A technique to teach second-year medical students to make diagnostic assessments from information gained in a medical interview is presented. This method involves having students read transcripts of actual interviews, write medical histories, and make medical assessments of the patient's problem without benefit of physical examination or laboratory data. Four lectures were given which discussed the relationships between symptoms and physical illness. Students wrote medical histories and made diagnostic assessments based on transcribed medical histories. They then discussed the medical and psychosocial aspects of the patient's problem with family physicians in small group discussions. A new self-scoring technique is described which gives students rapid feedback on their written medical histories.