BACKGROUND: One of the main objectives of medical school is to provide high-quality primary care physicians. To fulfill this objective it is increasingly important to utilize ambulatory care setting, particularly community private practice clinic for medical students' clerkship. But program evaluation of this type of clerkship is lacking. The authors intended to evaluate the community primary care clerkship with a view to students' perspective. METHODS: We used students' and preceptors' evaluation forms with semi-structured questionnaires using 5-point Likert scale and students' essays for program evaluation. We analyzed 76 students' and 89 preceptors' evaluation forms by description, and categorized emergent themes from 89 students' essays using qualitative method. RESULTS: Over seventy percent of students rated overall satisfaction, achievement of knowledge, preceptors' educational effort, and practical application as excellent on the 5-point Likert scale. In the evaluation of the discussion topics with preceptors, they rated medical insurance and health care delivery system as relatively poor compared to other topics such as realities of private practice, management of private practice and equipments necessary in primary care. They understood positively the importance of patient characteristics and good patient-physician relationship in primary care, and the realities of private practice. They were also concerned about the problems of health care system and assumed a sound suspicion whether the education in medical school was practical in primary care. On the other hand, they showed ambivalence towards expressing the negative aspect of primary care in terms of the repetition of simple cases and lack of stimulation to achieve sophisticated medical knowledge. CONCLUSIONS: Community primary care clerkship was generally satisfactory in the students' perspective, which is necessary to standardize preceptor education and establish a role model of primary care in order to provide the soil for high-quality primary care physician.