Medicine and personality characteristics of its practitioners pose for physicians unique hazards to emotional health and marital satisfaction. The attempt to meet too many emotional needs in work may preclude adequate attention to personal and family problems. The physician should be more aware of his own and his family's emotional needs, and be less threatened by less-than-perfect adjustment in himself or other family members. Suggestions include: teaching psychiatry on a developmental and adaptational model; offering marital groups in medical school; and encouraging the process of marital contracting and the use of marital therapy when emotional problems arise in either spouse. The understanding and resolution of emotional distress of one marital partner often requires the involvement of both, as people intimately attached to each other tend to have neither problems nor solutions in isolation.