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January 8, 1982

Computers in Medicine

JAMA. 1982;247(2):173-174. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320270013006

To the Editor.—  As active practitioners in medical computer science, we were delighted to see the "Computer Year" section in the CONTEMPO issue (1981;245:2242). However, we are concerned that it may have created some misconceptions in its effort to extend its focus beyond the clinical laboratory. The use of computers in medicine encompasses topics such as artificial intelligence, image processing, pattern recognition, and the manmachine interface problem as well as topics related to information systems. Dr Krieg correctly points out that no specialty certification in this field exists. However, there is a small but growing number of physicians with advanced training in computer science. Since the early 1970s, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has supported a number of training programs in computers and medicine. A 1979 survey revealed the existence of 28 such programs (ten supported by NLM), with 251 students currently enrolled.1 A total of 126 degrees