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November 17, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(12):1161-1162. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970290057016

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The physician who attends athletes professionally is but one of many people who make decisions as to what is likely to favor, and what is likely to impair, athletic performance in competition. The decisions have to be clean-cut, and when competition rises to the climaxes of national or international events the accompanying tensions become terrific, as in the famous tennis match between Budge and von Cramm at Wimbledon in 1937. Everybody, from the coaches and masseurs to the purveyors of food and equipment and the designers of clothing and shoes, becomes emotionally involved to a degree that is often dangerous.

That many decisions on questions of hygiene in the past have been made without an adequate basis in fact is only natural. But the extent to which mere habit, faddish notions, pseudo-science, and downright superstition have at times influenced such decisions is amazing. Sometimes the medical scientist is called upon

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