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Global Health
October 17, 2012

Nepalese Medical Students: Who Stays, Who Leaves?

JAMA. 2012;308(15):1515. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.13118

Medical students from Nepal who have certain characteristics regarding type of premedical education, place of upbringing, and academic rank are more likely to practice within their country when they qualify as physicians than to leave and practice elsewhere, according to a study from investigators in Nepal and the United States (Zimmerman M et al. BMJ. 2012;345:e4826).

The researchers located 710 of 727 physicians who had graduated from the first 22 classes (1983-2004) of Nepal's Institute of Medicine and determined their eventual location of practice. They found that 193 were working in districts outside the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, 261 were working in Kathmandu, and 256 were working abroad. Those who received paramedical education (a common route to medicine in Nepal), those who were born in rural areas, and those in the lower third of their class were more likely to be working in rural Nepal.