Part 2 of this report offers a review of earlier definitions of primary care. Readers familiar with this history might wish to skip to Part 3. Part 3 gives the committee's new definition of primary care. The definition is provisional; the committee will revisit the definition in its final report based on reactions received and further committee deliberations. Terms used in the definition are briefly discussed in the box that appears on pages 16–17 and are explained in more detail in the ensuing text. This text also emphasizes the relevant perspectives of the individual and the family, the community, and the integrated delivery system.
Part 4 acknowledges that some health care systems will, at the outset, have already moved further than others toward realizing the goals outlined in this report. Full realization of these goals will take some time in most health care settings, yet the committee's intent is to present goals that are achievable. Finally, Part 5 lists some of the issues and questions that will occupy the committee for the remainder of its study.