Reasons for migration among medical students from Karachi

Nadir Ali Syed, Aga Khan University
Farhad Khimani, Aga Khan University
Marie Andrades, Aga Khan University
Syeda Kausar Ali, Aga Khan University
Rose Paul, Baqai University


Context: The subject of economic migration among health care professionals has received intense attention. However, the aetiology of this migration has not been rigorously evaluated in Pakistan. Such knowledge can potentially influence health care and academic policies. Our current study proposes to quantify the relative contributions of various personal, professional and economic variables among final-year medical students in Karachi.

Methods: A self-administered structured questionnaire using a 10-point scale was developed and piloted among Karachi medical students. Additional open-ended questions were included to allow us to capture information not otherwise covered in the questionnaire.spss software was used for data entry and analysis.

Results: Over 95% of Aga Khan University (AKU) and over 65% of Baqai University (BU) final-year medical students intend to proceed abroad for their postgraduate training. The 2 most important factors behind this intent as pointed out by the students are poor salary structure (AKU mean score 8.94 ± 1.73, BU mean score 7.14 ± 2.6) and poor quality of training in the home country (AKU mean score 9.20 ± 1.20, BU mean score 8.68 ± 2.03). Other interesting factors captured through the open-ended questions were the poor work environment and lack of rigor in teaching of residents in domestic university hospitals. Over 50% of final-year medical students cited these issues as major reasons behind their decision to migrate.