This text defines and conceptualizes the field of family medicine. The first edition was widely acclaimed for its originality, depth of analysis, and elegant style. The book has now been extensively revised. Much new material has been added on the patient-centered clinical method, illness narratives, the biological basis of family medicine, health promotion, the concept of risk, and the contribution of evidence-based medicine. A new chapter on alternative (complementary) medicine fills the need for reliable information on this topic.