This study sought to determine the prevalence and characteristics of morbidity and mortality conferences (M&MCs) in U.S. internal medicine training programs. Two hundred ninety-five of 416 (71%) surveys were returned. Ninety percent of programs have an M&MC. Most meet monthly, have a designated leader, and entail case discussions of 3 or fewer patients. Cases are selected on the basis of unexpected bad outcomes, teaching value, and to a lesser extent, suspected medical error. Two thirds of the sites use M&MCs to meet administrative requirements for quality assurance. M&MC, while prevalent in internal medicine training programs, has a heterogeneity of focus. Hence, the goals and role of the conference, as judged by this survey, do not appear to be well defined and may warrant further clarification.