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July 7, 1978

Erstwhile or Extant?

JAMA. 1978;240(1):23. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290010027014

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To the Editor.—  John D. Archer, MD, in his letter to the editor (239:1608, 1978) "The Confession of an Erstwhile Bureaucrat," showed he had not lost his touch. Only a bureaucrat could write a letter to a publication of which he himself is not only a senior editor but also editor of the LETTERS section. And only an erstwhile bureaucrat could write a 700-word letter with eight references when his own instructions to correspondents (preceding his letter) call for no more than 500 words and five references.