There is a need for physicians and other health workers to attempt to speak the patient's language and, if not to accept, then at least to understand the patient's value system. Attention must be given to patients' own ideas about the presenting illness, and their expectations of the physician must be dealt with explicitly. Parents need specific information about the nature and causation of illness in their children. In addition, direct attention must be given to the emotional and social components of child health, especially during visits for well-baby care and health supervision. Patients appreciate a physician who is friendly, who expresses solidarity and support to them, who devotes some time to nonmedical and social subjects, and who treats them with warmth, humanity, and respect.