The health care problems that 88,000 patients presented to 118 family physicians over two years were evaluated. As a result, 526,196 health care problems were noted. Ninety percent of all problems were contained within 169 descriptive problems using the RCGP coding system for primary care. Knowledge of the profile of patient problems as they present to the family physician will alow for the development of a logical curriculum for the family practice resident and of patient care systems in family medicine. An appropriate methodology for the development of curriculum is discussed.