Iraqi medical students are still planning to leave after graduation

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Mustafa Ali Mustafa Al-Samarrai Saad Ahmed Ali Jadoo

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Background: Medical students constitute the backbone of the future human resource for health, and therefore, as much as attention should be given to secure a high level of education, it should also be given to understand their wishes to leave or to stay at home country. This study aimed to find out the prominent factors associated with Iraqi medical students' planning to leave their country after graduation.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among clinical medical students (fourth, fifth, and sixth classes) of two medical colleges (the University of Anbar and University of Fallujah) in Anbar Governorate from 1st to 14th March 2018. A total of 183 students (Response Rate: 72,6%.) completed a self-administered questionnaire consisting of 15 close-ended questions related to the socio-demographic factors, economic characteristics, and some other factors inspired from Iraq's situation. Moreover, one open-ended question was designed to explore the main reasons for migration from the student's point of view.

Results: Although 109 students (60%) felt that serving their citizens and country is a priority, however, the vast majority of 133 (73%) of the surveyed students had a plan to leave Iraq. About two thirds (69 %) of students intended to migrate as soon as they manage to: obtain their graduation certificate (49%); have enough money (34%), and the remaining 18% when they get parents’ permission.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that living environments and work-related variables are significantly associated with medical students' intention of migration; however, social reasons and inspiring academic achievement were the main factors triggering students to leave Iraq.


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Al-Samarrai MA, Ali Jadoo SA. Iraqi medical students are still planning to leave after graduation. jidhealth [Internet]. 31May2018 [cited 25Nov.2020];1(1):23-8. Available from: