Here, There or Anywhere... 8/26/2008 05:58:00 PM

In the middle of a relatively quiet holiday duty, I’m contemplating TBR’s topic for this edition. The brain drain is taking center stage. Yet, who decides where you want to work, anyway? We do have free choice in this country, and if I have the means to do so, I can always decide to establish my practice in another corner of the world.
I think this might be a question for those who trained in government-subsidized medical schools. The taxpayers can demand their money’s worth by demanding that one renders service to the country that paid for most of one’s tuition fees. On the other hand, who can compel the rest of us graduates of private medical schools with exorbitant tuition fees paid for by parents (the nearest of kin in my place) when we decided that it is best to seek greener pastures abroad to easily recoup our investment? Will the government compensate us for staying on to serve the country another 2 years the compensation that we would get if we were practicing abroad?
I decided to take a quick poll by looking at the Friendster profiles (60+ out of 90+ were listed) of my batchmates (CIM PBL Pioneers ’05) to figure out where we stood in the “brain drain”. Approximately 1/3 of us have already taken the USMLE/medical licensure exams in other countries, waiting to be matched to hospitals or starting residency. The rest of us are either in first or second year residency training in various subspecialties or moonlighting here in the country. Greener pastures is the usual reason or to join family and friends. I also have one batchmate who is about to leave her residency training at the end of the year to join her husband (not in the medical field) in the UK.
The numbers I came up with are pretty significant though the sample is quite small. I think it is quite representative of the whole country as well. I don’t think that creating laws to keep people from leaving are going to be helpful in the long run though. What is necessary is for young doctors to feel that they are justly compensated during training and actual clinical practice in our country. That way, they will have more reasons to stay than a feeling of obligation to serve the country.

2 other thoughts:

J.A. said...

This is my 100th blogger post!
Pass the ice tea, please!

ness said...

congratulations, JA! keep on writing!