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Doctor retention: A cross-sectional study of how Ireland has been losing the battle

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dc.contributor.author Brugha, Ruairi
dc.contributor.author Clarke, Nicholas
dc.contributor.author Hendrick, Louise
dc.contributor.author Sweeney, James
dc.date.accessioned 2020-05-08T10:12:55Z
dc.date.available 2020-05-08T10:12:55Z
dc.date.issued 2020
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/8796
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Background: The failure of some high-income countries to retain their medical graduates is one driver of doctor immigration from low- and middle-income countries. Ireland, which attracts many international medical graduates, implemented a doctor retention strategy from early 2015. This study measures junior doctors’ migration intentions, the reasons they leave and likelihood of them returning. The aim is to identify the characteristics and patterns of doctors who plan to emigrate to inform targeted measures to retain these doctors. Methods: A national sample of 1148 junior hospital doctors completed an online survey in early 2018, eliciting their experiences of training and working conditions. Respondents were asked to choose between the following career options: remain in Ireland, go and return, go and stay away, or quit medicine. Bivariate analyses and a two-stage multivariable analysis were used to model the factors associated with these outcomes. Results: 45% of respondents planned to remain in Ireland, 35% leave but return later, 17% leave and not return; and 3% to quit medicine. An intention to go abroad versus remain in Ireland was independently associated (P < .05) with the doctor being under 30 years (odds ratio [OR] = 1.09 per year under 30), a non-European Union (EU) national (OR = 1.54), a trainee (OR = 1.50), and with hospital specialization, especially in Anesthesiology (OR = 5.09). Respondents were more likely to remain if they had experienced improvements in supervision and training costs. Intention to go abroad and not return versus go and return was independently associated (P < .05) with: age over 30 years (OR = 1.16 per year over 30); being a non-EU (OR = 9.85) or non-Irish EU (OR = 3.42) national; having trained through a graduate entry pathway (OR = 2.17), specializing in Psychiatry (OR = 4.76) and reporting that mentoring had become worse (OR = 5.85). Conclusion: Ireland’s doctor retention strategy has not addressed the root causes of poor training and working experiences in Irish hospitals. It needs a more diversified retention strategy that addresses under-staffing, facilitates circular migration by younger trainees who choose to train abroad, identifies and addresses specialty-specific factors, and builds mentoring linkages between trainees and senior specialists. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Kerman University of Medical Sciences en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Journal of Health Policy and Management;1–11
dc.subject Workforce en_US
dc.subject Doctor Retention en_US
dc.subject Migration en_US
dc.subject WHO Global Code en_US
dc.title Doctor retention: A cross-sectional study of how Ireland has been losing the battle en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.34172/ijhpm.2020.54
dc.contributor.sponsor HRB en_US
dc.relation.projectid HRA-HSR-2015-1304 en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US


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