[This paper is a commentary on The Role of the Physician Executive in Managing the Healthcare Value Chain by Ajay Singh and Eugene S. Schneller.]

The physician executive is a new role in Canada. The importance and advantage of this role in the management of the Canadian healthcare system is as important as in the American experience. American healthcare has just undergone significant change with the establishment of the dominance of a managed healthcare system, the major players being the Health Maintenance Organizations. Canada is on the brink of major changes too. These changes include primary care reform, private companies competing to provide public services, selected privatization of services, a limited supply of healthcare professionals and continuing limited financial resources with increasing demands.