Emigration: Yes or No?

Doctors are among those specialists who have the most prerequisites and motives to move abroad for career enhancement purposes.

The most obvious motive is searching for job vacancy in a workplace that offers a better remuneration package. Health care is going through a really rough period worldwide but different countries have been affected to a different extent. The image of physicians’ profession and the social recognition doctors receive also vary from country to country.

Migration of medical specialists is happening mostly from developing countries towards developed countries but research shows that a large percent of doctors coming from Western Europe seek career development abroad too. According to a report published in the website http://www.docstoc.com, Switzerland is quite attractive for German and Austrian doctors.

In addition to better working conditions, another popular reason for physicians’ decision to move abroad is their desire to change their lifestyle and living environment. For instance, doctors from the Scandinavian countries choose to move to Italy or Spain because they like the climate there, the culture and the laid-back lifestyle in Southern EU member states.

Globalization has changed the mindset of European citizens. They enjoy the sense of freedom and the variety of options that lie in front of them and want to take advantage of the opportunity to enrich their professional and personal experience abroad.

The European Commission created new directives in order to facilitate the mobility of human resources within the EU by regulating the recognition of diplomas gained in member states of the EU. Medical specialists reap the most benefits since diplomas issued by medical universities on the territory of the EU fall into the category of “automatic recognition”.

It is an interesting fact that despite all the new opportunities for mobility, doctors from Italy rarely decide to seek a medical officer job abroad even though there is a surplus of physicians in the country. It is supposed that the reason for this is related to the cultural characteristics of the nation and their preference to avoid the efforts necessary for adapting to a new environment.

Actually, the fear of the unknown, the language barrier and the lack of information about how to create a career model abroad are the motives of some doctors to give up their dream of working in a foreign country.

The problems mentioned above can be solved by consultancies like Forum der Medizin specialized in providing support to medical specialists to achieve the optimal career development. Such licensed medical recruitment consultancies deal with the whole process of preparing the documents necessary for moving abroad, the negotiations with foreign employers regarding the working conditions, solving any legal issues that might arise and helping doctors integrate faster in the new environment.

Some medical specialists want to work abroad only temporarily and then go back to their native country. This is a very good variant because they can use the money earned in the foreign country to open a private practice after coming back from abroad or they can use their experience as a springboard for their career in hospitals in the native country. Besides, they will feel happy that they can apply the best medical practices learnt abroad and contribute to the improvement of health care services in their own country.


There is another option which is less popular but it is expected to turn into a trend in the future since the labour market in the EU is becoming more and more flexible. Doctors from foreign countries will be hired for a very short period of time (several days or weeks) in order to substitute a doctor in a hospital or to provide help in extremely busy periods. Germany has already adopted such a practice. This is a very good opportunity for medical specialists to earn a lot of money without having to emigrate.

The tendency of the labour market is to seek doctors who know foreign languages, are familiar with foreign health care systems and are able to work internationally.

This means that while studying Medicine at their university, students should take advantage of the opportunities to learn foreign languages and to take part in students’ programs like Erasmus in order to get a training abroad.

The answer to the question “Emigration: Yes or No” depends on the individual preferences of specialists, their character and priorities. The most important thing for doctors is to be aware of the opportunities they have while searching for the most suitable workplace.

When a person feels that the medical profession is their vocation and develops their professional and personal skills, getting a consultation from experts about career models abroad and in the native country, then they have really good chances of achieving a high level of job satisfaction.


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