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September 8, 1975

Is the Tumor Board Doomed?

Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Hospital Washington, DC

JAMA. 1975;233(10):1048. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260100018008

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To the Editor.—  For many years most hospitals in the United States have employed a multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation of cases of neoplastic disease, using the tumor board as its major vehicle for the discussion, recommendations, follow-up, and educational aspects of such cases.The fragmentation of the practice of medicine into numerous busy, highly developed specialties and subspecialties in recent years has had a devastating effect on the attendance at tumor board meetings and has tended to place the primary responsibility for care on those physicians in subspecialty areas and in the field of oncology. These subspecialists, moreover, have developed their own conferences and educational sessions and have tended to withdraw from the general tumor board sessions. In general, the more profound effects of this have been seen in the larger hospitals where specialization is the greatest.Because of these difficulties with our own sessions, the members of the