A general practitioner trainee's workload over one year was compared with a sample of his trainer's workload in order to identify and explain any differences. In line with previous studies the trainee saw relatively fewer patients with chronic diseases, fewer women of child-bearing age and fewer elderly patients but more children, more men and more acute problems. However, the trainee saw a marked excess of ear, nose and throat conditions and asthma which is explained by his special interest in these two subjects. Over the first six months the number of doctor-initiated consultations seen by the trainee increased steadily and remained fairly constant over the second six months. Periodic study throughout the year enabled the provision of extra experience in areas where the trainee had seen few cases.