Undergraduate psychiatric education should be concerned mostly with those aspects of psychiatry required for the proper practice of medicine. Psychiatric concepts and techniques are applicable to all medical practice and relevant to the daily work of every physician or surgeon. Therefore, in the psychiatric training of medical students the focus should be primarily on teaching "psychiatry of medical practice" and much less on teaching "specialty psychiatry." The teaching of psychiatry for medical practice will be best accomplished by selecting patients who are more like those the student will see later on as a practising physician. A systematic effort should be made to develop joint teaching with other departments, if we are to hope that students will carry over the approach we teach them to other subjects of medicine. Counselling and psychotherapy are essential skills for every physician or surgeon; medical students should be taught these skills by psychiatrists who are not just skilled psychotherapists but are also comfortable in their role as physicians in view of the importance of this role for the development of the identity of the medical student as a physician. The quality of the psychiatric training of medical students is dependent to a large extent on the priority accorded to undergraduate teaching by the department of psychiatry; competing activities, however, can result in undergraduate teaching being given less than top priority. Long-standing difficulties which psychiatry and psychiatrists experience in the medical school may impede undergraduate psychiatric education; these difficulties can be lessened by the closer involvement of psychiatrists with other physicians in the clinical and educational programs.