The Unit is devoted to the study of communication between patients of all ages and health professionals. Patient-health professional communication is the essential component of the patient-health professional relationship and a key determinant of patient health outcomes. Faculty in the Unit conduct research on the nature of communication, factors which influence communication and outcomes of communication. A cornerstone of the Unit has been the study of medical encounters between older patients' and their physicians. Led by Ronald D. Adelman, M.D. and Michele G. Greene, Dr.P.H., Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, the Unit seeks to improve communication between health professionals and patients through scientific investigation and innovative interventions for patients, family members, and health professionals.