Doctors are leaving the UK
- By: Samena Chaudhry
Doctors may want to work abroad for many reasons ranging from a desire for adventure to missionary fervour; or from scientific curiosity to a desire for greater practical experience. However, a recent paper in the BMJ indicates that dissatisfaction with the UK system is one of the main driving forces behind British doctors' desire to move overseas (BMJ 2004;329:1263).
In the study, of the 65% of junior doctors who did not intend to study medicine in the United Kingdom, two fifths cited UK working conditions as the main reason for wanting to leave--they wanted to stick with medicine but practice abroad. Two thirds gave reasons related to lifestyle choices. This was in contrast with the doctors who intended to leave medicine altogether, where three quarters stated a reason related to working conditions in the United Kingdom.
Michael Goldacre, one of the authors of the study, is a member of a