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March 12, 1982

Occupational Health Programs for House Staff Physicians

JAMA. 1982;247(10):1405. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320350019008

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To the Editor.—  Dr Lewy points out a number of valid objectives for an occupational health program but did not include what is probably the most important one, whether it be for a hospital or industry, that is, to facilitate the placement of a worker in a job that can be performed without endangering the worker or others. Management, including that in hospitals, has a responsibility to ensure this is accomplished, particularly with regard to the health of others such as fellow employees and patients. Most, if not all, mandated examinations are primarily for the benefit of others. Education and voluntary participation are the obvious best approaches, but failure of the employee to comply does not relieve management of its responsibility and more importantly does not provide patients or fellow employees a safe environment to which they are entitled.