The outcome of new episodes of common nonrespiratory tract symptoms was studied in 193 patients attending family physicians. After controlling for demographic, psychological, and social variables, the only element of the process of care that was related to resolution of the patient's symptom at one month was physician-patient agreement about the nature of the problem. Patients with unresolved symptoms were followed for an additional two months. Late resolution was associated with the physician's recording of attention to psychosocial problems. These results have implications both for the provision and audit of primary care.