[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
February 5, 1982

Simple Tests Are Often Best

JAMA. 1982;247(5):581. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320300011003

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


To the Editor.—  The recent editorial "Simple Tests Are Often Best" (1981; 246:1709) was a welcome voice of reason. Many physicians believe that the diagnosis of myocardial infarction must be supported by $500 worth of enzyme studies or that an ovarian cyst cannot be scheduled for surgery without expensive imaging confirmation. The clinical diagnosis is not only not stressed, but lack of extensive technological documentation may be considered poor practice of medicine. Many physicians coming from major centers believe that the daily practice of their profession should follow research protocols backed by an inexhaustible purse. Court decisions help downgrade clinical judgment. However, high technology should not replace clinical judgment but supplement it. The respectability of clinical decisions must be reestablished by the profession if we are to control the runaway costs.This is particularly valid in the light of the news that federal and state contributions to health care will