Clinical algorithms have been used successfully in a variety of health care settings to assist health care professionals in the diagnosis and management of medical problems. In addition to their clinical applications, algorithms also serve as an instructional resource by themselves and when used in conjunction with other educational methodologies. A recommended algorithm development process is described for cancer educators who whish to take advantage of the unique contribution clinical algorithms can offer for their educational programs. Algorithm design conventions are reviewed and specific writing suggestions are offered for the guidance of educators who want to design their own clinical algorithms. Objections to clinical algorithms can often be attributed to a misunderstanding of their proper role, which is to facilitate, not dictate, the decision process and guide the application of management logic. Clinical algorithms are a valuable instructional resource that can be used in a wide range of educational settings from self-instruction units to the design of lecture presentations.