Dr Greenberg rightly observes that Aunt Minnie has not been validated by formal testing. The same is true of traditional teaching which, he also observes, lacks a gold standard to measure its effectiveness. He makes several other points in his thoughtful and challenging letter, but his overriding claim is that we must understand the learners. This itself is a hypothesis that needs to be tested. The only evidence offered by Irby were his observations of 6 internal medicine faculty members in group teaching conferences on the inpatient units of 2 university hospitals.1 Irby provides no gold standard, and his study setting is very different from a busy pediatric outpatient clinic, which was the focus of our commentary.
Cunningham AS, Blatt SD, Fuller PG, Weinberger HL. Aunt Minnie: Will Inexperienced Trainees Recognize Her?—Reply. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999;153(8):893. doi: