The provision of high quality medical care and the insurance of patient satisfaction depend in part upon the ability and willingness of physicians to establish rapport with their patients and to develop effective physician-patient communication. In this study, patients' overall satisfaction with their physicians' care was assessed in relation to their perceptions of their physicians' (1) proficiency at communicating and listening to details of the illness and medical treatment, (2) capability of providing affective care, and (3) technical competence. Perceptions of physician behaviors were measured by a questionnaire administered to 329 patients of 54 residents in a family practice center. The relationship between the perceptions of patients and their satisfaction with medical care was examined both for the entire sample and among groups of patients with differing demographic characteristics. Results indicate an important link between patients' perceptions of socioemotional aspects of the physician-patient relationship and their reported satisfaction with medical care. Noticeable differences were found to exist in the importance that patients with different demographic characteristics placed on various aspects of their physicians' conduct.