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The University of Chicago is building a technology-based clinical environment to provide a longitudinal experience for patients and medical students. This environment uses an open systems, computer communication and information support network to forge an interactive education and care relationship between patient, medical student, and clinical faculty mentor. The project proactively addresses some of the most important activities required to reform both the health care and medical education systems: anchoring patient care in a generalist setting; educating medical students in outpatient medicine; fostering primary care as a career choice; and using medical informatics as a tool rather than as an end in itself. Moreover, the project effectively deploys concepts such as patient-centered education, student-based learning, and mentored teaching experiences. This paper reports the curricular, pedagogical, and technological motivations and framework under which the project was designed, and describes the process that a patient-student-clinician/teacher triad will experience as participants in this program.