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• Decline in vigilance: not so fast!

Like the rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland", the hurrier we go, the behinder we get. And the more bewildered we become. We all need an annual April "booster shot", to help us all take a long, leisurely look at our perception of information.

april fool's! April fool's! Prescrire is all for ground-breaking continuing education programmes, in fact we run a few ourselves. And medical consultation times in France and around the world do indeed seem to be approaching warp speed. But alert readers will have recognised that the item in the April issue of La revue Prescrire entitled ""Speed care": an innovative continuing education programme allowing doctors and pharmacists to save precious time" was in fact an April fool's prank.

3 Decades of "fishy business" in April
The traditional April prank by Prescrire's editors serves as an annual "booster shot" to remind us all that in the serious business of medical information, it pays to exercise critical judgement at all times.

In April 1983 Prescrire's "special correspondent" revealed to enthralled readers the enormous interest of protryptophane in the treatment of acute senility... And ever since, the experiment has been repeated yearly in La revue Prescrire's April issue.

One year Prescrire's "April fish" (as the seasonal pranks are known in France) even made it into the English edition, Prescrire International. It's included below, in a sampling of Prescrire's yearly "Poissons d'avril".

Greatest hits from Prescrire's annual "Poisson d'avril" prank

©Prescrire 1 April 2016



Speed care : un programme
de formation innovant
pour gagner du temps
au cabinet ou en officine
Rev Prescrire 2016 ;
36 (390) : 306.
Pdf, subscription to the
French edition required