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February 26, 1982

Speaking at Medical Meetings: A Practical Guide

JAMA. 1982;247(8):1187-1188. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320330083043

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Lecturers have always had a difficult job. Socrates was a lecturer who lived in poverty and never published his work. Plato, some say, published Socrates' ideas as his own. He lived a long and prosperous life, while Socrates was executed for perverting the morals of the young. In addition to providing documentation for the academic truism "publish or perish," this example highlights the difficulty a lecturer has in pleasing his audience and the dire consequences of failure.

For physicians who have occasion to, or, more frequently, who are compelled to lecture before medical groups, Calnan and Barabas have compiled a cache of practical suggestions to improve the planning and delivery of various sorts of lectures, ranging from case presentations to invited speeches. Simply by taking a fraction of the helpful suggestions presented, the dullest, blackboard-scratching mumbler on the lecture circuit may find his talk well received and may even be