To assess physicians' use of and attitudes toward electronic mail (e-mail) for patient communication, we conducted a mail-in survey of physicians who see patients in outpatient clinics affiliated with a large academic medical center (N = 283). Seventy-two percent of physicians reported using e-mail to communicate with patients, averaging 7.7 e-mails from patients per month. The lowest level of use was by community-based primary care physicians (odds ratio, 0.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.08 to 0.59). Those physicians who reported using e-mail with patients reported high satisfaction with its use. Although physicians were concerned about the confidentiality of e-mail, few discussed this issue with patients.