If given a choice, would patients prefer an inhaled or IV method of inducing anesthesia? We investigated the choice between inhaled and IV induction of anesthesia of adult patients presenting to an academic institution for ambulatory surgery. Of 240 patients audited at the preoperative visit, 212 (88%) reported anesthetic histories in which anesthesia had been induced IV and by inhalation in 203 (96%) and 5 (2%) patients, respectively, with the remaining 4 (2%) having no recall of route of the induction of anesthesia. Seventy-eight (33%) patients selected IV induction, 120 (50%) chose inhaled induction, and 42 (17%) patients were undecided. Sevoflurane was used successfully for induction in 154 patients to whom it was offered. These findings seem to contradict the concept that most adult patients have an aversion to anesthesia masks and suggest that a fear of needle stick may be more prevalent among some populations of American adults. Where manpower and facilities permit and in the absence of risk of regurgitation or airway difficulty, it is suggested that enquiry be made of healthy adults presenting for elective ambulatory surgery as to their preferred route for the induction of anesthesia.