For over 30 years, researchers have questioned the standard practice of planning the health workforce, with relatively little effect on policy. The authors of this commentary find it extremely refreshing and thoroughly heartening to see their Canadian colleagues making new attempts to change the way that the health workforce is planned and structured. In this commentary, the authors discuss what is meant by healthcare "needs" and the traditionally poor use of data in healthcare planning, and they support Tomblin Murphy and MacKenzie's call for proper evaluation of healthcare resources interventions.