This paper introduces temporal logics. Due to the eternal compromise between expressive adequacy and reasoning efficiency that must decided upon in any application, full (first order logic or modal logic based) temporal logics are frequently not suitable. This is especially true in real time expert systems, where a fixed (and usually small) response time must be guaranteed. One such expert system, Fagan’s VM, is reviewed, and a delineation is given of how to formally describe and reason with time in medical protocols. It is shown that Petri net theory is a useful tool to check the correctness of formalised protocols.