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August 22, 1990

SI Units: A Wholehearted Effort Is Needed

JAMA. 1990;264(8):974. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450080060031

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Editorial Response.—  We are sympathetic with the confusion and inefficiency so well described by the authors. The world in general has changed to SI units. Many leading American journals, which are distributed to and read by much of medicine's world, also have changed. American Medical Association policy on this transition is more than 10 years old. Because medical science and communications are multinational, there seems to be no chance to turn back. Thus, we encourage hospital medical staffs, pathologists, medical school faculty, laboratory computer companies, and others to get on with the change. Leadership from many pathologists has been lacking because of fear of economic retribution from their hospital administrators and medical staffs. Computer companies fear lack of competitiveness. I hope these groups can get together and resolve the issue because disparities between the development and dissemination of knowledge and its routine application otherwise will only widen.