Stemming the Medical Brain Drain: A Personal Perspective on a Global Problem

Saate Shakil


The term “medical brain drain” refers to the international migration of physicians from the developing world to developed countries. This loss of health professionals contributes significantly to global health inequities. The issue has been framed in terms of ethical, financial, and infrastructural issues, and many attempts have been made to pose solutions that address the respective arms of this multifaceted phenomenon. This article seeks to

explore the medical brain drain from a migrant physician’s personal perspective, contextualized with data and analysis from relevant literature. I conclude that adopting the mindset of “brain circulation” rather than “brain drain” will be a component in paving the way for multidisciplinary solutions to the problems that promote the migration of physicians from resource-limited settings. 


brain drain; medical brain drain; developed countries; developing world

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