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July 28, 1945


JAMA. 1945;128(13):955-956. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860300045012

Under the heading "pseudodoxia pediatrica" Bakwin1 calls attention to a number of doubtful practices in current use among pediatricians. The worst offender among these, he believes, is indiscriminate tonsillectomy. The American Child Health Association, some ten years ago, surveyed a group of 1,000 children 11 years of age from the public schools of New York City; 61 per cent had had their tonsils removed. The remaining 39 per cent were subjected to examination by a group of physicians who, in turn, selected 45 per cent of these for tonsillectomy and rejected the rest. The rejected children were reexamined by another group of physicians, who recommended for tonsillectomy 46 per cent of those remaining after the first examination. When the rejected children were examined a third time, a similar percentage was selected for tonsillectomy, so that after three examinations only 65 children remained who had not been recommended for the