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Ellis Island and the 6 Second Medical Exam

May 30, 2014
Ellis Island

Ellis Island and the 6 Second Medical Exam


Quick Facts

    • Approximately 12 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island.
    • Most medical inspections lasted six seconds.
    • Medical inspectors checked each immigrant illness, especially trachoma.
    • Ellis Island had its own hospital.

Ellis Island History:

Ellis Island Medical Inspection:

Ellis Island Search Immigrants:



Academic Resources:

Bull N Y Acad Med. Jun 1980; 56(5): 488–510.
Medical inspection of immigrants at Ellis Island, 1891-1924.

E. Yew

Bull Hist Med. 2000 Fall;74(3):525-60.
"The eyes have it": trachoma, the perception of disease, the United States Public Health Service, and the American Jewish immigration experience, 1897-1924.
Markel H.

Med Health R I. 1997 Mar;80(3):76-7.
Trachoma and immigration.
Aronson SM.