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December 1992

Why SOAP Is Good for the Medical Record?: Another View

Author Affiliations

Piscataway, NJ

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(12):2511. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400240121028

To the Editor.—  It was first with amusement and then with amazement that I read the article by Donnelly and Brauner, entitled "Why SOAP Is Bad for the Medical Record."1 Their 3.5page serpentine and play on semantics discussion of whether the acronym SOAP or HOAP best describes how a physician arrives at a diagnostic and therapeutic plan for managing disease only muddies the waters that a physician must navigate in the dayto-day care of sick patients.Weed's SOAP designation in the problem-oriented medical record has enabled generations of medical students and physicians to express their thoughts in an orderly manner in the medical record. In the past, these records were often chaotic, disorganized, and barely understandable to their fellow practitioners, as well as the host of peer reviewers and attorneys who peruse our medical records today.Instead of nitpicking over the nuances of SOAP, the authors should be emphasizing