Family practices provide medical care for the majority of health problems. This already highlights the importance of primary health care with respect to quantity. A detailed five-year survey of cases in two rural practices gives insight into everyday practice. During the whole period of this year's prevalence survey, 24,541 or 32,605 episodes of care were recorded in a mean practice population of 1500 or 1700 persons, respectively. The frequency rates of more than 500 different health problems show a typical Pareto distribution. This distribution of the cases characterizes the subject of general practice/family medicine and essentially determines handling illness in practice. Lack of a common technical language, with regard to the classification of health disorders, becomes evident when comparing the practices. An issue whose impact on medical care, education and research should be further investigated.
Keywords: Clinical coding; General practice/family practice; Morbidity; Prevalence; Primary Health Care.