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To the Editor:—
In his stimulating and challenging president's address, "Physicians to the World," Dr. Gundersen (J. A. M. A. 167:1059-1076 [June 28] 1958) may have inadvertently given an erroneous impression when he said "with man probing into outer space, it appears that our scientific future will be further complicated by the development of still another specialty—space medicine."Space medicine is not another, or new, specialty but a natural progression of aviation medicine. On Nov. 10, 1948, a symposium on "Aero Medical Problems of Space Travel" was held at the United States Air Force School of Aviation Medicine where, shortly thereafter, a department of space medicine was established. A second such symposium was held in Chicago on March 3, 1950, under the sponsorship of the University of Illinois, and on May 31 of the same year the Space Medicine Branch of the Aero Medical Association was founded. In the definition
Benford RJ. SPACE MEDICINE. JAMA. 1958;167(17):2118. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990340078017