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A virtual museum of pathological specimens has immense historical value, however, I believe its principal raison d'Ítre is to provide teaching material at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Its availability over the Internet provides for student centered flexible learning. The pots have been produced principally for the use of medical and health science students but should, additionally, be of value to surgeons and radiologists in training, particularly with the final Fellowship examinations in mind. The museum material has undoubted bias towards surgical conditions as the majority of specimens have been obtained at operation and, less frequently, in the post mortem room. All the specimens have been kindly donated by Alfred Hospital, Department of Pathology.

I should like to acknowledge the work of successive contributors and curators of the museum, particularly Dr. Mark Barnett, Dr. A. V. Jackson, Dr. Brian Essex, Dr. Ross Anderson, Dr. John Pedersen and Dr. Judy Constable for preparing the initial working catalogue and descriptions to the museum specimens. The creation of this virtual museum required computing expertise and I would like to acknowledge those who made it possible: Mrs. Hemalatha Ravi (Chief Analyst Programmer), Mr. Rod Teo (Prototype Developer), Ms. Michelle Chan (Business Analyst), Ms. Hanny Wibowo (Database Administrator/Secretary) and Ms. Nicole Erlich (Project Manager).

The current legends have been partially rewritten from the museum catalogue and, in isolated cases, the diagnosis has been amended in line with accepted current terminology. The pot descriptions are divided into two sections, comprising a brief clinical history where available and a description of the salient macroscopic features. In some cases, a concise and hopefully up to date resume of the important clinicopathological information regarding the condition shown is also given.

Dr. Ruth Salom

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