Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Why WOULD a Physician stay in Egypt?

My cousin and her husband, both physicians, recently emigrated to the United States from Egypt.  Our family's attitude was basically- "What took you so long?"  Both are excellent at studying and taking tests, and were at the top of their class, but were routinely abused by patients and their superiors in Egypt, and, if you believe them, discriminated against because they were Coptic (I think they are both a little bit obnoxious, so it could be that too).  But as for me, I don't know why ANY smart doctor would stay in Egypt.  Here are some facts:

In the U.S., there is an shortage of physicians, and it's getting worse every year.  Pass the tests, and as a skilled worker, the physician has a clear path to immigration in the U.S.

The median doctor salary in the U.S. is almost $150,000 USD.  So a doctor can someday buy a house like these, which have actually become cheaper lately.  For an American, it can cost up to $250,000 to get a medical education.  In Egypt, not so much.  So Egyptian-American doctors get the best of both!

Nobody yells at doctors in the U.S.  Actually, nobody at in the U.S. yells or abuses other people as a general rule.  There are exceptions, like when you're at a party and the room is really loud.  Then you can yell.  Canada, Europe, and the like are similar, but with slightly lower salaries.

So, I often wonder about who is left to serve Egypt.  Every time a physician leaves Egypt, they take with them their skills, their smarts, their $250k USD education, and years of productivity that in economic terms, add up to millions of dollars in their lifetime.  All that gets taken away from Egypt, and given to another country, just because the other country is a nicer place to live.  Whether it's a Christian physician who feels they were treated unfairly in Egypt (there are LOTS of them), or a Muslim physician, Egypt just loses.

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