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The Book Forum
May 12, 1978

Clinical Practice and Economics

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1978;239(19):2040-2041. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280460108040

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The title does not do justice to the contents, for this collection of loosely related essays is both interesting and highly significant for the medical profession. The editors held the underlying premise that in the use of medical resources greater economy and efficiency were both possible and desirable. To explore this concept, they called on various clinicians to discuss their specialties while keeping this basic context in mind. With two exceptions the contributors are British, and the discussions strongly relate to the National Health Service. The lessons, however, are largely applicable to this country.

The subject matter is so varied that only a few of the essays can be mentioned individually. Ederer, the sole contributor from the United States, discusses random distribution in clinical experiments, emphasizing the difficulty and the staggering expense in achieving true randomization. Whitby analyzes the enormous growth of clinical chemistry and the correlative vast increase in