This article distinguishes two approaches within care theory, relating them to different views on the physician-patient relationship within philosophy of medicine. The first regards care as a skillful comportment by the care-giver, based upon intuitive insight into the needs of the care-receiver. The second regards care as a mutual endeavour, based upon openness and dialogue. The first approach resembles the interpretative model of the doctor-patient relationship; the second is parallel to the deliberative model. The two approaches within care theory and the two positions within philosophy of medicine are both expressions of a fundamental distinction between two different views of interpersonal understanding. This distinction is elaborated upon by discussing Gadamer's analysis of interpersonal understanding.