crew on the ship. Now granted that would meet one of your criteria but not at first. At first, she was a civilian trying to become something more for the crew and the ship.

This is just my point of view after all and debate towards your latinum

Offline Judith Eastman

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2019, 05:25:42 pm »
I'm sorry but I have to add my two cents (or latinum as you put it). Your statement about a CMO is not completely correct. Now granted I have not finished reading the rest of what others may or may not have put down towards this if, in fact, they caught this.

I am going to debate the fact that on Star Trek Voyager. In the episode (Eye of the Needle) I believe the EMH taught Kes an Ocampa how to become a Nurse for the crew on the ship. Now granted that would meet one of your criteria but not at first. At first, she was a civilian trying to become something more for the crew and the ship.

This is just my point of view after all and debate towards your latinum
Voyager was a special case, because their entire medical department was deceased and they were stranded years away from home. That was the same reason the EMH acted as CMO. It is by no means typical or representative of the way Starfleet operates normally.
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Offline Pierce McCloude

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2019, 05:34:51 pm »
Voyager was a special case, because their entire medical department was deceased and they were stranded years away from home. That was the same reason the EMH acted as CMO. It is by no means typical or representative of the way Starfleet operates normally.

Typical or not, I still stand by what I said and remember I did say it was my point of view, which was based on the information that I saw and how I perceived it, and the "special case" facts provided by a cannon spin-off series of Star Trek.

Offline Arrun Dihsar

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2019, 09:57:52 am »
Fun factoid: season 5 ep 16 of TNG

In preperation for an upcoming medical emergency, Dr. Crusher says:

"I want all civilians with medical training to report for duty."

So I suppose from that: medical civilians don't serve all the time but they can augment the Starfleet medical staff.

Offline Kirok

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Re: Civilian Members of Starfleet Starships
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2019, 06:31:15 pm »
Fun factoid: season 5 ep 16 of TNG

In preperation for an upcoming medical emergency, Dr. Crusher says:

"I want all civilians with medical training to report for duty."

So I suppose from that: medical civilians don't serve all the time but they can augment the Starfleet medical staff.


I vaguely remember that.

Good find Arrun!

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