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March 10, 1993


Author Affiliations

Temple University Philadelphia, Pa

JAMA. 1993;269(10):1251. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500100047016

To the Editor.  —Endocrinology is taught to Temple University undergraduate and graduate pre—health professional and biology students. Last spring, oral thermometers were ordered so that the students could measure body temperatures in a "class experiment" this fall semester. We were surprised to find our class experiment "scooped" by the recent article in JAMA.1We thought you might be interested in our results. Ninety-three students (50 women and 43 men of mixed heritage) volunteered. The students all took their temperatures with oral mercury fever thermometers. The thermometers (Tem-Con Clinical Thermometers, Florida Medical Industries Inc, Leesburg, Fla) were calibrated simultaneously in a water bath. Only thermometers that read 38.4°C to 38.6°C (101.2°F to 101.4°F) in the water bath were used. Students, who had been seated for 45 minutes, took their temperatures for 3 minutes (timed with a stopwatch) ending at 10:52 AM. The mean body temperature was 36.8°C (98.2°F) (SEM, ±0.047°F;