The plans of the Phillips Brooks House to incorporate medical and dental students in its social service activities, mark a definite attempt to effect periodical examination of all the children in the care of the Boston settlement houses. It is explained that the immediate need for such supervision arises from the danger of permitting physically deficient children to engage in athletics which might permanently impair their health. It is to combat this danger, arising from the ignorance of parents under a regulation which refuses them access to the physical reports of the public schools, that these students of the medical and dental schools will be employed.
Even beyond its efficacy in the immediate concern of safeguarding children against unsuitable forms of athletics, the planned supervision will bring advantageous changes. It will bring the advice of dentist and physician to many people who are unable to obtain it for their children. In addition, the parents will be furnished with information and counsel which could not be obtained without the expense of an examination undertaken by a doctor.
Moreover, the proposed supervision opens a limited scope of social service to those of the dental and medical schools who are interested in that sort of work. In a curriculum as full as that of the two schools, there is little chance for the student to devote himself to extra-curricular activities. But by providing settlement work which embodies the features of actual medical and dental experience, Phillips Brooks House affords an outlet both practical and interesting, at same time fulfilling its first concern of aiding, the settlement children.