Much of the existing published research in Forensic and Legal Medicine is based upon the quantitative approach, which is derived from the positivist paradigm and generally employs pre-determined data collection tools to gather data for statistical analysis with a view to testing hypotheses. It must always be remembered that clinicians are concerned not only with diagnosing and treating medical problems in a vacuum, but rather they must empathise with patients and provide care in a holistic fashion. Too narrow a focus on the quantitative approach to research will significantly limit the evidence base upon which the Discipline of Forensic and Legal Medicine can develop. Wider adoption of the qualitative approach, which stems from the interpretivist paradigm and harnesses research methods that allow in-depth exploration of the meaning and understanding that individuals ascribe to the world around them, would generate rich insight in to patients' experiences of forensic healthcare, which could be utilised to advance quality improvement. This article outlines how qualitative research can benefit the discipline, identifies barriers to its use and suggests brief, targeted solutions.