The basis of an effective and satisfactory physician–patient relationship is found in the communication which occurs between these two individuals. By studying the interaction, we can learn much about the identities of the physician and patient, and how they view each other and the world. The interactional dynamics between physician and patient are unique. For example, even in initial medical encounters which involve the meeting of two strangers, patients and physicians deal with concerns as diverse as life and death as well as other intimate or personal issues. Researchers of physician–patient interaction seek to discover how communication evolves and how that communication reveals the multiple levels of meaning in the medical encounter.