A method for assessing the patient-centred approach was used to identify changes taking place in the interviewing behaviour of 13 residents during two months in a teaching practice. The descriptive study confirmed the prediction that the residents' approach would become more patient-centred. A statistically significant change from August to October was found in the number of facilitating behaviours shown by residents (P less than 0.05) and there was a change in the number of fears expressed by patients (P less than 0.10). Increases in the number of expectations, feelings and prompts were noted but were not significant. The frequency with which residents cut off patients' expressions increased on the whole, although not significantly. The findings suggest that while these residents had succeeded in increasing their facilitating behaviours over two months (one-sixth of their family medicine experience) they had not yet found ways of responding to the many problems elicited.