This commentary discusses Tzountzouris and Gilbert's article on issues related to emerging health human resources (HHR) requirements and the role of educational institutions in anticipating and meeting them. It is apparent that educational institutions are influenced by and, in turn, influence a number of elements of HHR. They therefore have a unique role in responding to emerging HHR needs, from assessing the needs to evaluating responses. While this commentary shares the general idea presented by the authors of the lead paper, it outlines some of the issues that should be taken into consideration in formulating these roles.