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September 12, 1966

Contributions of Sports to Medicine

Author Affiliations

From the departments of surgery, Harvard Medical School, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and Harvard University Health Services, Boston.

JAMA. 1966;197(11):883-884. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110110107023

Only a few decades ago there was little association between medicine and sports. A few doctors of distinction such as George Bennett at Johns Hopkins University and Carl Badgley of Michigan University had earned the trust of athletes and achieved reputations for managing with efficiency major and minor afflictions of baseball and football players, but in general, professional association with athletes was thought to be a little undignified for a doctor of medicine. This attitude ended with the publication of Augustus Thorndike's Athletic Injuries in 1938.1 For the first time a long experience with athletes and their medical problems was presented by a member of the faculty of a major university's school of medicine.

During the next 25 years three more stages of interrelationship of medicine and athletics followed. Soon after Dr. Thorndike's book appeared, the realization spread widely that the playing field was a splendid laboratory, affording an