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Editorial
June 2017

Factors Affecting the Cost of Airplanes and Use of Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 Inhibitors

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Cardiol. 2017;2(6):596-597. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0760

The advent of the concept of learning curves and their effect on outcomes was first described 80 years ago in an article on factors affecting the cost of airplanes.1 The premise makes sense: people become better at their tasks as the tasks are repeated. Indeed, learning curves are an integral part of clinical medicine. For example, a surgical learning curve is often assessed using measurements such as operative time, blood loss, and conversion to an open operation.2 Cardiology trainees advance along learning curves as they master technical skills for numerous diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. In addition, a nonprocedural learning curve worth considering is the critical evaluation of cardiovascular drugs used in clinical practice.

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