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Three internationally recognized systems have been devised for classifying presenting problems in general practice. They are: the Royal College of General Practitioners' (1963) classification, the US Ambulatory Medical Care Classification of Symptoms (NAMCS), and the World Organization of Colleges and Academies of General Practice/Family Medicine (WONCA, 1976) classification which is known as An International Classification of Health Problems of Primary Care (ICHPPC).
These three systems were compared in over 8,000 consultations conducted by 81 randomly selected British general practitioners in Nottinghamshire.
For all ages of patient, the NAMCS, which has only 197 categories, was the most specific, and the least specific was the classification of the Royal College of General Practitioners.