The MD program of the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., has used a problem-based, self-directed, small-group learning approach to medical education since 1969. Substantial curriculum revision was begun in 1983 as part of a process of institutional renewal. A faculty survey of all academic clinicians in the Division of Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery, was carried out in 1984 to determine which problems and diseases the teaching faculty thought had the highest priority for student learning. The results have been used by educational planners in revising the curriculum. They have also served to clarify faculty members' expectations of students within an ophthalmology rotation.