Too poor to leave, too rich to stay: Developmental and global health correlates of physician migration to the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom

  • Arah O
  • Ogbu U
  • Okeke C
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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We analyzed the relationship between physician migration from developing source countries to more developed host countries (brain drain) and the developmental and global health profiles of source countries. METHODS: We used a cross-section of 141 countries that lost emigrating physicians to the 4 major destinations: the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For each source country, we defined physician migration density as the number of migrant physicians per 1000 population practicing in any of the 4 major destination countries. RESULTS: Source countries with better human resources for health, more economic and developmental progress, and better health status appear to lose proportionately more physicians than the more disadvantaged countries. Higher physician migration density is associated with higher current physician (r=0.42, P< .001), nurse (r=0.27, P=.001), and public health (r=0.48, P=.001) workforce densities and more medical schools (r=0.53, P

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