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October 1956

MOTORING: A Clinical Challenge

Author Affiliations

415 Corby Bldg., St. Joseph, Mo.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1956;98(4):399-400. doi:10.1001/archinte.1956.00250280001001

AN EXPANDING knowledge of the clinical life history of motorists clearly indicates that rider injuries and deaths implicate the entire field of clinical medicine, not the surgical specialties alone. Once that statement is accepted, its real meaning becomes evident, i. e., that the internists should be members of the teams that treat automobile casualties. Afterward, the internist will go further and identify himself just as specifically with problems of accident prevention, reduction of injuries under crash conditions, and medicolegal problems.

In the first place, the mortality from rider injuries occurs in a small but lethal group of casualties, estimated to be about 10% of the total number who are injured badly enough to require hospitalization. Why these people die is revealed chiefly from studies made at autopsy—in the good old-fashioned way (which seems to be losing ground and caste in these days of high-powered ideas regarding the value of such