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Migration of mental health professionals is an important phenomenon influencing mental health services of host and donor countries. Data on medical migration in Europe is very limited, particularly in the field of young doctors and psychiatry. To research this hot topic, the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) conducted the EFPT Brain Drain Survey.
To identify the impact of previous short-term mobility on international migration and to understand characteristics, patterns and reasons of migration.
In this cross-sectional European multicentre study, data were collected from 2281 psychiatric trainees across 33 countries. All participants answered to the EFPT Brain Drain Survey reporting their attitudes and experiences on migration.
Two-thirds of the trainees had not had a short-mobility experience in their lifetime, but those that went abroad were satisfied with their experiences, reporting that these influenced their attitude towards migration positively. However, the majority of the trainees had not had a migratory experience of more than 1 year. Flows showed that Switzerland and United Kingdom have the greatest number of immigrant trainees, whereas Germany and Greece have the greatest number of trainees leaving. ‘'Pull factors'’ were mostly academic and personal reasons, whereas ‘'push factors'’ were mainly: academic and financial reasons. Trainees that wanted to leave the country were significantly more dissatisfied with their income.
The majority of the trainees has considered leaving the country they currently lived in, but a lower percentage has taken steps towards migration.
Research is one of the most appealing fields for trainees in psychiatry and is an essential competency within curricula. Skills gained through research impact on clinical care and can be developed throughout the training of young psychiatrists. Since mobility is growing at different levels within psychiatry, giving rise to new challenges while requiring the exchange of visions and know-how, international collaborative research becomes crucial and should be promoted since the training.
To share the experience of joint work and collaborative research done through joining professional associations, such as the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) that provide opportunities for participating in research activities and establishing networks with others.
The interest for academic background and investigational activities are essential in psychiatry, being therefore crucial to share and promote discussion on the international research projects done in an international meeting point like this.
Assess the research projects done through time by the EFPT research group with special focus on the most recent ones.
Since 2008 the EFPT started a research group with the aim of facilitating trainee-led collaborative studies. Over the years, several international research projects on training-related areas have been conducted and published in international peer-reviewed journals.
The research projects done will be briefly presented, showing that trainees can have the possibility to participate in all the phases of the projects as national coordinators and share with other colleagues their research competencies, having the possibility at times to rely on supervision by internationally renowned experts.
Psychiatric training in the European Union is undergoing a process of harmonization of national curricula in order to establish a common postgraduate training framework. The Research Group of the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) is conducting a multi-national study on psychiatry education of trainees among the European countries in regard to the Union Européenne Des Médecins Spécialistes (UEMS) 2009 competencies framework.
The aims are to raise awareness on these competencies, compile data on trainees‘ experience of their training and assessment methods, opinions on level of confidence, and on relevance of these competencies.
This study surveyed trainees from 15 EFPT countries using a questionnaire developed specifically for this research.
Psychiatric training in Europe differs significantly regarding length, with a training duration ranging from 4 to 8 years. Only 26,7% of the trainees were well acquainted with the UEMS competencies and trainees from only 8 countries declared to have a competency based national training curriculum. These results reveal that trainees have different experiences and opinions on competencies and assessment methods depending on their country of residence.
A limitation of the results may be that our respondents are the EFPT representatives’ and probably have better knowledge on the educational issues.
The combined quantitative and qualitative outlook on national training programmes from the trainees point of view enhances our understanding and perspective of the dynamic processes of psychiatric education in Europe. Data obtained from this research study contributes to the efforts to unify psychiatric training curricula.
There is a shortage of psychiatrists worldwide. Within Europe, psychiatric trainees can move between countries, which increases the problem in some countries and alleviates it in others. However, little is known about the reasons psychiatric trainees move to another country.
Survey of psychiatric trainees in 33 European countries, exploring how frequently psychiatric trainees have migrated or want to migrate, their reasons to stay and leave the country, and the countries where they come from and where they move to. A 61-item self-report questionnaire was developed, covering questions about their demographics, experiences of short-term mobility (from 3 months up to 1 year), experiences of long-term migration (of more than 1 year) and their attitudes towards migration.
A total of 2281 psychiatric trainees in Europe participated in the survey, of which 72.0% have ‘ever’ considered to move to a different country in their future, 53.5% were considering it ‘now’, at the time of the survey, and 13.3% had already moved country. For these immigrant trainees, academic was the main reason they gave to move from their country of origin. For all trainees, the overall main reason for which they would leave was financial (34.4%), especially in those with lower (<500€) incomes (58.1%), whereas in those with higher (>2500€) incomes, personal reasons were paramount (44.5%).
A high number of psychiatric trainees considered moving to another country, and their motivation largely reflects the substantial salary differences. These findings suggest tackling financial conditions and academic opportunities.
Despite efforts to unify psychiatric education among European member countries, there are still considerable variations between national training programmes. To ensure equivalence of training standards the current tendency of recommended guidelines and reports is steering psychiatric training towards becoming more competency focused.
The research group of the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) conducted a multi-national study on postgraduate psychiatry training. The aims are to assess the psychiatric trainees’ experiences and opinions on their national training and assessment methods in respect to the Union européenne des médecins spécialistes (UEMS) 2009 competencies framework.
This study surveyed 745 psychiatric trainees from 10 EFPT member countries using a questionnaire designed specifically for assessing this issue.
In this sample, the majority are aware of having a competency based training programme but 86.5% are poorly acquainted with the UEMS competencies framework. All key competencies were rated as being important but not all as being relevant in the assessment process. One's level of preparedness and the degree of education one's receives during their training differs from one competency to another. Trainees who aren’t satisfied with their national training would be in favour of taking an end of training Pan-European exam which differs from the one's that are satisfied and wouldn’t be interested in undergoing this assessment method.
This sample isn’t fully acquainted with the competency-based concept for postgraduate training. The ones satisfied with their postgraduate psychiatric education seem to be less inclined to take an end of training Pan European exam.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Workforce migration of mental health professionals seems to have a significant impact on mental health services, both in the donor and host countries. Nevertheless, information on migration in junior doctors within Europe is very limited. Therefore, the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) has conducted the Brain Drain Survey.
To identify, in junior doctors training in psychiatry, the impact of international short-term mobility experiences, towards a future workforce migration across countries, exploring its patterns and reasons.
In this cross-sectional international study, data were collected from 2281 psychiatric trainees in 33 countries. All participants answered to the EFPT Brain Drain Survey reporting their attitudes and experiences on mobility and migration.
Only one-third of the trainees had a short-mobility experience in their lifetime, being education the main purpose for these experiences. Interestingly, the main predictors for future migratory tendency were not only the having a income and being dissatisfied with this income, but having a short-mobility experience. In fact, people that had short-mobility experiences were two times more likely to express a migratory tendency. Trainees that went abroad were predominantly satisfied with their experiences, reporting that these influenced their attitudes towards migration, positively.
These findings show that short-term mobility has a positive impact into future long-term migration, increasing its probability.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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