Of 452 patients seen during one year on a medical-school-affiliated general hospital psychiatric unit, 26 requested to see their charts. These patients tended to be younger, more likely to have character disorders, and less likely to have an affective disorder than patients who did not make chart requests. The apparent increase in the number of patients who ask to see their records may be linked to increasing medical consumerism. Rather than causing therapists to become defensive, record requests should provide an opportunity for education and treatment. The authors outline methods of interpreting and responding to chart requests.