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June 16, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(7):573-576. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970070005002

• For effective prevention and treatment of athletic injuries there must be cooperation on the part of coaches, team managers, school administrators, and physicians. The team doctor has two main functions: he must prevent injuries whenever possible and treat them when they occur. He must examine each player before participation in an event and keep meticulous medical histories; he must cooperate with coaches and sponsors in the conditioning and uniforming of players; he must treat injuries and, if necessary, follow their course beyond the playing season; and he must be in attendance at all events where the injury hazard is pronounced.

Proper protection of the brain, the eyes, and the teeth requires special measures, with which the physician must be familiar. He must make sure that the protective equipment is worn. He must also supervise the conditioning program.

In football and in boxing, moving the head or neck of an injured participant may make the difference between a temporary and a permanent disability; first aid, and the subsequent transportation of the injured person, are responsibilities for the physician.