At the 11th WONCA conference in June 1986 13% of the first authors of presentations came from developing countries. Presentations from or about developing countries were analysed in an attempt to compare the external resources with those in industrial countries, and to find out how primary care physicians in the developing countries see themselves, their work and the health care system. Solo works were presented equally often from authors in industrial and developing countries, but groups from industrial countries were more often multidisciplinary and larger. Most studies from developing countries were done in urban surroundings. Half of the presentations studied material from primary health care, while 44% were oriented more narrowly toward medical care. Most of the techniques described were suitable for primary care. Teamwork and intersectoral collaboration were discussed in half of the studies coming from primary health care, while traditional medicine was mentioned only occasionally.