BACKGROUND: This study was performed to determine and compare the practice patterns of management of hypertension of the internists and family physicians in general hospitals and to compare them according to the JNC V guidelines. METHODS: Questionnaires were mailed to total 964 of internists and family physicians in general hospitals during May, 1996. 217 of them were returned with the response rate of 23.5%. Chi-square test and Fishers exact test were performed to examine the statistical difference between two groups. RESULTS: The mean age of the respondents was 39.1 and 77.9% of them were male. 65.4 % of hospitals for respondents were located in metropolitan cities. Concerning the number of measurements of blood pressure, 0.5% of the respondents measured just once before confirmation of the diagnosis. Items for physical examinations for initial evaluation were as follows; cardiac auscultation(94.0%), measurements of body weight and height(58.9%), abdominal examination(52.8%), auscultation for carotid bruit(41.7%), fundoscopic examination (25.6%). Regarding the laboratory tests, the frequency of evaluation of all item were higher than that of the physical examinations. For initial drug therapy, calcium channel blockers and ACE inhibitors were the most frequently chosen mediations. No difference was found between two specialties or tertiary and secondary hospitals in this trend. With educations for the life-style modification, 60-80% of the respondents educated the patients. No difference was found between two specialties except one item. CONCLUSIONS: As a whole the JNC V guidelines were not followed faithfully for the management of hypertension.