Courses in molecular biology are part of practically every degree program in medicine and the life sciences. Historically, many basic discoveries in this field have resulted from investigations by doctors into the nature of diseases. This essay suggests that medical educators deliberately incorporate such material, whether historical or contemporaneous, into their molecular and cell biology courses. An example of such usage, an early report of the detection of bacteriophage activity on pathogenic bacteria, is discussed in detail. Such an approach can potentially narrow the perceived gap between "basic" and "applied" science. As medicine is so intimately and obviously linked with human welfare, this also provides an avenue for educators to discuss issues of scientific integrity and ethics within a "pure science" course.