The past ten years have seen an increase in migration of doctors, as well as medical students. One quarter of practicing physicians in the U.S. are foreign born. Among countries (see table below) that percentage varies greatly. Advanced countries in general are experiencing a doctor shortage – not just the U.S.
The OECD reports that between 2010 and 2016, the proportion of foreign-born doctors across these OECD countries rose by 3% to 27% in 2016. The trend for nurses is similar with the percentage in 2016 at 16%.
Between 2000 and 2010, the proportion of foreign-trained doctors registered to practice medicine in Ireland rose from 13.4% to 33.4%.
Half of all medical students in Ireland are international students, nearly a third in Romania and a quarter in Poland. Many medical schools, such as in Central and Eastern Europe, have programs in English. (Go here.)
Noted medical writer and Atul Gawande’s parents are from India. Here is there background: Atmaram Gawande was born in 1934 to a family of seven brothers and five sisters in the village of Uti, Maharashtra, in western India. After graduating from the Nagpur Medical College in 1962, the elder Gawande moved to New York City to train in general surgery, where he ended up meeting Sushila, a paediatrician who he would go on to marry. Sushila herself had moved to the US from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
In 1973, a few years after Atul and his younger sister Meeta were born, the Gawandes decided to move to Athens, Ohio, a small town that was looking for doctors. In Athens, Gawande senior went on to become a well-known urologist at the O’Bleness Memorial Hospital, serving over 25,000 local patients.