Brain drain 2017: why do medical students need to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

IFMSA_

(IFMSA, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Ankit Raj, a final year MBBS student from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India. He is related to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The term ‘Brain-Drain’ is not new to the Indian media and medical professionals. There are currently 40,838 doctors of Indian origin in USA and they account for 5% of all doctors and 20% of all International Medical Graduates employed in the US workforce. It is noteworthy that India provides the largest number of International Medical Graduates to the US in absolute numbers. With 59,523 physicians of Indian origin working in the English speaking Western world (the US, UK, Australia and Canada combined), India is by far the single largest source of emigrating physicians in the world.[i]

Despite having one of the largest medical education systems in the world with 405 medical colleges enrolling 40,525 students each year, one third of the freshly qualified physicians leave India every year for residency training and/or practice abroad.[ii][iii]

The most evident reason for the said ‘Brain-drain’ is the cast-based reservation of post-graduate seats in medical colleges. Extremely high competition coupled with the cast-based reservation in medical colleges persuades any general category, middle class medical student to aim for a residency spot in developed countries like USA, UK and Australia.

The archaic, single paper, objective-patterned entrance test along with unreasonable, sky-rocketing cut-offs provides an impetus for students who know their clinical skills and research acumen will be better judged in western world. Most of the medical students after completing their residency settle in these countries owing to better facilities, higher quality of life and deserving recognition for their hard work and excellence.

Owing to such high emigration of young physicians and medical students from India, you would expect the government to make a pertinent and considerable move but sadly, Indian government continues to fail. Extremely low expenditure on health, corruption and nexus between politicians and private medical institutions push the government to take policies based on their vote-bank rather than urgency and need.

The increasing trend of brain-drain persuaded the Indian government to launch few policies, many of them being immature and one-sided. To curb the migration of medical students to US for residency and a job later, the health ministry has suspended issuing ‘no obligation to return to India’ (NORI) certificate which is essential for Indian doctors to settle in other countries, most noticeably USA.

Rather than taking such unnecessary baby steps, the government should openly interact with physicians and medical students to look for a more decisive step in right direction. Increasing post-graduation seats, scrapping-off caste-based reservation in post-graduation, improving infrastructure, providing loans and tax-breaks for setting up high-end infrastructure and developing medical curriculum are some of the minor yet decisive initiatives that could bring a major change.

Notwithstanding, the departure of very best human resources at a time when India is reeling under severe doctor-shortage is an urgent and consequential issue that needs drastic resolution and a brave, un-biased approach from government and a resolute determination from medical students.

References

[i] Mullan F. The Metrics of the Physician Brain Drain. N Engl J Med 2005;353:1810-8.

[ii] Search Colleges and Courses. Medical Council of India. (Accessed 12 July 2013, at http://www.mciindia.org/InformationDesk/CollegesCoursesSearch.aspx)

[iii] Supe A, Burdick WP. Challenges and issues in medical education in India. Acad Med 2006;81:1076-80.

About the author

Ankit Raj is a final year MBBS student from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India and a member of IFMSA. He is passionately interested in global health, global surgery, digital health and medical curriculum. Currently, he is also serving as a part of Education team at International Student Surgical Network (InciSioN).

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Eurostat: Real unemployment double than the official rate

Humanitarian aid: EU announces additional €35 million for Africa’s Sahel region

EU-US Trade: European Commission endorses rebalancing duties on US products

The known truth of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Does EURES really exist?

4 steps towards wiping out cervical cancer

With Gaza violence ‘escalating as we speak,’ UN envoy calls for ‘immediate stop’

Investing in working conditions and quality jobs

It’s time to stop talking about ethics in AI and start doing it

The EU Commission to fight unemployment tsunami with a…scoreboard

UN General Assembly President defends ‘landmark’ migration compact

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

Why impoverishment and social exclusion grow in the EU; the affluent north also suffers

How to tackle the perils of air pollution

World Cancer Day: Here’s how perceptions about the disease differ around the world

Coronavirus Global Response: EIB and Commission pledge additional €4.9 billion

EU Ambassadors in the EP: a multilateral approach to global challenges needed

How next-generation information technologies tackled COVID-19 in China

In Washington D.C., Guterres signs pact with World Bank, meets US President Trump

As the year closes out, UN political chief talks the art of diplomacy – and crises to watch in 2019.

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

How blockchain can manage the future electricity grid

How close is the new financial Armageddon? IMF gives some hints

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

Why we need a blockchain bill of rights

Conflict, climate change among factors that increase ‘desperation that enables human trafficking to flourish’, says UN chief

EU gas market: new rules agreed will also cover gas pipelines entering the EU

Will Boris Johnson’s victory lead to a no-deal Brexit or is there still time?

The rise of techno-nationalism – and the paradox at its core

Coronavirus: EU guidance for a safe return to the workplace

‘Provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric’ destabilizing Middle East, warns top UN official

Breaking barriers between youth in the new tech era: is there an easy way through?

IMAGINATION, FACTS AND OPPORTUNITIES – THE UNLIMITED POWER OF CHINA

Hostilities in Syria’s southwest, mean cuts in vital aid across Jordanian border: Senior UN official

What did we learn from COP25?

Liaison Officer – 2020

How a 3-point plan could help rebuild business for the long-term

Syria: UN Humanitarian Coordinator calls for unimpeded access from within the country

Afghanistan: top UN official denounces ‘extreme’ suffering of civilians in Ghazni

The role of employers in the post #MeToo era

‘Eden bonds’: how rewilding could save the climate and your pension

From battlefields to boardrooms: 3 steps to building high-morale teams

Protection of transported animals: Parliament establishes inquiry committee

Towards a climate-neutral Europe: EU invests over €10bn in innovative clean technologies

The Chinese solar panels suddenly became too cheap for Europe

The EU risks trade relations with China over the Tata hype about steel

Flexible jobs can make work-life balance worse, a German study finds

Syria: UN chief welcomes first aid convoy to Rukban camp since January, joint agency operation assists 50,000

Trump and Brexit: After the social whys the political whereto

Somalia: UN congratulates Puntland region’s newly-elected President

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

Four lessons for a successful switch to value-based healthcare

How to make PHC a favourable career choice for medical students: Strategies and reflections

European Junior Enterprises to address the significant skills mismatch in the EU between school and employment

Antitrust: Commission publishes study on the application of Interchange Fees Regulation

The importance of pre-departure training for a better understanding of global health issues

Green economy ‘not to be feared, but an opportunity to be embraced’ says UN chief as COP25 gets underway

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

Why the world needs the youth revolution more than ever

Better protection against non-cash payment fraud

More Stings?

Advertising

Comments

  1. Have you ever thought about that?
    Have you ever asked yourself a question: Where to find them?
    A few days ago, my friend went to all the websites to find them and the results were hopeless. If you decide to give up, read this article. It must be said that the article is useful for those

  2. I agree with a lot of the points you made in this article. I appreciate the work you have put into this and hope you continue writing on this subject.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Ankit Raj, a final year MBBS student from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India. Read more here […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s