Why do medical students seek for work abroad?

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr. Cagri Orkun Kilic, a medical student at the University of Marmara Faculty of Medicine in Istanbul, Turkey and Ms Aleksandra Likońska, a medical student at the University of Lodz, Poland . Both are also affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Article 13 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.” When healthcare workers move from one country to another to work, there are two factors to consider: Those called “push factors” which incites one to leave one’s country, and “pull factors” which can attract one to another country. Push and pull factors usually exist as opposite pairs such as low financial compensation in one country, and relatively high financial compensations in another country. Here we would like to elaborate the most common reasons why medical students leave their home country to work elsewhere.

Medical students voluntarily dedicate their youth and free time to explore art of healing human body and it seems rightful to demand equitable salary for their work, which includes personal, financial and moral responsibilities. In many countries salaries for young doctors neither ensure enough livelihood nor is the reflection of the workload and responsibility. Moreover, young doctors, who know that specialty is essential for their future career very often agree to lower payments or emigrate.

Graduation is not enough – in most countries to become an independent doctor specialty is required. Specialty course is a paid position at hospital and trainees are called residents. Residents learn by working, are gradually given more advanced procedures to perform, initially under supervision, later on their own. Average time of specialty course is 4-6 years.

In Europe there is noticeably alarming trend of increasing number of medical students, but without parallel increase of specialty places. Emigration is inevitable when students don’t have possibility to continue their medical career in country they trained in. This policy that originally put forward to solve the problem of lacking doctors, instead aggravated it. Poor quality of postgraduate studies is also a drive for leaving homeland. Specialty course should be a time of gradual transition from mostly theoretical knowledge gained at university to fully individual medical practice. Regrettably, very often this process is disturbed: lack of supervisors, work overload brings overwhelming duties such as additional shifts.

Humans seek to move out of a place where they feel insecure, as shown by the recent refugee situation in Europe. Economic and political instability and minority issues of a country are important pushing factors for medical students to seek new countries to settle and work. Disruptions in a country’s management and civil turmoil affect healthcare rapidly as deterioration of societal well-being leads to overuse of hospitals. Together with a sense of insecurity, political and economical instability is the recipe for medical student emigration.

WHO suggests that heavy workload is a reason for healthcare workers migration. Medicine is a non-stop profession as people will always suffer from health problems and require treatment. The need for doctors in medical facilities are 24/7 and shifts and working hours are decided by special labor contracts. Demand for doctors’ work is high and with some poor management of human resources, doctors face inhumane working hours even around Europe.

While the movement of medical students is a human right, on the other hand migration of doctors deepen the problem of lacking medical professionals in unprivileged areas. By understanding all factors behind doctors’ migration, IFMSA believes that solutions to such a complex problem may be found when worked together with governments, medical schools and other non-governmental organisations.

About the authors

Aleksandra Likońska is 5th year medical student at Medical University of Lodz, Poland, currently Standing Committee on Medical Education Regional Assistant for Europe 2016-17, International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA). Medical education enthusiast and researcher. Advocator for better medical universities’ curricula. Guide for medical students that want to be a change leaders in their countries. Member of Student Taskforce during An International Association For Medical Education AMEE Conference in Glasgow and Barcelona.

Cagri Orkun Kilic is a 6th year medical student at University of Marmara Faculty of Medicine in Istanbul, Turkey. He worked as National Officer of Medical Education for Turkish Medical Students Association (TurkMSIC) 2013-2014 and as Medical Education Director for European Medical Students Association (EMSA) 2015-2016. He also worked for two years as one of the coordinators of Student Taskforce during An International Association For Medical Education AMEE Conferences in 2016 and 2017.

 

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

The sustainable fashion revolution is well underway. These 5 trends prove it

With rapid, far-reaching changes, world can prevent climate change worst-case scenarios – UN chief

The ‘American Dream’ can be best achieved in the Nordic nations, says Finland’s PM

Venezuela: MEPs demand free presidential elections and an end to repression

UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths

Cyprus President urges collective leadership to address ‘root causes’ of world’s crises

Women Win in the West

Our idea of what makes a company successful needs to change. And it starts with making waste expensive

What do the economic woes of Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia have in common?

Draghi: Germany has to spend if Eurozone is to exit recession

Should we be worried about third-hand smoke?

4 eco-friendly products put sustainable spins on classic practices, from teacups to hankies

Can privatisation be the panacea for the lack of growth in Europe?

One in three Venezuelans not getting enough to eat, UN study finds

How AI and machine learning are helping to fight COVID-19

IMF: World cup and productivity

4 ways digitisation can unlock Africa’s recovery

Somalia: UN Security Council condemns terrorist attack in which dozens were killed or injured

UN agency assists Central American caravan migrants, voices concern for receiving countries

JADE Generations Club: Connecting perspectives, changing Europe.

We are on the edge of a new ‘cyber’ space age. This is how we make it a success

On sidelines of UN climate summit, US President calls for protection of religious freedom

The future of crypto-assets, from opportunities to policy implications

This app uses augmented reality to rewrite ‘herstory’

7 top things to know about coronavirus today

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

Political solutions ‘prerequisite to sustainable peace’, Lacroix tells Security Council

Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: mental health, conflict prevention, Ebola in Uganda, Sudan protests, child labour

How technology and play can power high-quality learning in schools

‘Our goal is to democratize the air.’ How aerial transportation will shape cities of the future

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

Mexico cannot move forward ‘without addressing the shadows of the past’, says UN rights chief

How Africa’s women can drive the 4IR forward

Spotlight Initiative – EU and UN fight against domestic violence in the Pacific region

World Health Organization calls crisis meeting over deadly Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

Cheap sea transport with low cost seafarers

This is how we inspire young people in the Middle East to join the fight against climate change

Annual UN women activists’ summit opens with focus on services, infrastructure

Researchers have invented a brick that can build itself

The impact of COVID-19 on the life of the elderly

What can each individual do to lessen the burden of mental health in times of the pandemic?

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

A year on from Yemen talks breakthrough, top UN Envoy hails ‘shift’ towards peace, despite setbacks

Crowdfunding: what it is and what it may become

Easing funding woes for UN agency assisting Palestine refugees a ‘wise investment for today and the future’

New EU rules to boost crowdfunding platforms and protect investors

Draghi: A bridge from Brussels to Berlin

Why do US presidential elections last so long? And 4 other things you need to know

Constitutional Committee breakthrough offers ‘sign of hope’ for long-suffering Syrians

Saudi Arabia: UN experts push for prompt release of women human rights defenders

This is what’s happening to the Amazon, according to NASA

Africa is facing a food crisis due to COVID-19. These seeds could help prevent it

The Great Reset requires FinTechs – and FinTechs require a common approach to cybersecurity

Member States’ compliance with EU law in 2019: more work needed

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s speech from World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions

5 reasons why biodiversity matters – to human health, the economy and your wellbeing

5 lessons for social entrepreneurs on how to change the system

Consultant in Forensic Technology – 1969

UN condemns deadly attack on Burkina Faso church

More Stings?

Advertising

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