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March 12, 1982

Occupational Health Programs for House Staff Physicians

JAMA. 1982;247(10):1405. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320350019007

To the Editor.—  The article by Robert M. Lewy, MD, MPH (1981;245:1432), concerning preemployment examinations for house staff is useful in pointing out how many problems or potential threats to health can be found in this often inadequately evaluated population. However, I am concerned with some of the conclusions that should have been presented more completely but were not discussed. They are as follows:

  1. The house staff all had chest x-ray films. This is a young population and as anticipated no unexpected lesions were found. Neither the cost nor exposure to radiation is justified for this group except for those with newly positive PPD test results.

  2. All house staff had a 20-factor automated chemical analysis done, but one must presume from the article that only the cholesterol and glucose determinations were of value. In our area, the chemical profile costs $32, while the glucose determination is $5, the