A modest proposal

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 16 February 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:i

In the 1990s—the heyday of guideline development—doctors were receiving far more guidelines than they could possibly read. Judging by the papers we published on guideline compliance, doctors would do almost anything other than read guidelines. The more industrious doctors either weighed them or measured the height of the pile, sending us the details in the hope of publication.

And now it seems that the best fate for these guidelines might be the furnace, or better still, the recycling bin. Researchers in Toronto wrote to 192 authors of 44 clinical guidelines on 10 common conditions; all had been …

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