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October 8, 1982

Preemployment Low-Back X-ray Films

JAMA. 1982;248(14):1708. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330140022010

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To the Editor.—  I read with great interest in the QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS section the discussion concerning routine preemployment low-back x-ray films (1982;247:1650). What I found most disconcerting was that nowhere in the article was the issue raised concerning the need to perform a roentgenogram of the pelvic region of an essentially normal population group. As physicians, even though we may be employed by a private company, we should have the best interests of our patients in mind before agreeing to order a potentially harmful test when no clear clinical indication exists. This is especially important when x-ray films are ordered for young women who are not aware that they may be in the early weeks of pregnancy. It is sad, but most people who are seeking employment will consent to these x-ray examinations if failure to do so would eliminate them from consideration for employment.The routine ordering of