Background: Clinician-scientists (CSs) are physicians who work in daily care and have an academic role in research or education. They may act as knowledge brokers and help to connect research and clinical practice. There is no data available on CSs’ brokering activities and the perceived barriers and facilitators to optimising their role in general practice (GP) and elderly care medicine (EM). Aim: To identify the brokering activities of CSs in these fields and the barriers and facilitators they come across whilst sharing knowledge and connecting people in research and frontline health care. Design and setting: Qualitative interview study among 17 Dutch senior CSs. Method: Interview data were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematic interpretative analysis was used to identify themes. Results: CSs facilitate collaboration between researchers and practitioners. They exchange knowledge on both sides, make use of extensive networks and constantly and actively involve care in research and research in care. CSs come across barriers as well as facilitators that influence their brokering activities. Some barriers and facilitators are at the individual level, other are related more to the job context and workplace. Conclusions: This study reveals barriers to overcome and facilitators to develop related to the brokering role of CSs. To make the best use of CSs, brokering activities and the added value of CSs should be recognised and supported. Awareness of what CSs need to function effectively in demanding work settings could be important for the future impact of the role on the fields of GP and EM.