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June 2, 1951


Author Affiliations

Professor of Industrial Hygiene, Columbia University School of Public Health, New York 32.

JAMA. 1951;146(5):495. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670050077026

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To the Editor:  —I feel reasonably certain that Dr. Wilson G. Smillie would be greatly disappointed if nobody were to take issue with some of the thoughts expressed in his provocative article in the April 21, 1951, issue of The Journal. In my opinion, Dr. Smillie does an excellent job of presenting the pro's and con's of multiphasic screening, but the conclusions he reaches do not seem to follow logically from the premises he establishes. Any procedure which is relatively inexpensive and which will bring to light "27 to 47 cases of previously undetected serious pathological conditions" in every 1,000 persons examined, and a considerably larger number of less serious abnormalities, can hardly be characterized as "unsound in its concepts, untenable in its principles and indefensible in its logic."If, as Dr. Smillie asserts, it is "a complete wastage of time and effort" to include chest x-ray examinations of school

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