Negotiating professionalism, economics and moral obligation: An appeal for ethnographic approaches to African medical migration

Noelle C. Sullivan, Hansjörg Dilger, David Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article provides a preliminary framework of useful methodologies and topics for future ethnographic research on medical migration from Africa to North America. We argue that medical professionals' migrations must be understood in terms of their multiple struggles for meaning as they negotiate their professional and personal preferences in light of their desires to help rebuild ailing medical systems in their countries of origin. Our ethnographic interviews suggest that networks and family have been of critical importance to medical mobility, as well as providing a potential means of continued involvement in philanthropic investments in their countries of origin. Ultimately, we argue that economic perspectives on medical migration are insufficient, and leave out the complexities of balancing professionalism, personal goals and moral obligation to the country of origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-254
Number of pages18
JournalAfrican Diaspora
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

Keywords

  • brain drain
  • ethnographic methods
  • medical migration
  • professional networking
  • social responsibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language

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