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In-country OB/GYN training programs contributed to retention of doctors in Ghana, U-M study shows
Date:9/29/2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Ghanaian Obstetrics and Gynecology residents say in-country training programs contributed to their decision to remain in their home country to practice medicine, new University of Michigan research shows.

The retention of trained health care providers in developing countries is a key component to improving health and achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, which aim to decrease maternal and child mortality. But the migration of health workers from developing to developed countries has resulted in a health care workforce crisis that continues to threaten progress in global health.

U-M research to be published today in the journal Academic Medicine shows that the in-country program is one of three factors that contribute strongly to OB/GYN residents not migrating out of country to practice medicine.

"The most important factor is that there is a program in place for medical students to enter when they finish so they don't have to leave the country for obstetrics and gynecology training," says Frank Anderson, M.D., MPH, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at U-M, and a lead author in the study.

The U-M Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has been working with the two major academic medical centers in Ghana for over 20 years Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (Accra, Ghana) and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Kumasi, Ghana). The program has played an ongoing role in supporting OBGYN training in Ghana.

"Partnerships between academic health centers in developed and developing countries provide opportunities to address the global health care crisis in a significant and sustainable way," Anderson says, adding that such programs have longevity that other efforts can't match.

Brain drain is a well-documented problem. According to the Ghana Ministry of Health, approximately 60% of physicians trained in Ghana in the 1980s left the country. As of 20
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Contact: Margarita B. Wagerson
mbauza@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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