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March 25, 1939

THE PERIODIC HEALTH EXAMINATION AS A METHOD OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION

JAMA. 1939;112(12):1115-1120. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800120001001
Abstract

In 1923 I became interested in periodic health examinations and determined, for my own satisfaction, to discover whether or not such examinations were of use. In this paper I shall report certain results of my observations during the last fifteen years, stressing particularly my conviction that the periodic health examination method opens an interesting approach to a certain type of useful clinical investigation.

The beginning of the periodic health examination plan is of considerable historical interest. Lemuel Shattuck1 of Boston, schoolmaster and visionary, deserves credit for first having promulgated it in this country. In 1850 in his famous report he recommended that individuals be encouraged to have frequent sanitary examinations made of themselves in an effort to promote their health and to prevent disease. For, said he, in the literature on health too much importance is attached to public health and too little to personal health. In order to

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