Autopsies are important in the quality control of medical practice, in research, and in teaching. We have attempted to realize more of the service, teaching, and research potential from doing autopsies. The key of all efforts is the involvement of the senior staff. This involvement should be made possible by supporting such a person by a qualified team that consists of the mortuary service, pathologist's assistants, and highly trained and qualified residents. Such a staff person can direct his or her attention toward improving communication with clinicians, answering open questions in-depth, encouraging collaborative clinicopathological projects, developing new approaches to the performance of autopsies, such as the immediate autopsy, and using special laboratory modalities, such as electron microscopy and immunofluorescence. Computer storage of autopsy data and retrieval for special studies seem to make autopsy data available and usable. It is most important that autopsies be performed, that they be done well, and that their findings be carefully evaluated using all available scientific tools and, finally, that the results are adequately communicated.