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Clin Chim Acta. 1999 Feb;280(1-2):3-11.

How clinicians should use the diagnostic laboratory in a changing medical world.

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American Medical Association, Chicago, IL 60610, USA.


In developed countries, clinicians are faced with a plethora of diagnostic tests to apply to patients to guide their clinical management. The quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of patient care should be foremost in the clinician's mind. Laboratory directors should make every effort to guide clinicians in appropriate laboratory test ordering, interpretation, and resulting actions. Medicine, being at its center a moral enterprise grounded in a covenant of trust, and laboratory medicine being a subset of medicine, must first care and advocate for the patient, and consider clinical outcomes as most important.

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