Highly successful in its first two editions, McWhinney's Textbook of Family Medicine is one of the seminal texts in the field. While many family medicine texts simply cover the disorders a practitioner might see in clinical practice (thus they become watered-down internal medicine texts), McWhinney defines the principles and practices of family medicine as a separate and distinct field of practice. His initial sections cover the basis principles and philosophies of family
medicine and a later section discusses the approach to the patients with common diseases encountered in practice (these discussions not only address these clinical problems, but each is a workshop for incorporating what it means to be a family physician into everyday practice). The new edition is updated
throughout with help from a group of reviewers and a new coauthor, Tom Freeman, who is Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at McWhinney's institution, the University of Western Ontario.