The challenge of research in family medicine is addressed in this paper by describing the rationale for research, appropriate content areas, resources available, and needs for the future. Family medicine has the opportunity to study health and disease in humans within their natural habitat over long periods of time, and to examine the multiple aspects of personal and family health care delivery. Resources for research include large primary care study populations, practitioner and faculty researchers, and technical support systems. The basic needs for the future are to increase the quantity and quality of researchers and to attract more funds designed for research. It is recommended that family medicine practitioners and teachers support research and participate more actively; that family medicine academic units provide their learners more research curricular time and their faculties more research activity time, and that they develop Family Medicine Research Centers; that family medicine professional organizations raise funds to support research, promote research opportunities for their members, and communicate to others the research activities, resources, and needs of family medicine; and that the requirements for residency training be modified to include elective research opportunities.