Regarding the commentary by Eugene Garfield ("Should NIH Change Is Name?", The Scientist, April 28, 1997, page 9), we would like to respond that the ultimate goal of the National Institutes of Health is to improve the health of the nation. This includes far more than just medical research and involves many patient, public, and professional educational initiatives; training; and preventive health programs, epidemiologic surveys, and consensus conferences. The research funded by NIH around the country is also much broader than "medical research." NIH grants support research in chemistry and in many biological sciences that one would not describe as medical, but without which we cannot make progress in some health areas.

Thus, what is needed is not a new, less accurate name for NIH, which might even reduce the amount of name recognition NIH now has with Congress and the public. Rather, what is needed are...

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