Although medicine and nursing are complementary and equally important, paradoxically the relationship can appear adversarial at times. Physicians and nurses work concurrently and conjointly in hospitals where patients are admitted for round-the-clock nursing care to help cure or attenuate diseases. Roles are further obscured for advanced practice nurses and physicians when they perform the same function, such as in the practice of anesthesia. Regarding physician-nurse relationships, the following questions become apparent:Why do these professions compete over the right to take care of patients? Where and when did this conflict originate? Answers are complicated and multifactorial. This commentary briefly reviews the history of the establishment of medicine and nursing, discusses gender roles, and summarizes differences in education and training between the two disciplines.