Occupational medicine and occupational psychology: A rendezvous in milan after world war ii

Alessandro Porro, Bruno Falconi, Lorenzo Lorusso, Paolo Maria Galimberti, Michele Augusto Riva, Antonia Francesca Franchini, Carlo Cristini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In the 1950s, occupational medicine and occupational psychology found a common field of action in the Clinica del Lavoro in Milan. OBJECTIVES This study aims to analyze and document how this encounter took place and, in particular, the contribution of the Clinica del Lavoro to the development of occupational psychology in Italy. Methods: Historical sources of that period were investigated. Results: Before the 1950s, experimental psychology was only taught at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. The first professor of clinical psychology in the School of Medicine at the State University of Milan, was Marcello Cesa-Bianchi (1926-2018). He collaborated with the graphic, textile and pharmaceutical industries for the personnel training and management, and carried out important research in occupational psychology on behalf of the European Coal and Steel Community. The Chair of Clinical Psychology was initially located in the Clinica del Lavoro and the activity of the team of Cesa-Bianchi was oriented towards the elaboration of professional profiles and job analysis. In those years Cesa-Bianchi also conducted pioneering research in the field of psycho-gerontology. Conclusions: The historical experience that integrated psychology and occupational medicine in the scientific context of Milan contains a series of values, useful to today’s reflection and practice. Our work also undelines the importance of preserving historical documents: only a better knowledge of history can guarantee a better destiny.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalMedicina del Lavoro
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Job analysis-history
  • Occupational medicine-history-XXth century
  • Occupational psychology-history-XXth century

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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