"Truth is the daughter of Time," said mystery writer Josephine Tey. This point, illustrated in her rehabilitation of the "villainous" King Richard III, is equally apt for a reconsideration of the 1991 Barer-Stoddart report on medical personnel. Canadian physicians have reviled these authors for "creating" a physician shortage by encouraging provincial cuts to medical school enrolment. Yet, data pre- and post-1991 are quite clear: their report did not and could not have had this effect. The physician-to-population ratio has been stable since 1989. Average physician hours of work have fallen, but per capita expenditures on physicians' services (inflation-adjusted) are rising rapidly. A flood of physicians from the major expansion of enrolments now in place threatens serious fiscal trouble over the next two decades, and is likely to pre-empt any significant system reform.