Many algorithms for medical image reconstruction adopt versions of the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm. In this approach, parameter estimates are obtained which maximize a completedata likelihood or penalized likelihood, in each iteration. Implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) penalized algorithms require smoothing of the current reconstruction in the image domain as part of their iteration scheme. In this paper, we discuss alternatives to EM which adapt Fisher's method of scoring (FS) and other methods for direct maximization of the incompletedata likelihood. Jacobi and Gauss-Seidel methods for non-linear optimization provide efficient algorithms applying FS in tomography. One approach uses smoothed projection data in its iterations. We investigate the convergence of Jacobi and Gauss-Seidel algorithms with clinical tomographic projection data.