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New Solut. 2008;18(3):285-98. doi: 10.2190/NS.18.3.b.

Occupational medicine and the construction of "difficult reputations".

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Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, 2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20052, USA.


The creation of "difficult reputations" is a collective act of disparagement often undertaken to diminish the influence of the target individual or group for political reasons. This process can be observed in efforts to discredit the field of occupational medicine and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) by revising its history. Examples are given from Draper's 'The Company Doctor: Risk, Responsibility, and Corporate Professionalism' and LaDou, in which new sources of historical information do not support the allegations or impressions conveyed. This tendency is inimical to progress in occupational health in general and may be highly destructive to the field if not recognized and discouraged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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