The "Virtual Clinic"

In each problem, the physician has the opportunity to interview and examine the patient in a medical office environment. The interview provides information on both the medical and environmental exposure history. Various resources are available to investigate the potential effects of suspected exposure(s). These resources include books and journals, Web sites, material safety data sheets, attending physicians, and environmental health consultants.

Once the history and other information have been obtained, the user is required to select differential diagnoses of the problem; select appropriate tests to confirm/refute diagnoses on the list; specify the final diagnosis based on test results; propose a treatment plan for the patient's condition; and suggest preventive and follow-up measures to reduce potential exposures.

When the user has successfully completed each problem, he/she may review a summary of the issues underlying the case. A final quiz presents ten questions with multiple choices for answers. Good performance on the quiz requires the synthesis of knowledge from the case as well as recall of certain important facts.