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October 25, 1985

Efforts aim at being more in touch with professions, public

JAMA. 1985;254(16):2192-2193. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360160018002

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For many years, the FDA seemed to fit the Churchillian description of Russia: "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." Today, the agency has shed a great deal of this image.

"Within the past two or three years," says Stuart L. Nightingale, MD, associate commissioner for health affairs, "we have taken an active interest in the public proceedings of professional medical organizations. We try to clarify possible misconceptions about the FDA's position on an issue and correct mistakes when they arise."

Last summer, Nightingale was at the American Medical Association's annual meeting in Chicago, for instance. He provided comments on resolutions and reports that were being considered by the AMA House of Delegates.

Besides the AMA meetings and frequent "From the FDA" reports in The Journal, either Nightingale or a member of his staff attends meetings of other national medical groups such as the National Medical Association, and