Industrial medicine has of recent years grown into a broad specialty, embracing the fields of preventive medicine, safety, and toxicology, as well as all the ordinary medical specialties.
Paralleling this growth have been three major developments with which industrial medicine has had to be integrated: The first has been the tremendous advance in medical knowledge; examples are the effects on both medical and surgical care of the discovery of the various antibacterial agents and of the metabolic action of the steroid-producing endocrine glands. The second development has been the change in labor-management policy brought on by the slowing of the tide of immigration from Europe, forcing the long-term employment of the mass of workers as ready replacements became unavailable. This stimulated closer study of industrial injuries in order to ascertain methods of prevention and care so as to conserve the labor force. Such studies gave rise to industrial accident commissions