Intended for healthcare professionals

Reviews Personal views

Why is it so hard to work abroad?

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 22 June 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:1519
  1. Tiago Villanueva, junior doctor (
  1. Lisbon Hospital Centre-central zone, Portugal

    Iwas recently visited by a Czech friend who had been a law student on exchange in my city, Lisbon, a few years ago, when I was at medical school. He had since graduated, was working in Dublin, and had a new girlfriend, a Slovak, who had finished her management studies in the Czech Republic.

    Over a late coffee, it didn't take long before we drifted to a common and popular topic among young people today: professional mobility and working abroad. It was then that I realised both of them had chosen their university degrees to maximise their chances of clinching work opportunities overseas.

    Most clinicians' area of influence is confined to their hospital, city, region, or country

    My friend's girlfriend told me that she had deliberately opted not to study medicine because she felt that it would restrict her mobility and confine her chiefly to a localised career. I was startled. How could she possibly think that? What had happened to …

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