The Internet is likely to play a key role in future health care-related communication. The challenge for health care institutions is to determine how to use this technology most effectively without disturbing the delicate physician-patient relationship. As the first step to implementing the use of this technology, we explored the access, attitudes, and concerns both of physicians and patients regarding e-mail use for health care-related communication. At The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, we administered a questionnaire survey to faculty and residents in the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics departments and to the patients seen in the resident clinics. The results indicate that only a select group of physicians and patients might be ready to use e-mail for health care reasons. Most patients did not have access to the Internet and had no experience using e-mail. Though all physicians use e-mail, they were concerned about using it for health-related communication.