Electrocardiographic Interpretation.

Alvan R. Feinstein, MD
JAMA. 1963;186(2):167. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03710020087031.
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The physician is the instrument that interprets an electrocardiogram. As an instrument, constantly performing scientific functions in clinical medicine, he is generally uncalibrated and unstandardized. Consistency in ECG interpretation is seldom tested and absolute accuracy is seldom measured by pathological correlation. Rarely is the physician objective in the procedure, since his interpretation is inevitably biased by the clinical data he receives before he begins.

This book shows the extent to which electrocardiographers depend on the prejudgments they make from clinical information, and how greatly their interpretations, when made without clinical data, can differ. The text was prepared from the transcripts of a postgraduate symposium, in which three cardiologists were asked to assess a group of ECG tracings, before and after receipt of clinical information for each patient. The 60 cases represent a variety of clinical states, emphasizing the normal and commonly abnormal rather than the esoteric. The sequence of each


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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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