Personal continuity is no longer always evident in general practice. Changes in society and in general practice seem to have shifted away from an emphasis on personal patient-doctor relationships. We studied how patients' lack of preference for a particular general practitioner (GP) or preference for a different GP is related to patients' evaluations of care. Patients who were indifferent to the GP seen, and patients who would have preferred another GP, evaluated consultations significantly less positively than patients who saw their GP of preference. Developments towards less personal doctoring in general practice should, therefore, be considered carefully.