Clinical practice as well as medical schools, in my opinion, have too little focus on the information we gain through our sensory qualities and by listening to the patients. In this project I focus on family medicine, assuming that the general practitioner is in the best position regarding clinical observation as he or she gets to know the patient over a long period of time. The project thesis has two parts: 1) A literature-part which summarises texts written during the interval 1860-2004 by the following medical workers: Florence Nightingale, William Osler, Trygve Braatøy and Cicely Saunders. 2) A clinical part where themes from the literature part are used to create four interview-questions, for conducting interviews with six patients and two general practitioners. The interview-questions concern whether or not it is important that the same doctor follows up the patient over time, how the patient´s life situation affects disease, what has been felt as most important for handling life with the disease, and whether anything positive evolved from experiencing disease. In the literature part I have drawn attention to texts concerning listening to and observing individual patients, rather than general guidelines or general case-descriptions in textbooks. The main thing I learned from conducting the interviews was that whereas I focused on what the doctor could do for the patient, the patients focused on what they themselves had achieved, learned, fought or changed, confronted with disease and difficulties.