The initiative for the above mentioned symposium originated in a spontaneous and informal discussion during a meeting of the section of Medicine of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in January 1992. The topic was the 'widely spread feeling of uneasiness, both of the public and the profession, with many aspects of the present state of medicine'. From the discussion emerged the idea to choose basic issues, such as the 'disease model', as a central question. The symposium strengthened the conviction that for the medical scientific community 'back to the basics' with research about disease, with designing education and care, is a prerequisite in order to be able to develop a strategy for a coherent and clear 'Discipline of Medicine' in response to the future needs of society. This book aims to offer a general and elementary sketch of some conceptual problems in three main sectors of medicine. Throughout the book rings the general question whether enough attention is paid to medical problems manifested at high levels of integration and the interaction with environment and society.