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December 5, 1966

Publicity and Medical Ethics

Author Affiliations

Boise, Idaho

JAMA. 1966;198(10):1131. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110230147049

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To the Editor:  Criticism of the medical profession is rampant today, and we doctors are fair game for anyone with a cause to promote or a periodical to sell. It is a cause for just concern to our profession that this situation is made more grave by physicians prominent professionally and in some instances politically. These men, predominantly although not exclusively surgeons, have abandoned both the scientific approach to reporting their accomplishments and established medical ethics.The doctor is no longer the first to know of new research or clinical accomplishments, unless he regularly reads a number of prominent periodicals, in addition to the daily newspaper. No longer are spectacular results or the clinical course of prominent persons reported by a hospital spokesman. The attending physician is quoted by name or photographed for national press releases. Newsworthy science is reported in newspapers and news magazines before it appears in medical