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December 21, 1964


JAMA. 1964;190(12):1065. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070250047015

"Not only in antiquity but in our own times also laws have been passed in well-ordered cities to secure good conditions for the workers; so it is only right that the art of medicine should contribute its portion for the benefit and relief of those for whom the law has shown such foresight; indeed we ought to show peculiar zeal, though so far we have neglected to do so, in taking precautions for their safety, so that as far as possible they may work at their chosen calling without loss of health."1

In the 250 years since Ramazzini wrote these words, legislation has continued to be the active factor in improving the safety of work places, while the physician's role has continued, for the most part, to be quite passive. This is particularly obvious in the physician's own workshop, the hospital. Many hospitals serve as the employees' personal physicians

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