The weekly Clinicopathological Conference was a mainstay of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine until the 1980s. Since then, the CPC has continued, in a less frequent version, occurring approximately four times a year. What goes around, comes around. Medical education research has shown that problem-based learning is highly effective, so the CPC not only has tradition behind it, but works. We are returning to our educational roots, then, by restructuring the CPC, and bringing it back to Hopkins on a monthly basis.
Each month, according to the topics covered in the second-year curriculum, an expert clinician will be presented with the clinical course, radiological findings, and relevant laboratory results for a particular patient. The clinical expert will then put a case together in a way that should be educational to all members of the Hopkins medical community, from medical student to senior clinician. The clinical expert will present his or her thinking in Hurd Hall on one Tuesday of every month from 12 to 1 pm. The answer for all cases will be known, and will be provided as a denouement.
In keeping with the notion of modernizing the old, we are bringing the CPC to the Web. Two weeks before every case presentation, details of the case, including images and other material when available, will be posted. You will be asked to suggest the next best step to take, as well as your best guess for a diagnosis. After the CPC has occurred, we will post the clinician's and the pathologist's presentations on the Web, as an ongoing medical education exercise.
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