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Editorial |

JAMA Diagnostic Test Interpretation A New Series

Edward H. Livingston, MD1; Mary McGrae McDermott, MD2,3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Deputy Editor, JAMA
2Senior Editor, JAMA
3Division of General Internal Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2014;311(19):1977. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4368.
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Rapid technological advances in medical care have vastly expanded methods for identifying and characterizing disease. Diagnostic tests provide some, but not all, of the information necessary to understand diseases. The meaning of test results is not always clear. Many reports of test results contain complicated and often indecipherable information as well as descriptions of incidental findings and suggestions for follow-up.

Because diagnostic testing occupies a central role in health care delivery, with this issue of JAMA a new series is launched: Diagnostic Test Interpretation. This new series is in a quiz format starting with a patient’s clinical presentation and test result(s). The reader is asked how to best interpret a diagnostic test. The main thrust of the article is to explain how the test is interpreted along with a discussion of what the test measures, its limitations, and if there are better testing strategies for the patient’s clinical problem. Because all clinicians should be concerned about the cost of medical care, Medicare reimbursement rates for the test will be provided.

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Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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