Immunology continues to provide a driving force for much current work in medicine; as a tool it furnishes a number of techniques of increasing value in diagnosis and management, as a discipline it unravels further the intricate recognition apparatus maintained by the body to detect and defend against "foreignness." Much of the information derived from it has passed into the realm of clinical practice, most of it in the past one or two decades. Its application at the bedside, however, has been limited mainly due to an inadequate grounding in its use by physicians.
The problem is not unique. The continuing self-education of the physician plagues those responsible for medical education, perhaps more so today than previously, because the doubling time for medical knowledge in basic science is estimated to be but 10-20 years. No school curricula, whether standard or experimental, hopes to anticipate this onslaught. For example, the rationale