The first live conference created for a journal directed to medical practitioners was published nearly 100 years ago when Dr Richard Cabot introduced the clinical pathologic conference to academic medicine, in the form of the case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital.1 Borrowing from case-based teaching used in the study of law, Dr Cabot developed the conference to tackle the problem of wrong diagnoses. He created a link between the clinician and the pathologist, and by including real patients in the clinical discussion of specific diseases, he also hoped to create a teaching instrument for students. Diagnostic medicine has moved forward, and today, although misdiagnoses and diagnostic strategies remain a problem, treatment options often present the greatest dilemma for clinicians. Stimulated by Dr Cabot's timeless question to his students—"What is the gist of it all?"1—we introduce, in this issue, Clinical Crossroads.
See also p 69.