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Twelve Doctors Always Ready to Give Professional Aid to Football's Injured

Dr. Thorndike Is Man Who Runs Out On Gridiron In Game To Check-up Players


When a Harvard football player is injured, Captain Bobby Green signals the bench, and a large man in a black overcoat comes running onto the field, few of the thousands in the stands realize that the big fellow is Dr. Augusts Thorndike '19, and that he is head surgeon of a marvelously efficient Hygiene Dept. clinic for Crimson athletes, centered in Dillon Field House.

"We have a system," is Dr. Thorndike's proudest claim. He refers to the staff of 12 men who are available on Soldiers Field during the fall season to take care of and prevent any injuries. These are chief surgeon Thorndike, five assistant surgeons, and six men qualified as masseurs. In the latter group there are two male nurses who are trained physic-therapists and several X-ray technicians, all under the supervision of trainer Jimmy Cox. This equipment is for minor and intramural sports as well as for the Varsity.

Speedy Medicos

"Let me give you an example of our system," Thorndike said. "Before Don Daughters was hurt during the Princeton game--six minutes after the opening whistle, we got a message from the Freshman field that one of them was badly hurt. Dr. Gerry and an X-ray man brought him to Dillon, took some pictures, called an ambulance, and he was resting quickly in Baker Memorial Hospital before the game was over."

"Yes," piped up X-ray man Joe Murphy, "we had the pictures ready for examination five minutes from the time they were ordered. That Freshman was in bed in time to hear the last of the game over the radio!"

Dr. Thorndike gave out a few pointers about his on-the-field technique. He watches each play closely. "My interest is in seeing whether they get up." It they don't, or if Green signals, he rushes out as quickly as possible. "I tear out," he says simply. He wears the large black coat principally because it has huge pockets in which lots of adhesive tape may be kept. Keeping things from falling out of the pockets makes him run so stiffly. The player injured will usually have a contusion, abrasion, laceration, sprain, strain, or sometimes a fracture or dislocation.

Dr. Thorndike says he usually doesn't listen to what the player says he usually doesn't list to what the players says about how he feels. "I make muscle and ligament function tests," he declared. "They tell the truth." Has a boy a serious enough injury to make it worse if he continues? is the question he asks himself in case there is doubt about someone staying in the game.

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