The attitude of 297 general practitioners in the Wessex region to continuity of care was assessed by postal questionnaire; there were 280 complete replies (94% response). One-third of the doctors were asked to define continuity of care; the remaining two-thirds were asked to rank six priorities of practice organization one of which concerned continuity of care. In addition, all doctors were asked whether they used a personal or combined list. A wide variety of definitions for continuity of care was offered but the majority of doctors (61%) specified care by one doctor. Personal continuity was rated highest by significantly more doctors in large practices (list size of 10 000 or more) than in small practices and doctors in large practices were also more likely to use personal lists.