The introduction of workmen's compensation legislation in the United States, in 1911, opened up a new field for medical and surgical thought and practice. Industrial medicine and surgery were already beginning to assume an important position in the field of general medicine and surgery, requiring, however, a broader application of those general principles that were part of the equipment of the average physician and surgeon. Foreign countries that had enjoyed the benefits of the progressive legislation for many years had had ample time in which to evolve an adequate method for the adjudication of the claims that arose from industrial accidents. It was to this experience that we turned in framing our legislation, and though there were many differences in both local and national problems, the fundamental principles were sufficiently similar to make their utilization practical.
On the whole, this legislation can still be said to be in its infancy