Table of Contents
ISRN Education
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 357280, 5 pages
Research Article

A Descriptive, Cross-Sectional Study of Ugandan Students in Health Care Education regarding Postgraduate Migration and Future Practice

1College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala 7072, Uganda
2Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), Wallenberg Research Centre at Stellenbosch University, Marais Street, Stellenbosch 7600, South Africa
3Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6N 3N1
4Gagnon Research Associates, Surrey, BC, Canada V4A 1T7

Received 27 December 2011; Accepted 1 February 2012

Academic Editor: T. A. Betts

Copyright © 2012 Arabat Kasangaki et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A growing challenge of globalization is the migration of many healthcare trainees to richer nations when they complete their education. This loss of intellectual capital compromises the ability of low-income countries to provide adequate health care. Despite recognition of this loss most African nations keep no track of those they train. Effective investment in health care demands retention of this resource; the ability to direct healthcare providers where needed; understanding of local factors driving migration, choices regarding postgraduate training abroad, and future practice preference. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to a random sample of 200 Uganda College of Health Sciences students for anonymous completion; 141/200 (70.5%) were completed; 84% of respondents intended to pursue postgraduate studies abroad; 63% to migrate within five years of graduation; 57% to work in urban areas. While partly due to global trends and awareness of international opportunities, this negative trend of migration and shunning rural practice is also influenced by sociopolitical and educational elements within Uganda. One option (adopted elsewhere) is mandatory practice in government community health centers for a period following graduation. But the ethics, consequences, and implications of current international migratory trends need to be addressed locally and by the global medical education community.