Impact of merit-based immigration policies on brain drain from low- And middle-income countries

Nagi S. El Saghir, Benjamin O. Anderson, Julie Gralow, Gilberto Lopes, Lawrence N. Shulman, Hiba A. Moukadem, Peter Paul Yu, Gabriel Hortobagyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


PURPOSE Brain drain is the migration of educated and skilled individuals from a less developed region or country to a more economically established one. The Trump administration proposed a merit-based immigration plan. This article addresses its potential impact on health care delivery in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and their preparedness to deal with it. MATERIALS AND METHODS Data on immigration policies, numbers of international medical graduates practicing in high-income countries (HICs), various scientific exchange methods, and efforts for capacity building in LMICs. RESULTS Talented individuals seek to advance their knowledge and skills, and may stay in HICs because of greater rewards and opportunities. HICs also rely on immigrant international medical graduates to supplement their physician workforces. CONCLUSION Ambitious individuals from LMICs need and should have opportunities to advance their education and training in more advanced countries. LMICs should increase their educational efforts, research capabilities, infrastructures, and living conditions to better serve their own populations and reduce their brain drain phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-189
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Global Oncology
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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