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March 10, 1962

CURRENT MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY

JAMA. 1962;179(10):800-801. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050100054011
Abstract

"Disease is very old and nothing about it has changed. It is we who change as we learn to recognize what was formerly imperceptible." J. M. Charcot.

Charcot's aphorism has plagued authors and editors of articles or books on nomenclature when they realized that the new concepts of disease were being developed or modified even before the printer's type turned from hot to cold. And, coincidentally, medical teachers, practitioners, medical record librarians, and medical librarians have been distraught when they discovered that terminologies had become "old hat," useless, even before the records were filed for future reference. The situation became increasingly complex and pertinent in the postwar years, and led to a meeting in Washington, D.C. on April 19, 1960, called by the representatives of the American Medical Association and the custodian of Standard Nomenclature of Diseases and Operations. Here they were to consider steps that might be taken to

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