In the future, trauma research and care will have to become better, faster, and less expensive. Surgeons in the next millennium must be able to diagnose wounds, initiate correct procedures, and anticipate complications more accurately than before. Violent crime will not abate, nor will the proliferation of more powerful arms; these trends translate into graver traumatic wounds, giving the operating team less time to stabilize patients. Time management and team coordination are becoming key elements for patient survival, especially for patients with potentially fatal wounds, such as those to the heart. The authors have reduced the time from arrival to surgery to a few minutes. The keys to this feat are readiness, team coordination, and high morale. Financial resources will continue to be limited and allocated on a need-first basis. In the future, trauma centers will compete for dwindling funds. Technology is and always will be just a tool, whereas qualified trauma surgeons are irreplaceable, much more so than in any other surgical specialty. Observation, diagnosis, and surgery are, of course, greatly facilitated by ever-evolving technology, but since the time of Hippocrates, split-second decisions can ultimately be made only by the caregiver in the white smock. Trauma surgeons in the next millennium will have to exercise judgment based on knowledge, surgical skills, and contact with patients. To err is human, but in surgery, errors often cause death, and no machine will ever relieve surgeons of that burden.