- This study describes reactions of patients to pre-operative interviews with their doctors. Many studies have dealt with the cognitive and emotional implications of verbal preparation for surgery as related to post-operative recovery. This study concentrates on the different needs of doctors and patients in these interactions. Doctor and patient interviews, and their recalls by patients before and after surgery, were taped and transcripted. An evaluation was made of objective informative concerns as opposed to subjective personal concerns in each of these interviews. Results show that patients expressed, in interviews with students, subjective personal concerns rather than objective informative concerns. On the other hand, doctors and patients relate mainly on the objective informative level. Both doctors and their patients need to limit the doctors' emotional involvement in their dialogue. Moreover the nature of this dialogue gives little scope for expression of patients' subjective concerns.