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April 9, 1982

Disappearance From Meetings

Author Affiliations

Southfield, Mich

JAMA. 1982;247(14):1938. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320390022022

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To the Editor.—  In response to Dr Harold J. Ellner's discussion of "The Fine Art of Disappearing from Meetings" (1982;247:508) wherein he describes the problems of a hospital president of staff in retaining his audience, I offer the following.During a recent year as a hospital staff president, I, too, observed the clever means by which many members exited meetings early. It was also evident that most staff members crowded and congregated at the back of the room to facilitate easy egress, leaving the front rows unoccupied. Faced with this usual situation at a meeting of required attendance, I opened the meeting—then abruptly asked all in attendance to stand up, turn their chairs in the opposite direction, and be reseated. I proceeded to the back of the room, slid out a second lectern previously placed there, and resumed the meeting— squarely in front of the only exit. This exposed those