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November 5, 1938


Author Affiliations


From the Special Examination Department, Golden State Hospital.

JAMA. 1938;111(19):1741-1744. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790450023006

Industrial medicine was conceived by the humane forces of an earlier day, which demanded care for the workman with mangled limb, crushed skull or broken back. It was born in the operating room, and its swaddling clothes were bandages and sutures. It was nurtured through the years by the surgeon, with the hygienist and the engineer contributing some of its clothing. Today, in its more mature appearance, it so strikingly resembles its guardian that the profession as a whole recognizes the characteristics of industrial surgery only. The diseases resulting from industrial hazards escaped the attention of the social forces, labor interests and law makers. Occupational disease, usually being insidous in character, lacked the pyrotechnics of trauma.

Inevitably, however, under gradual liberalization, certain states included occupational disease within the compensation code. Today approximately eighteen states admit all, or a specified list, of diseases as compensable if adjudged so. This admission of

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