Medicine: Is the Prescription Right?

American doctors write about 900 million prescriptions every year, and the vast majority of physicians are supremely confident that what they write is right. But is it? Last week an expert task force told the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare that too many doctors know far too little about drugs. While few of the doctors "seem inclined to voice any question of their competency in this field," the study group concluded, "lack of knowledge and sophistication in the proper use of drugs is perhaps the greatest deficiency of the average physician today."

Headed by Dr. Philip R. Lee, who was an...