Physicians are increasingly expected to assume responsibility for the management of human and financial resources in health care, particularly in hospitals.Juggling their new management responsibilities with clinical care, teaching and research can lead to conflicting roles. However, their presence in management is crucial to shaping the future health care system. They bring to management positions important skills and values such as observation, problem-solving, analysis and ethical judgement. To improve their management skills physicians can benefit from management education programs such as those offered by the Physician-Manager Institute and several Canadian universities. To manage in the future environment they must increase their knowledge and skills in policy and political processes, financial strategies and management, human resources management, systems and program quality improvement and organizational design.