Although the vast majority of US-trained medical practitioners choose to practice in the USA, there are circumstances in which US-trained gastroenterologists choose to pursue a career outside the USA.
Dr Louis Chaptini investigated some of the differences encountered when practicing medicine in general and gastroenterology specifically in different parts of the world.
A common scenario involves physicians with foreign medical degrees who complete residency and fellowship in the USA and decide to return to their home country or to an area that more closely resembles their cultural background.
The researcher reports that while the majority of these foreign medical graduates stay and pursue a career in the USA, familial and cultural motives as well as immigration obstacles are the main causes underlying the decision to leave.
The latter may become a more common trigger now that new regulations have been imposed on the H1 visa program, a pathway used by most foreign physicians to convert their visa status in order to be able to practice in the USA.
The researchers noted that there are other situations in which US-trained gastroenterologists choose to practice abroad, such as looking for a special experience, to take advantage of opportunities not commonly available in the USA, to obtain better compensation, and to volunteer in underserved areas of the world.
In recent years, global healthcare has experienced changes with resultant increased standardization of medical practice similar to the impact that globalization has had on many major industries.
Dr Chaptini concludes, "When practicing in a foreign, unfamiliar environment, physicians should take into consideration several important professional and cultural facets associated with such a major career decision."