Need for a Physician in the Mountains of North Carolina

Agnes Willard Bartlett
1913 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)  
which mentions the safeguards against communicable diseases enforced by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company among its employees in dining-car and restaurant service. This is so fully in line with what I have been urging in St. Louis for a number of years that I desire to enlarge somewhat on the topic, as it is of immediate hygienic concern to every person who eats in public or semipublic places, as dining-cars, clubs, hotels and restaurants. Several years ago a movement was begun here for the
more » ... un here for the formation of a local club, the declared purpose of which was the advancement of wholesome civic conditions, general and special. On joining the club I conceived the occasion opportune to address a letter to its president, calling attention to the importance of starting right and with clean hands as concerned kitchen help and dining-room service, by requiring that every proposed employee should undergo n strict physical examination, to be conducted preferably by the health department as a part of its regular work, and that no one should be employed who could not present from that Official source a certificate attesting the clean, sound personal health of the applicant. It was further advised that every person thus employed should be subject to supplemental tests as might be provided in rules to lie framed later, and that employees of this selected class should receive n higher wage than those not thus tested, if the latter were taken into club service. These suggestions seemed to find favor at first; but later, ns Is common, lions were found in tbe way, or what appeared as such-most likely on close examination they would have been found to be merely Stuffed felines rather the worse for moths-and nothing was done. Some time later when a syphilitic waiter appeared to fake an order for luncheon, I thought that the limit had been reached, and my resigna¬ tion was soon sent in and accepted. Such an experience is not exceptional, as any physician with open eyes may prove who frequently eats in publieplaces, and the danger may be greatest in establishments of most pretentious claim in which sanitary suspicion would be lulled by line appoint monis. It is not an uncommon occurrence in some of the most exclusive eating concerns for the lingers of the waiter to visit his mouth when sup¬ plying a napkin to a diner; and rolls, cutlery, plates, etc., are served with the same unstcrile lingers. Tuberculosis, syphilis, diphtheria, cancer and other dangerous and revolting ailments afi'ect the mouth and uir-passages often in concealed bum; hence the imperative hygienic need for barring from table ¡rnd kitchen service among Belf-respecting people, by means of a searching mee'ical examination, every person '"und thus affected, esthetic considerations weighing as well ilii those that are prophylactic and hygienic.
doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04340190073022 fatcat:orjspv2vbzhgtel2b456t37yza