To have a better understanding of our patients' knowledge of advance directive planning and execution, as well as communication with their oncologists regarding their wishes, we conducted a survey on our inpatient hematology-oncology services. A total of 68 unique hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of cancer completed surveys. Surveys were given to all oncology patients regardless of their reason for admission. Overall, 29% of the patients reported having had a discussion with their oncologist regarding their wishes if they became seriously ill or near death. Of those who did have this conversation, the majority said that they, rather than their physician, initiated it. Although the vast majority of patients (97%) knew what a living will was, only 54% had one in place. Twenty patients had a discussion with their oncologist, and 14 of them (70%) had a living will. This percentage was higher than in the group that did not have a conversation with their physician (48%; 23 of 48 patients), but the difference was not statistically significant. Most cancer patients admitted to an inpatient oncology unit either did not have or did not recall having a discussion with their oncologist regarding end-of-life issues. This study gives us a baseline of information in evaluating future interventions directed to improve the quality of patient-physician communication regarding end-of-life planning.