This paper describes part of an education experiment at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver.Six final-year medical students spent approximately 12 weeks in a community. Their time was divided between the hospital and various doctors' offices. They answered a simple questionnaire to describe their experiences and commented favourably upon the opportunities for direct patient contact, learning basic skills, informal teaching by both family physicians and consultants, and the variety of work available.They had the opportunity to follow up the progress of the patient and learn the natural history of common illnesses. They achieved their basic objectives. We conclude from their reports and informal conversation that the experiment was successful and recommend other institutions to try similar programs.