CONTEXT Academic and medical models are emerging as alternatives to the athletics model, which is the more predominant model in the collegiate athletic training setting. Little is known about athletic trainers' (ATs') perceptions of these models. OBJECTIVE To investigate the perceived benefits of and barriers in the medical and academic models. DESIGN Qualitative study. SETTING National Collegiate Athletic Association Divisions I, II, and III. PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS A total of 16 full-time ATs (10 men, 6 women; age = 32 ± 6 years, experience = 10 ± 6 years) working in the medical (n = 8) or academic (n = 8) models. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We conducted semistructured telephone interviews and evaluated the qualitative data using a general inductive approach. Multiple-analyst triangulation and peer review were completed to satisfy data credibility. RESULTS In the medical model, role congruency and work-life balance emerged as benefits, whereas role conflict, specifically intersender conflict with coaches, was a barrier. In the academic model, role congruency emerged as a benefit, and barriers were role strain and work-life conflict. Subscales of role strain included role conflict and role ambiguity for new employees. Role conflict stemmed from intersender conflict with coaches and athletics administrative personnel and interrole conflict with fulfilling multiple overlapping roles (academic, clinical, administrative). CONCLUSIONS The infrastructure in which ATs provide medical care needs to be evaluated. We found that the medical model can support better alignment for both patient care and the wellbeing of ATs. Whereas the academic model has perceived benefits, role incongruence exists, mostly because of the role complexity associated with balancing teaching, patient-care, and administrative duties.