Why are you draining your brain? Factors underlying decisions of graduating Lebanese medical students to migrate
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In the context of a worldwide physician brain drain phenomenon, Lebanon has the highest emigration factor in the Middle East and North Africa. In this manuscript we aim to identify and develop a conceptual framework for the factors underlying the decisions of graduating Lebanese medical students to train abroad. We conducted two focus groups and seven semi-structured individual interviews with 23 students. In the deductive analysis (based on the push-pull theory), students reported push factors in Lebanon and pull factors abroad related to five dimensions. They focused predominantly on how training abroad provides them with a competitive advantage in an oversaturated Lebanese job market. An inductive analysis revealed the following emerging concepts: repel factors abroad and retain factors locally; societal expectations that students should train abroad; marketing of abroad training; and an established culture of migration. The marketing of abroad training and the culture of migration are prevalent in the academic institutions.
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