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—In response to the many letters that we have received regarding the compilation of the Obituary Listing, we provide herein a brief overview of the process.The AMA's Department of Physician Biographic Records learns of a physician's death through mail returned to the AMA marked "addressee deceased," state societies, licensing boards, and other sources. Date of death on all confirmed or otherwise reliable death notifications are entered into the physician's record in the Physician Masterfile. Information pertinent to the obituary listing is received in the JAMA editorial office via computer from the Masterfile. The records are edited according to JAMA style and sent to Electronic Publishing.All records received by Electronic Publishing are merged into a single file of unpublished obituaries. To prepare a listing of obituaries for publication, the number of records necessary to fill the allocated space is selected, choosing preferentially those deaths that occurred longest
Winker MA, Wutz H. Where Do Obituary Listings Come From? Putting the Matter to Rest-Reply. JAMA. 1994;271(3):195. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510270040031