The Medical Exam
At Ellis Island
A Doctor's technique
Doctors at Ellis Island would use a technique call "six second physical" to examine immigrants coming into the country to make sure they didn't have any diseases. If there was an immigrant with a disease or hazardous sickness then the doctor would mark a letter in chalk on the immigrant's clothes. For example if an immigrant had denoted insanity then the doctor would mark an X on the immigrant's clothes.
Sometimes a doctor would keep a immigrant for further medical exam these immigrants were called detainees and they could stay at Ellis Island for several weeks and even a few months.
Some images of inspections and detainees
The USA health agencies
Two different health agencies
There were two health agencies that would check immigrants for diseases that the immigrants might have, these agencies were called The United States Public Health Service and The Bureau of Immigration. On March 1,2003 The Bureau of Immigration agency was separated into three parts to form The US Department of Homeland Security.