Przejdź do głównej treści Przejdź do nawigacji
Centre of Migration Research

Dominika Pszczółkowska, Sara Bojarczuk, Maciej Duszczyk, Kamil Matuszczyk, Emilia Szyszkowska. 2024.

Did Covid-19 make things worse? The pandemic as a push factor stimulating the emigration intentions of junior doctors from Poland: A mixed methods study




Covid-19 has challenged health systems around the world and increased the global competition for medical professionals. This article investigates if the pandemic and its management became an important push factor influencing the migration intentions of medical students and junior doctors and how this factor compared in importance to others. A mixed methods study–a survey and in-depth interviews–was conducted with final-year students at public medical universities in Poland, a country already suffering from a significant emigration of medical staff. The research demonstrated that the difficulties of the Polish healthcare system in dealing with Covid-19 were a factor that slightly positively influenced the emigration intentions of medical students and junior doctors. Nevertheless, the pandemic’s influence was not decisive. Factors such as the socio-political situation in Poland (.440**) (including hate speech directed at doctors by politicians and patients), the participants’ family situation (.397**), healthcare system organization (.376**), or the opportunity of pursuing a planned career path (.368**) proved more influential. Salary is still important but did not turn out to be among the decisive factors. This allows us to conclude that migration decisions of medical students have a very well-established basis that does not fundamentally change even under the influence of such dramatic situations as the pandemic. This conclusion has important implications for healthcare management and the ongoing discussion in migration studies on the evolution of push and pull factors in place and time.

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