Other Articles
October 12, 1940


Author Affiliations

Secretary, American Museum of Health, Inc. NEW YORK

JAMA. 1940;115(15):1251-1253. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810410017006

A few weeks ago Amos and Andy were discussing the medical examination which Amos had just taken. They were agreed that a "catabolism" test did one a lot of good but were uncertain what it cured.

Few of us who are engaged in medicine or public health realize how meaningless to others are the words we constantly use and how incomprehensible are the processes of thought which we habitually follow. The bewilderment of the financier over a medical report, however, is similar to our bewilderment in a maze of figures. For instance, the following excerpt from a report to the stockholders of the ABC Company gives little reward for our efforts to decipher it from the small type in which it is printed:

To provide for the accounting adjustments above described all the corporate surpluses, both earned and capital, of ABC Company as of January 1, 1939, in the amount

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