The factor analytic development and validation of numerous index scores to measure patient attitudes regarding characteristics of doctors and medical care services is described. Index scores meeting factor analytic criteria and found to be reliable were used to study the nature and number of attitudinal dimensions underlying patient satisfaction. The use of index scores which have met logical and empirical criteria is in contrast to the common practice of using individual questionnaire items as the unit of analysis. Four major dimensions of patient attitudes were identified and described, including attitudes toward doctor conduct (humanness and quality) and such enabling components as availability of services, continuity/convenience of care and access mechanisms (cost, payment mechanisms, and ease of emergency care). Measures of attitudes toward caring (humanness) and curing (quality/competence) aspects of doctor conduct appear to reflect the same underlying attitudinal dimension. Findings are discussed in relation to concepts and measures mentioned in the published literature and suggestions are offered for future research.