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September 20, 1971

Give-Away Medical Journals

Author Affiliations

Palm Springs, Calif

JAMA. 1971;217(12):1705. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03190120071023

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To the Editor.—  Having long urged our profession to police itself, I wish you would editorialize for reform among the "give-away" medical journals, or else publish this letter. The plethora of free periodicals which inundate the physician are of questionable value. Most of the articles repeat what has already been published in standard textbooks or ethical journals such as yours. The special ills that I see in these journals, along with my proposals for reform, are as follows:

  1. Diversion of scarce medical talent from practice, teaching, or research. Even if the articles are written by a "medical journalist," the physicians consulted are giving up valuable time for a fee or "honorarium." If the physicians are really transmitting valuable experience to their colleagues in the great sharing tradition of our profession, let them donate their honorarium to the medical college or hospital of their choice.

  2. Increased advertising expense of