Christine Laine, MD, MPH, Senior Deputy Editor; David R. Goldmann, MD; Harold. C. Sox, MD, Editor
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
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Current Author Addresses: Drs. Laine, Goldmann, and Sox: American College of Physicians, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
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James P Richardson
Union Memorial Hospital
January 2, 2007
Great idea, but what a name!
I read with enthusiasm and chagrin the editorial by Drs. Laine, Goldmann and Sox. Obviously this trio had secretly visited my office and seen the dusty piles of medical journals and unread printouts from on-line sources. This new section of the Annals promises to help busy clinicians keep afloat on the sea of medical research that seeks to drown us. But did you have to call it "In the Clinic?"
I see my patients in an office, or sometimes the hospital or emergency department, not a "clinic." I don't know any physicians who have finished their training who call their practices "clinics." While there are exceptions (the Mayo "Clinic" comes to mind), too often in American medical education, the "clinic" is where those with little access to medical care go to see an ever changing cast of providers. Use of the word clinic instead of office connotes second class care. Indeed, some physicians tell patients, "Don't come to the clinic. I'll be happy to see you in my office." I'm sure readers of the Annals and Drs. Laine, Goldmann and Sox will agree that all patients, whether seen in a clinic or office deserve the best care we can provide.
Some readers undoubtedly will think I'm nitpicking, but I would love to abolish that six letter word from our medical lexicon.
I know that "In the Office" or "Focus on Outpatient Medicine" do not have the ring of "In the Clinic," but could you try to find another title for this promising department?
Laine C, Goldmann DR, Sox HC. In the Clinic. Ann Intern Med. ;146:70. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-146-1-200701020-00014
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2007;146(1):70.
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