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To the Editor.—This letter is prompted by Dr Alford's "Editorial Comment" on the article "Otolaryngologists and Their Surgical Practice" by Nickerson et al in the December 1978 issue of the Archives (104:718-725).
Dr Alford properly points out that training program curricula should reflect and anticipate what the practice requirements encountered by the average otolaryngologist are and may be. The article by Nickerson et al tends to perpetuate the fallacy that otolaryngology is primarily a surgical specialty, despite the fact that they state, "On average, about two thirds of office patients of otolaryngologists were treated for nonsurgical problems." They further state, "For otolaryngologists, less than half of the patients were physician-referred, and nonsurgical care was an important part of the daily practice."
This indicates that many patients who have symptoms above the collar bone go directly to the person who has a reputation for relieving symptoms in that area.
DAVISON FW. Otolaryngologists and Their Surgical Practice. Arch Otolaryngol. 1979;105(5):300–301. doi:10.1001/archotol.1979.00790170070024
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