BACKGROUND: As of 2006, the residents of family medicine occupies about 9 percent among the total. However, expansion of more general practice doctors is in demand to conduct desirable general practice. Accordingly, this study was conducted to survey the motivation to apply for family medicine residency and the actual situation. METHODS: A questionnaire survey of 862 residents of nationwide family medicine from June 2006 to July 2006 was performed via e-mails. Hospital, size, years, gender, age, university, career, time and motivation to apply, and existence and nonexistence of lecture in medical school or clinical practice of family medicine for students were reviewed. RESULTS: Among the total, 415 (48.14%) residents from 72 training hospitals answered. For the motivation, 'the necessity to diagnose and treat various patients' was 53.49%, 'advantageous to start practice' was 21.93%, and 'relatively short training period' was 11.33%. For the time, during 'intern' was 49.40%, 'on getting a job' 16.63%, and as a 'student' 15.42%. When they had lectures of family medicine in medical school, decision made as a student was 19.93%, and during clinical practice was 21.61%. CONCLUSION: Among the reasons that motivated to apply for family medicine, 'the necessity to diagnose and treat various patients' was the biggest, which conforms to the training goal of Academy of Family Physicians. Since there is a tendency to select family medicine residency earlier when they are exposed to lectures of family medicine or clinical practices in medical school, the effort to expand substantial lectures and clinical practices is needed.