Primary care medicine is the new frontier in medicine. Every nation in the world has recognized the necessity to deliver personal and primary care to its people. This includes first-contact care, care based in a posi tive and caring personal relationship, care by a single healthcare pro vider for the majority of the patient's problems, coordination of all care by the patient's personal provider, advocacy for the patient by the pro vider, the provision of preventive care and psychosocial care, as well as care for episodes of acute and chronic illness. These facets of care work most effectively when they are embedded in a coherent integrated approach. The support for primary care derives from several significant trends. First, technologically based care costs have rocketed beyond reason or availability, occurring in the face of exploding populations and diminish ing real resources in many parts of the world, even in the wealthier nations. Simultaneously, the primary care disciplines-general internal medicine and pediatrics and family medicine-have matured significantly.