Abstract The subject of varied acceptance of clinical trial results is discussed in the context of review of trials with which I have been involved and my subjective evaluation of their impact on the practice of clinical medicine. My experience goes back to 1949 and a World Health Organization trial of hyperimmune gamma globulin against rabies. This was followed by a large trial of secondary prevention of poliomyelitis. I participated in the planning and initiation of the first chronic disease trial, the University Group Diabetes Program (UGDP). The latter lasted for 15 years and its ramifications continue to this day. My next trial was the Coronary Drug Project (CDP), a complex trial with more than 8,000 patients. The trials of aspirin and aspirin combined with persantine (the CDPA, AMIS, PARIS I, and PARIS II) followed. My last three trials were a trial of photocoagulation in diabetic retinopathy (DRS), a six-country trial of the antiarrhythmic drug mexiletine (IMPACT), and a study involving two diagnostic procedures for pulmonary embolism (PIOPED). When one considers, in retrospect, the plethora of trials one is struck by the uniform absence of a priori considerations of the impact on medical practice, or likely lack thereof, of possible outcomes.