39 Norwegian physicians have been interviewed and another 49 have either written down or dictated the history of their illness. In this article we focus on the doctors' dilemmas during the various stages of their illness. The general trend is to postpone seeking help, and to try to deny or hide, from themselves and others, the fact that they are seriously ill. The reasons for this are discussed. Some have difficulty in abandoning the role of doctor for that of patient; while others, who would prefer to be just a patient, are often not allowed this. Often, the doctor's doctor also experiences a conflict of roles. These dilemmas can tell us something of general interest about the role of the patient, the role of the doctor, and the patient/doctor relationship in society.