There has been a great deal of debate about the status of information systems (IS) as an academic discipline, its progress, and continued survival. Most of these critiques have been rather inward-looking, and have focused either on research methodology or the need to develop theoretical foundations. This paper argues that as an applied discipline, IS will not achieve legitimacy by the rigor of its methods or by its theoretical base, but by being practically useful. Its success will be measured by its contribution to the IS profession, and ultimately to society. We argue that to be effective, research must be both (1) relevant to the needs of practice and (2) disseminated and used by practitioners. We use medicine, a discipline which has a high level of integration between research and practice, as a model for radically changing IS research so that it can become more relevant and have a genuine impact in practice.