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

During the current debate concerning Medical Education the unquestionable shortcomings of the traditional curriculum have been pointed out by many. Remarkably, few have cared mention their immediate cause—the apathy and immobilism of faculty in charge of Basic Science courses. The proliferation of alternative curricula, stressing problem solving and self learning, is a clear reaction to such immobilism. Although the experience with these alternatives is too short to allow a definite judgment, there are obvious limitations with a case-based curriculum, and it is likely that more flexible approaches, combining the best features of the traditional and the new curricula will emerge. We hope that the road to compromise may be taken by faculty involved in the traditional curriculum. Indeed, all of us concerned about the education of future generations of physicians should be interested in trying new approaches to facilitate the acquisition of an enormous, ever expanding, and complex database, while promoting self learning and problem solving. The much maligned lecture will probably be recognized as a very time-effective way to deliver information and to facilitate understanding, while other formats are unquestionably more efficient to establish correlations between basic and clinical sciences and to train the students in problem solving, literature searching, self-studying, etc. A variety of formats is already available for the teaching of clinical correlations in Basic Sciences, ranging from paper-and pencil exercises of different degrees of complexity to very sophisticated computer-run cases and simulations, although the later, are, for the most part, still being developed. Most of these formats are adaptable to all types of curricula. The clinical Correlations can be used as the main course, dessert, or just as one of the entries, and need to be customized to each on of these possibilities. But there is sufficient common ground in the different modalities to make the effort to gather information about them extremely worthwhile. Thus, with this issue, The Form initiates the publication of a series of articles discussing several approaches to the development and use of Clinical Correlations in Basic Science courses, hoping to facilitate information exchange and to promote much faster and directed progress. In this issue we will include a discussion of Clinical Correlations in Immunology and Microbiology, as developed at the Medical University of South Carolina, and Dr. Murray Saffran, from the Medical College of Ohio, will discuss a totally different approach to the use of Clinical Correlations in Biochemistry.