GUEST EDITOR: Gabriel Virella, M.D., Ph.D.

In this issue of THE FORUM we are publishing two contributions outlining some of the most popular formats for the introduction of clinical correlations in the Basic Sciences. Dr. Ingenito’s contribution addresses two important modalities, the “Patient-Oriented Problem Solving” (POPS) exercises and clinical conferences, as used in his pharmacology course. POPS were initially developed by Parker Small and collaborators, at the University of Florida, and the first set was dedicated to the teaching of Immunology. The success of Dr. Small’s effort can be best judged by the fact that after almost 20 years from their initial conception, Immunology POPS are used in a large majority of North American medical schools. The Pharmacology POPS are a more recent spin-off, but their success appears to be equally impressive. Clinical conferences have a long tradition in several basic science courses, and it is encouraging to realize that this format continues to be effectively used. Dr. Thomas Kent has contributed an extremely informative summary of his experience with computer-based teaching in Pathology. Dr Kent has an extremely informative summary of his experience with computer-based teaching in Pathology. Dr. Kent has quietly pioneered this area, and while most of us are thinking about using computer-assisted teaching in our courses, he has been practicing this pedagogic approach since 1974. Computer-based teaching is likely to play an increasing role in Medical Education. With the rapid development of programs able to integrate high resolution live and still images, sound, and text, there is an endless world to be explored. At the present time there are good and reasonably sophisticated programs available to be used as adjuncts in the teaching of anatomy, histology, and anatomical pathology. Some areas of physiology and the neurosciences are also be targeted. Review programs have become available for certain areas, and computer-based textbook versions have also been introduced. Computer-based teaching has obviously a significant role to play in Clinical Correlations, as judged by the successful integration of case-based teaching programs in microbiology and pathology in the curricula of several Medical Schools. It is obvious that a variety of programs are already available and in the process of being developed, but it also obvious that information concerning such programs is difficult to come by. We would hope that readers of THE FORUM would volunteer information about programs they have developed or they have used. Periodic publication of such listing could be one of the most beneficial accomplishments for our special interest group.