Family physicians in practice may find it extremely valuable to develop a patient profile as part of the medical history. Such a detailed profile will assist in understanding the patient as a person, the background from which a patient comes, and the personality pattern he has developed as well as the current factors in his present life situation. It will indicate to the physician those factors that will influence how he responds to the stress of illness, tolerates pain, cooperates in his treatment, and how he relates to his physician. The importance of obtaining information about the personal, social, economic, religious, ethnic, cultural, and psychologic factors will vary greatly from one person to another. These factors, although they are less important to know in great detail if the patient has an acute, easily treated, and brief illness, are more important in the instances of prolonged debilitating conditions.