A survey study was conducted to determine patients' preferences for resident physician attire as well as the relationship of physicians' attire to patient satisfaction and perception of the quality of care. Questionnaire responses were obtained from 200 consecutive subjects equally divided among four clinical settings (a hospital-based internal medicine clinic, an emergency room, an internal medicine ward, and a community-based internal medicine clinic) which are maintained by the University of California, Irvine, Medical Center. The questionnaires were administered only to English-speaking patients who had seen a physician on a previous visit. A majority of the patients at the four settings indicated that they had no preference regarding attire (70.5% for male doctors, 66.5% for female doctors): however, 44% of the patients said that neatness of dress was moderately to very important. The aggregate findings were not greatly altered when adjusted for demographic variables such as age, sex, race, occupational status, and education.