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How Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine challenges the ethics of physician migration


  • Huish, Robert


This paper demonstrates a working alternative to the accepted ethics of physician migration. A dominant cosmopolitan ethics encourages upward mobility of physicians in a globalized labour force, and this ultimately advances the position of individuals rather than improving public health-care service for vulnerable communities in the global South. Cuba's Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM) challenges this trend as its institutional ethics furnishes graduates with appropriate skills, knowledge and service ethics to deliver quality care in marginalized areas. This paper provides an analysis of how ELAM trains physicians in community-oriented service for marginalized areas in the global South. The principle finding of this analysis is that ELAM exhibits a working alternative to the accepted ethics of physician migration, as it encourages graduates to practice in marginalized communities rather than feed the migration pipeline into the North. Arguably, ELAM serves as an important case study in how a medical school's ethics can work to bring graduates closer to the communities that are in desperate need of their skills and of their compassion.

Suggested Citation

  • Huish, Robert, 2009. "How Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine challenges the ethics of physician migration," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 301-304, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:69:y:2009:i:3:p:301-304

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kangasniemi, Mari & Winters, L. Alan & Commander, Simon, 2007. "Is the medical brain drain beneficial? Evidence from overseas doctors in the UK," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(5), pages 915-923, September.
    2. Astor, Avraham & Akhtar, Tasleem & Matallana, MarĂ­a Alexandra & Muthuswamy, Vasantha & Olowu, Folarin A. & Tallo, Veronica & Lie, Reidar K., 2005. "Physician migration: Views from professionals in Colombia, Nigeria, India, Pakistan and the Philippines," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(12), pages 2492-2500, December.
    3. Paul F. CLARK & James B. STEWART & Darlene A. CLARK, 2006. "The globalization of the labour market for health-care professionals," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 145(1-2), pages 37-64, March.
    4. Mountford, Andrew, 1997. "Can a brain drain be good for growth in the source economy?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 287-303, August.
    5. Hagopian, Amy & Ofosu, Anthony & Fatusi, Adesegun & Biritwum, Richard & Essel, Ama & Gary Hart, L. & Watts, Carolyn, 2005. "The flight of physicians from West Africa: Views of African physicians and implications for policy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(8), pages 1750-1760, October.
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    1. repec:eee:hepoli:v:121:y:2017:i:8:p:929-935 is not listed on IDEAS


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