Basic science education of physicians has been almost exclusively in the biological fields. Although in recent years many schools have added behavioral sciences to the preclinical curriculum, there has been no agreement as to content or method in this area. An understanding of human behavior is essential for all physicians and is the goal of the course described here. This course, entitled “Introduction to Patient Care,” utilizes readings, group presentations, site visits, small-group seminars, and specifically stated educational objectives to present the following topics: health problems of the United States, physicians and other healers, humanistic values--the sick role, and the doctor-patient relationship. The small-group seminars, with behavioral science and clinical faculty, help to guide the student's learning experience toward a scientific analysis of the art of medicine.