Yvon Bureau, president of the "Responsable jusqu'à la fin" foundation, spoke at the annual congress of the Quebec section of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. A social worker, Bureau spoke as if he were a doctor and asked some important questions as to what would be his relationship to his patient. His insights can be applied to anyone who works with those who are dying or terminally ill.
Physician-researchers are bound by professional obligations stemming from both the role of the physician and the role of the researcher. Currently, the dominant models for understanding the relationship between physician-researchers' clinical duties and research duties fit into three categories: the similarity position, the difference position and the middle ground. The law may be said to offer a fourth "model" that is independent from these three categories.These models frame the expectations placed upon physician-researchers by colleagues, regulators, patients and research participants. This paper examines the extent to which the data from semi-structured interviews with 30 physician-researchers at three major pediatric hospitals in Canada reflect these traditional models. It seeks to determine the extent to which existing models align with the described lived experience of the pediatric physician-researchers interviewed.Ultimately, we find that although some physician-researchers make references to something like the weak version of the similarity position, the pediatric-researchers interviewed in this study did not describe their dual roles in a way that tightly mirrors any of the existing theoretical frameworks. We thus conclude that either physician-researchers are in need of better training regarding the nature of the accountability relationships that flow from their dual roles or that models setting out these roles and relationships must be altered to better reflect what we can reasonably expect of physician-researchers in a real-world environment.