The purpose of this historical research was to explore the evolution of the doctor-nurse relationship. Specifically, older nurses were interviewed regarding their nursing interactions with physicians approximately 50 years ago. A grounded theory approach was employed to analyse the data. Inherent to the difficulties nurses experienced was the dominant power position assumed by doctors in the health profession. The data give added insights into the development of this relationship. It was found that because nurses were educated primarily by doctors and because they were hired by doctors if they were considered to be ‘good’ nurses, a sex role stereotype of the nurse emerged. Historically these roles have influenced and continued to influence the nursing profession.