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September 13, 1976

Is the Tumor Board Doomed?

Author Affiliations

Association of Community Cancer Centers Olympia Radiological Associates Ltd, PS Olympia, Wash

JAMA. 1976;236(11):1235-1236. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270120013006

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To the Editor.—  Dr Smith (233:1048, 1975) has suggested that the tumor board is no longer an effective educational mechanism and asks whether or not it will "eventually disappear from the medical scene as an archaic and useless instrument that has fallen to specialistic progress."Apparently, his doubts about its usefulness are based on his own experience in a moderately large hospital of the Veterans Administration system and on a survey of 87 other VA hospitals. Although he does not describe the details of the survey method, I wonder if the opinions derived therefrom constitute a fair sampling of the opinions of hospital staff members. While Dr Smith indicates that the hospitals responded to the survey, I am quite certain the response was more personal, generated by a real, live, human being and therefore conditioned by the usual human subjectiveness.The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), formed 18 months