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To the Editor.—The attainment of perfection is Utopia and error is the common lot of man. Although we may never be perfect we should strive to correct our mistakes. An old Chinese proverb tells us that our first mistake is the fault of another, but a mistakerepeated is our responsibility.
As members of the medical profession we strive for accuracy in diagnosis and treatment and we share our successes and failures. To communicate, our terminology must be accurate so that in whatever language we transmit information it is interpreted correctly and accurately. And so I submit this suggestion especially to my fellow otolaryngologists but also to other physicians as well.
For 40 years I have listened to the members of my profession call the tympanic membrane the drum. Finally I have decided to call this error to their attention. Now that tympanoplasty is such an important procedure in otology
WHITSELL OE. TYMPANIC MEMBRANE VS DRUM. Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;86(5):598–599. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760050600025
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