To the Editor: Your pithy pitches, those italicized introductory paragraphs or "lead-ins" with which you entice us into reading each article you set before us, are a constant source of pleasure to me. Therefore, Dr. Foman's reference to them (Amer. J. Dis. Child. 103:97-98 [Jan.] 1962) as mis-leading-ins has aroused me to a defense of this delightful editorial gambit of yours and to a brief consideration of the general field of oversimplification as applied to medicine.
The short, uncomplicated lead-in is a perfect example of medical oversimplification at its best. Some editors prefer to place an author's summary at the beginning of each article, but this has its limitations. When an author writes a summary he is assuming that the reader may read only the summary and not the body of the article; so he must be factual, unimaginative, and parsimonious with his ideas. A lead-in, on the other hand,