Years ago, as a contented community family physician practicing with 4 physician colleagues, I focused on applying medical knowledge to help patients. After a young patient's death from smoking I became interested in improving our strategy for helping smokers quit. A researcher offered us the opportunity to test a cessation intervention that had been successful in an academic setting. I was concerned that this study would interfere with my patient care duties until I visited a practitioner researcher in Wales. I was inspired and worked with a research professional to build colleague support and carry out this project. After this gratifying experience I had similar experiences working with other research teams. As an ordinary practitioner I had expanded my role to become significantly involved in research. In this role I was working with a team to improve patient care. It was a fundamental change that brought me great satisfaction.