May 2, 1986

Now Read This: The SI Units Are Here

JAMA. 1986;255(17):2329-2339. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370170093043

As of July 1, 1986, in all articles appearing in JAMA and the nine AMA specialty journals, clinical laboratory data will be expressed in conventional units followed in parentheses by Système International (SI) units. This is the first phase of our two-year conversion to SI—the measurement system currently in use by most of the world, as discussed previously in this and other AMA journals.1-4 This gradual transition was designed to allow time for learning and is in keeping with the recommendation of the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs, which was adopted by the House of Delegates as policy in December 1984: "4. Develop and implement an educational effort for all physicians to assist them in making an error-free clinical conversion to SI units."2

Promoted by the American National Metric Council (ANMC) and supported by many organizations, the conversion to SI units was mandated by the House of Delegates