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June 1969


Author Affiliations

Otologic Medical Group 2122 W Third St Los Angeles 90057

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;89(6):919. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770020921026

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To the Editor.—In my opinion there are four words that should not be in our medical vocabulary. These words are: simple, safe, never, and always.

There is nothing in medicine or surgery that could be construed as simple when it requires such a long educational process to obtain the degree of doctor of medicine.

There are no medical or surgical procedures that are truly safe, if one uses the dictionary definition of this word, ie, "without risk; without harm."

Medicine and surgery are not exact sciences. Likewise the individual patient's response to medical and surgical treatment is not constant or consistent. Therefore, it is my firm belief that a physician should never use the word simple; he should always avoid the word safe; should never use the word always and should always avoid the word never in his scientific articles and scientific statements.

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