We surveyed 80 physicians from four specialties (Family Medicine, General Medicine, General Surgery, Ob-Gyn) to investigate how they taught breast self-examination (BSE). Only half reported personally teaching BSE. Few MDs reported routinely using techniques to assess BSE competency. Most (72 per cent) claimed no formal training in teaching BSE; 10 per cent claimed no training at all. Techniques used to teach BSE may vary, and physicians may lack the training to teach BSE.