In an attempt to assess patient and physician behavior patterns which interfere with effective medical treatment, 100 chronic adult and adolescent asthmatics were asked about the frequency and the nature of their medication non-compliance. The nature of the patient's medication abuse was also related to underlying personality characteristics, as measured by the MMPI Panic-Fear scale. Finally eleven physicians were asked about the frequency with which they asked their patients about over abuse and under abuse of prescribed medications. The results are impressive, showing that 54.0% of the patients reported some type of medication abuse, and that the nature of the abuse may be predicted from the patient's MMPI Panic-Fear score. Perhaps the most important finding was that while over 50% of the patients reported medication non-compliance (under abuse, over abuse, or cyclical abuse), only 27.3% of the physicians said that they routinely inquired about medication abuse. Such a discrepancy suggests one area in which patient and physician characteristics may have a bearing on the effective delivery of medical treatment. The findings underscore the need for physicians to include in their diagnostic procedure a routine inquiry into the patient's patterns of medication non-compliance.