Farm and Labor Medicine: A New Area of Interest?

Rick Goding, MD

The idea that specific patient populations require specific considerations is not new in orthopaedic surgery. Sports medicine stands as a very well-defined example of population-specific treatment. Based on their activities and specific injuries related to those activities, athletes—especially scholarship and professional athletes—are often treated differently than a more sedentary individual with the same injury might be treated.

The attention given to understanding injury mechanisms and athletes is extensive, as are the research time, money, and effort directed toward sports medicine. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for research focused on workers who use their bodies physically in their jobs. The thought of treating an “injured worker” may make orthopaedic surgeons roll their eyes as they focus on the role of the workers’ compensation system in the patient’s care.

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