Brain Drain Follow-Up Study: We Want You to Join Us!

Migration of doctors and other health professionals is not a new phenomenon. However, a global wave of movement of highly qualified professionals in recent years to richer countries has been causing significant shortages of healthcare workforce in several regions of the world. This is particularly threatening to the quality of health services available in developing countries. Along with global migration trends, that are strongly influencing young trainees from all medical fields, the question of more ethical recruitment processes from the host countries has been freshly raised by the public. More efficient training for health professionals in traditionally donor countries, would possibly allow them to meet their needs and encourage them to stay in their homelands. These concerns were recently addressed by WHO, introducing a project on the Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. Many countries have started to work towards a solution of the healthcare workforce crisis.

The European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT) has been a leader in researching the recent trends and challenges regarding psychiatric training at individual, national and regional level. Through several studies, the EFPT has created widely available tools to influence pan- European harmonization of psychiatric education programs and clinical practice across the continent. This is why five years ago, thanks to the hard work and dedication of a team led by Dr Mariana Pinto da Costa, the Brain Drain study was developed to assess the experiences of short-term mobility and long-term migration among psychiatric trainees in Europe, hoping to add to the ongoing public discourse on the brain drain phenomenon. The findings of the study have been presented at many international congresses and summarised in the article “To which countries do European psychiatric trainees want to move to and why?” by Pinto da Costa et al. published in European Psychiatry in 2017.

For the last five years economical and political situation has significantly changed, with strong conservative tides influencing migration trends across the world. This is why, the EFPT Research Working Group, is again conducting a follow-up study on workforce migration, targeting psychiatry trainees and early career psychiatrists across the world. Currently country coordinators from several countries (Albania, Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey) have been recruited and questionnaires are being distributed to reach out to psychiatric trainees and early career psychiatrists. We still have some white spots on the map of the Brain Drain Follow-Up study!!!

So, if you are interested to join the Brain Drain Follow Up team and help with collecting data in your country, please let us know! It is a great opportunity for you to help out and better understand the migration trends in Psychiatry in your country joining an international collaborative research group? Don’t hesitate and please reach out to us through the emails: and We are waiting for you to colour this map!


Information about this study and questionnaires will be available on our EFPT booth at the EPA Congress in Warsaw this April! Visit us to learn more and share your own experience on migration.


You can hear about the results of the initial EFPT Brain Drain study on the following occasions during the EPA in Warsaw:

Monday, April 8th, 12:30 – 13:15 – Station 08  


  1. Mogren, M. Aztoles, J. Nørgaard Kjaer, J. Kaaja, M. Pinto da Costa.


Monday, April 8th, 12:30 – 13:15 –  Station 16


  1. Altamore, C. Palumbo, M. Pinto da Costa


  1. El-Higaya, Z. Azvee, M. Pinto da Costa



Anna Szczegielniak, Mariana Pinto da Costa