Since he knows a patient well and, in turn, is well known by this patient, the family doctor's role as a member of the attending hospital team is one of major significance to the patient and his family. From the moment he detects a problem requiring surgery, through preliminary studies, admission to the hospital, selection of a surgeon, definitive studies, surgery, and postoperative care, the family doctor has definite responsibilities. He supplies information and observations peculiar to this one person and acts as his patient's personal consultant to all other attending men. He communicates the many facets of scientific information developed in the definitive management of the case to both patient and family in meaningful language. He must bring understanding to both patient and family in a highly personalized manner in a setting that often is too impersonal.