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January 18, 1965


JAMA. 1965;191(3):243-244. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080030087015

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The Editor's mail brings many things, some of them interesting. Several months ago a letter from a correspondent in Muskogee, Okla, posed a real conundrum. After noting that members of the surgical service of the hospital in that community could not come up with the answer, Dr. Robert G. Small asked: "Would you please write and indicate if there has been any attempt to standardize or define the terms `major' and `minor' when applied to surgical procedures? Has any listing or guide been prepared by any surgical organization which relates to this problem? Do you know of any papers on this subject"? From his personal experience Dr. Small notes that on the postoperative report one surgeon will mark a procedure "minor," whereas the same type of case will be marked "major" by another surgeon, and further, the same surgeon will designate a procedure "minor" on one occasion and "major" the

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