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October 8, 1982

Examination of the Larynx

JAMA. 1982;248(14):1709. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330140023014

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To the Editor.—  The cost of flexible laryngoscope (more than $2,500) is reason enough to emphasize that improved methods of teaching the otolaryngologic examination to medical students is needed. The physical diagnosis courses are taught by internists, who are not experts in the technique of the laryngoscopic examination. Following one session with a specialist, many of the students never again pick up a laryngoscopic mirror. Continued exposure (ie, rotations through ENT services) is the only way to develop the skills necessary for indirect laryngoscopy. The medical education system made a big mistake when it dropped the rotating internship. Medical schools should improve their understanding and education in this field. I believe that it is wrong to resort to expensive instrumentation when improved education is all that is needed.