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September 1, 1978

Priorities for the Use of Resources in Medicine

JAMA. 1978;240(9):873. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290090067030

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In November 1976 the Fogarty International Center convened a meeting sponsored jointly with the Royal Society of Medicine and the Royal Society of Medicine Foundation, Inc. Most of the 43 participants were from the United States and Great Britain. During three days, formal presentations and discussion periods directed attention to the need for prudent use of resources.

A reader of the compilation now published will discover little that is new among the topics considered— additional constraints (regulations) affecting physicians' decision making, the influence of rapidly expanding technology on medical costs, the continuing education of physicians, the roles of nurses and other allied health personnel in patient care, the reasons for differences in health care in the United States and England, the maldistribution of physicians geographically and by specialty, and the excessive numbers of surgeons and "unnecessary surgery" in the United States.

On the last point, as well as others in