The recently published 'Research Agenda for General Practice/Family Medicine and Primary Health Care in Europe' summarizes the evidence relating to the core competencies and characteristics of the Wonca Europe definition of GP/FM, and its implications for general practitioners/family doctors, researchers and policy makers. The European Journal of General Practice publishes a series of articles based on this document. In a first article, background, objectives, and methodology were discussed. In a second article, the results for the two core competencies 'primary care management' and 'community orientation' were presented. This article reflects on the three core competencies, which deal with person related aspects of GP/FM, i.e. 'person centred care', 'comprehensive approach' and 'holistic approach'. Though there is an important body of opinion papers and (non-systematic) reviews, all person related aspects remain poorly defined and researched. Validated instruments to measure these competencies are lacking. Concerning patient-centredness, most research examined patient and doctor preferences and experiences. Studies on comprehensiveness mostly focus on prevention/care of specific diseases. For all domains, there has been limited research conducted on its implications or outcomes.