This study will seek to encourage communication scholars to take a more active interest in insuring optimum health care for society to the extent that communication can contribute to that accomplishment. It will seek to specify the kinds of communication taking place in physician-patient relationships, identify the major variables relating to the communication process of that relationship and suggest possible directions the relationship and the research may be taking. Three basic statements emerge. First, in seeking to successfully deal with a persistent health care problem, we must come to grips with communication as a significant variable. Second, although we know something about communication in the patient-physician arena, we need to know much more. Third, communication researchers can make important contributions in the ongoing struggle of a modern generation to cope with its medical ills.