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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

02, 30% of physicians trained in Ghana were practicing in the United States or Canada. In 2003, the United Kingdom approved 850 work permits for Ghanaian health and medical personnel, including physicians and nurses.

The new U-M study took place in July 2006 and consisted of a survey of 20 residents and interviews with a smaller group of nine residents at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, one of U-M's partner universities in Ghana. It looked at factors that affected physician retention including having an in-country training program, social factors and the economy.

"Economic factors tend to push people out of Ghana," Anderson says, adding that social factors serve as a strong counterpoint. "Ghanaians love Ghana. People love their countries and if they have opportunity to stay, they'll stay. It's not our role as an academic institution to contribute to brain drain."

Most respondents (95%) said they would have left Ghana if postgraduate training had not been available, (80%) reported that becoming an OB/GYN specialty was important to them, (75%) indicated that the program trained them to practice in Ghana, and (85%) were certain they would stay in Ghana after completing the program.

Previous studies have shown that in-country residency programs help retain physicians. A previous study of certified specialists who had completed an academic university-based postgraduate training program in Obstetrics and Gynecology at both the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (Accra, Ghana) and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (Kumasi, Ghana), showed that 29 out of 30 residents stayed in the country.

According to those studies, high retention was due to the availability and presence of a viable training program in Ghana while social and economic factors also played a significant role in graduates' decisions to stay in Ghana, Anderson says.

Interest in OB/GYN among Ghanaian residents is high. Given that obtaining OB/GYN training
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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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