BACKGROUND: Recently, reinforcement and innovation of primary care has been propeled and family doctor registration program has been proposed as one of the solutions for the problem. The aim of this study was to understand the Korean population's perception concerning the need of the family doctor registration program. METHODS: The study subjects included 865 adults from 16 different cities who were applying for health insurance. The interview for study subjects was performed by 53 nurses during 3 months. The questionnaire was composed of questions eliciting general information about the subject, subject's perception on the necessity and the role of family doctor registration program, and on regarding services offered by the family physician. RESULTS: Seventy seven percent of the respondents were in favor of the family doctor registration program. The most importantly considered benefits of the program were medical examination, stress management, and management of chronic diseases. Sixty one percent of the respondents preferred internists as their family doctor, where as 42 percent preferred a family physician. Most people thought it was reasonable to pay 120,000 won per year as a registration fee. Services thought to be necessary by respondents were medical examination for family members, telephone call counselling, and physician's home visit. CONCLUSION: The results revealed that 77 percent of the subjects responded favorably towards the family doctor registration program. The most importantly considered benefits of the program were medical examination, stress management, and management of chronic diseases.