During a three-month period the authors reviewed the charts of patients prescribed benzodiazepine and non-benzodiazepine medications by 73 housestaff practicing in an ambulatory medical clinic. Compared with non-benzodiazepine prescriptions, benzodiazepine name (p<0.001), instructions (p<0.001), and targeted problems (p<0.0001) were significantly underrectorded. In 11% of the records reviewed there was no indication that a mood disorder had been identified or a benzodiazepine prescribed (p<0.0001). Problems targeted for benzodiazepine management were found less frequently in the records of elderly patients than in those of patients <65 years of age (p<0.05). The authors conclude that many houseofficers significantly underdocument the prescriptions they write for benzodiazepine medications and that this may be a marker of their regard for managing mood disorders with benzodiazepines. © 1986, Society for Research and Educations in Primary Care Internal Medicine. All rights reserved.