During 1976–77 the authors studied psychiatric education in Western Europe, visiting university centers in 10 countries. Medical education in various European countries has developed out of different traditions. The significance of these for the present educational systems are discussed and the differences from the U.S. curriculum clarified. Psychiatry until recently in Europe has been dominated by a phenomenological approach. It has not assumed the same importance in the curriculum as in the United States. However, since the student revolts of 1968, there have been major reforms in teaching, including changes in the role of psychiatry in medical education and increased attention to social and psychological factors in health and disease.