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SI Units

L. William Halling, MD
JAMA. 1985;253(24):3547-3548. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350480055007.
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To the Editor.—  Dr Powsner1 provided a valuable review of the subject of SI units, particularly in view of an apparent national initiative to change to this reporting system in 1987. Pathologists should be careful not to be the only group of physicians promoting this change. Hostility among some of the laboratory users will doubtless be generated and will not be easily diverted from the laboratory that inflicts this change on them. As a group, pathologists have had valid reasons for alliances with hospital administrators, technologists, and PhD doctoral scientists but should remember that their most important identification is with other physicians and patients.The primary impetus for the SI system comes not only from Europe but also from nonclinical laboratorians. This is not to deny that many clinicians here and abroad may have found it possible, and even helpful, to work with SI units, but we do not see many articles by clinicians bearing witness to this.


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