The many facets of "primary care" are well explored in this easily read primer, which is edited by Dr Noble. Contributors, who write from experience, include family physicians, internists, educators, institutional directors, nurses, and planners. Four appropriate sections address first, the patient and primary physician, second, types of practice organization, third institutional interrelationships, and fourth, community resources. Chapter subdivisions are insightful and most provocative, especially since a fatiguing compendium is not attempted.
Patient and physician expectations, needs, and outcome criteria are discussed, and the question of who has what responsibility is addressed. How the patient relates to family and community, is well-illustrated. The traditional practice, its structure, extended practices, and cost effectiveness are discussed. The questions of who is the primary physician in the hospital, and how physician-consultant relationships can be improved are answered. Traditional modes of continuing education are rightfully questioned, and positive suggestions are given toward improved practice