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October 8, 1982

Examination of the Larynx

JAMA. 1982;248(14):1709. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330140023013

To the Editor.—  In his article "Why Can't Physicians Examine the Larynx?" Dr Klein focused attention on the primary physician's inability to perform routine mirror or telescopic examination of the larynx. He emphasized the importance of this portion of the physical evaluation, particularly when the patient has laryngeal symptoms, and recommended that telescopic laryngoscopy be taught in our medical schools. As a teacher of students and residents for the past 17 years, I applaud Dr Klein's efforts to bring this to the attention of all in the medical community. The incidence of cancers of the larynx and hypopharynx are indeed on the rise, and their early detection is vital for success in therapy. However, I feel that his statement that "telescopic laryngscopy is a skill that requires no great proficiency" and can be learned from simple demonstration at one sitting does not coincide with my teaching experience. Since I started