The primary care physician is in a crucial position to facilitate mammography referral of women older than 50 years. Physician underestimation of the importance of the physician role or overestimation of patient resistance can result in lost opportunities for referral. Research is summarized on the impact of physician encouragement on use of mammography and on sources of reluctance to get mammography as reported by patients. Common patients' concerns are discussed. Mammography referral can usually be accomplished successfully by raising the issue and briefly addressing patients' concerns in regard to breast cancer and screening mammography.