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August 4, 1956


Author Affiliations

Rochester, N. Y.

From the Eastman Kodak Company.

JAMA. 1956;161(14):1353-1356. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970140009003

• The need for a program of practical preventive medicine, with the increasing industrialization of our society, presents a challenge and an opportunity to the physician. Extension of the role of the physician and constructive changes in the method of payment for his services will involve many physicians in private practice as preventive medical care is provided for smaller industrial plants.

Improved working conditions have increased the life span of people in industry so that it now equals that of the general population. Personal illness and injury causes 60 or more times absenteeism than is due to direct occupational causes. The cost of workmen's compensation and of employee benefits, such as sickness allowance and hospital and medical insurance, gives industry a direct and vital interest in medical care.

The preplacement examination is the first element of a program of preventive medicine in industry; the program may also include periodic examinations of executives, advice on chemical and physical hazards on the job, counseling on nutrition and sanitation, programs of health education, and advice about air and water pollution. Within industry an opportunity is offered for the medical profession to take a leading role in a most promising application of preventive medicine.