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June 13, 1980

AMA Drug Evaluations: The Reference Book for Drug Use

JAMA. 1980;243(22):2331. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300480051029

The recently published AMA Drug Evaluations, ed 4, is to the practicing physician what a dictionary or a thesaurus is to a professional writer—an indispensable desk-top reference source. In this respect, for physicians, AMA Drug Evaluations has no equal.

As a reference book, it is not meant to be read cover-to-cover in the manner one would read a monograph devoted to a single subject. I know of no one who has read a reference text completely, unless it may have been William Sydney Porter (O. Henry), who once wrote a humorous review of his dictionary. Certainly, anyone who acquires AMA Drug Evaluations should read the preface and the first five chapters on "General Information." After that, the book should rest until need arises for information about a specific drug or a group of drugs. Then the user will quickly find the source of information by consulting the index, the table