Concerns have been expressed about gaps between available medical research evidence and current medical practice. These gaps have been attributed to process problems with the implementation of evidence previously judged to be appropriate, rather than to problems with the appropriateness of the evidence provided for implementation. Two such 'appropriateness' problems are the applicability of research evidence to an individual patient, and the acceptability to an individual patient of a proposed treatment. Part of both these problems is due to the pre-eminence of the scientific paradigm within the medical research domain, and of the randomized controlled clinical trial within that domain. However, there is an opportunity beneficially to address both these problems by supporting reciprocal communication between medical research 'producers' and medical research 'consumers'--both practising clinicians and patients' representatives--in the setting of research priorities, selection of topics for research, development of research questions and study designs, in-progress reviewing, and final reporting of medical research projects. Such communication could allow researchers to understand, and respond to, clinicians' and patients' inputs concerning the applicability, utility and acceptability issues that will ultimately affect whether, and how, medical research findings can be applied. Such communication could also assist with some post-research implementation issues: integration of appropriate evidence into everyday practice; access to appropriate information sources; and a critical lack of necessary time.