Despite the ongoing reality of workforce migration, information on medical migration is missing, with lack of detailed evidence of transnational migrations within Europe, obscuring the extent of how migration occurs amongst the different medical specialties.
The European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) has been pioneer in researching workforce migration in junior doctors, conducting the EFPT Brain Drain study, which explored the reasons and patterns of mobility and migration in 33 European countries among junior doctors training in psychiatry.
The intention has been to better understand the migration phenomena, its reasoning and effects in order to give practical proposals to improve education, training and work conditions and ultimately the health care itself in both donor and host countries.
Migration among medical professionals can take place throughout the career: before, during or after training. Exploring attitudes towards migration among junior doctors can help to understand the factors that shape the decision-making processes related to migration in future specialists.
These findings provide objective data that can assist policy makers, providing instruments to address the critical conditions leading to migration from at-risk countries, adjusting the pull factors and improving the standards of education, work and salaries.
Future studies should explore whether the presented results differ for junior doctors in other medical disciplines, as well as physicians in general and psychiatric consultants in Europe and in other areas of the world. Furthermore, the follow up of the respondents from this study could assess to what extent the migratory tendency and intention predicts the future migration itself.
Disclosure of interest
The author has not supplied his declaration of competing interest.