The electrocardiogram remains our first and most widely available tool to study myocardial infarction. We have attempted to suggest that we must be both more circumspect and adventurous in its use. The traditional electrocardiographic labels imply a level of precision that is unwarranted and so obscure real, often clinically important differences that exist among patients. We believe the electrocardiogram becomes more powerful when it is used with other noninvasive tests, and all such tests are best interpreted within rather than removed from the clinical context. We suggest as well that frequently after infarction, zones of viable muscle exist that are still vulnerable to ischemia. These zones may lie within or be remote from the actual infarct region, and noninvasive tests should be milked for clues that these regions are present, for while there is little to be done for necrotic tissue after infarction, there is considerable therapy available, both medical and surgical, to rescue tissue at risk of ischemia after infarction.