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Sept 4, 1967

Throat Culture Processing In the Office

JAMA. 1967;201(10):781-782. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130100079029

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To the Editor:—  The high rate of error in detecting beta hemolytic streptococcal infections by physicians in private offices reported by Dr. Allen M. Mondzac (200:1132, 1967) should surprise no one who reads his letter attentively. The appalling fact is that very few physicians know enough about the subject to realise that the conditions imposed were calculated to produce failure. The inference from context is that, among the conditions, no trained technician assistance was permitted; no quality controls were permitted; the physicians were untrained in culture technique and organism identification; apparently visual identification of difference between beta hemolysis differentiated streptococci from staphylococci; and a technique known to be deficient was required of the physicians, who were not permitted to use commercially available aids to the isolation of beta streptococci.What constructive purpose is served by such a study? Is the statement, "It is not the purpose of the study