Discussions about research priorities and criteria for quality assessment in primary care are confusing when the differences in the underlying models and value systems are unclear. This article presents a simple grid that can facilitate discussions involving the roles of primary care physicians. One axis of the grid includes three value systems that are important to the understanding of different goals in primary care. The second axis includes three practice roles that are important to the evaluation of the actual delivery of primary care. Examples are used to illustrate how the grid can be used in discussion about the mission of primary care.