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June 24, 1983

Don't Let Them Begin the Regime

Author Affiliations

George Washington University Medical Center Washington, DC

JAMA. 1983;249(24):3306. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330480022021

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To the Editor.—  I have confronted a number of authoritarian regimes in medical journals. Oh, when did they begin the regime?I suspect physicians who "institute a therapeutic regime" are the same folk who deploy their "diagnostic armamentarium." The force of law and the presence of arms are perceived in the shadowy background of these multisyllabic terms.When did they begin the regime? Regime was not found in my medical dictionary but was present in the American College Dictionary, said to define a mode or system of rule or government. Regimen, from the Latin regere—to rule or to guide—was present in my Gould Medical Dictionary as "a systematic course or plan directed toward the improvement of health, the diagnosis of disease, or the investigation of biologic activities."Insidiously, the one term has been substituted for the other, perhaps on the simplistic ground that they look so much alike. Another