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JAMA Revisited
June 25, 2019

Critique & Cavil …

Author Affiliations

June 24, 1974

JAMA. 1974;228(13):1659.

JAMA. 2019;321(24):2475. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.15396

To those who are inclined to delve into the medical literature, I issue this invitation to join me in setting aside a day to honor that unsung, unacclaimed “heroperson,” the medical librarian. I have much empathy for medical librarians and, I believe, understanding of how readily they can become frustrated and wild-eyed as they respond to our requests to retrieve information about a specific topic, which they have a deuce of a time finding because the entity has been described under a variety of headings and, consequently, indexed in like fashion. Just the other day at the hospital, Dr. Ernie asked me for some information concerning respiratory insufficiency after chest injury. The following excerpt from one of the articles I retrieved (“Respiratory insufficiency syndrome: Clinical and pathological definition” [F. W. Blaisdell, J Trauma 13:195, 1973]) will give you a clue as to why librarians fail to locate information for you sometimes.

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