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Recent Trends in International Migration of Doctors, Nurses and Medical Students

image of Recent Trends in International Migration of Doctors, Nurses and Medical Students

This report describes recent trends in the international migration of doctors and nurses in OECD countries. Over the past decade, the number of doctors and nurses has increased in many OECD countries, and foreign-born and foreign-trained doctors and nurses have contributed to a significant extent. New in-depth analysis of the internationalisation of medical education shows that in some countries (e.g. Israel, Norway, Sweden and the United States) a large and growing number of foreign-trained doctors are people born in these countries who obtained their first medical degree abroad before coming back. The report includes four case studies on the internationalisation of medical education in Europe (France, Ireland, Poland and Romania) as well as a case study on the integration of foreign-trained doctors in Canada.

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The internationalisation of medical education in France

Historically, many foreign students have come to France to study medicine. In 2017-18, around 12 000 foreign students were enrolled in French medical schools, a lower number than in 2010-11. Increasingly, these international students come from European countries with the number coming from other parts of the world decreasing. A growing number of French students also go to other European countries to get at least a first medical degree, before returning to France to complete their postgraduate training (internship). It is difficult to find precise figures on the number of French students studying medicine abroad, but it has gone up, particularly in Romania, where it increased from around 680 in 2014-15 to over 1 200 in 2017-18. Most French students who study abroad do so either because they have failed the numerus clausus exam to get into a medical education programme in France or because they consider the risk of failing this exam too high. The recent government proposal to increase both the number of students admitted to medical education in France and the flexibility of the admission process may bring down the number of French students going to study abroad.

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